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Uli Hoeneß is a free man! But only during the day.

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Uli Hoeneß, the former president of FC Bayern (and former player and manager), who has been in prison for the last 7 months following a conviction of massive tax evasion, has taken the next step towards being a free man: day release.

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The Bavarian Ministry of Justice has confirmed that Ulrich "Uli" Hoeneß has been freed from prison today on a work release program.  Under the standard procedure intended to help incorporate convicts back into society, he has to be gainfully employed during the day, and has to report back to prison every evening to spend the night back in jail.

Of course, to nobody's surprise, FC Bayern Munich has hired their former president, giving him a job in the youth department of the club, according to Hoeneß's own wishes, as Karl Heinz Rummenigge confirmed a few months ago.

Hoeneß already had been fortunate enough to get to spend two separate vacations for Christmas and New Year at home in his house on the Tegernsee, but this is the next step in becoming a free man.  Since the prison he has been incarcerated in is located in Landsberg am Lech, a city almost an hour outside of Munich, he will most likely get to spend his nights in an outpost (sounds a lot like a halfway house) near Starnberg, considerably closer to the Bavarian capital, and presumably less depressing than an actual jail cell.

In addition, being a first-time offender, Hoeneß is facing the prospect of potentially getting his original three and a half year prison sentence cut in half, and has a good chance of securing his full release, on probation, sometime in March of 2016.  The fact that he has been granted day release this early in his sentence is a strong indicator that he can cut his prison time by a year and 9 months.

Things are finally looking up for the FC Bayern icon, but, as Dieter Hoeneß told sport1.de, as good as the news of his brother's release has been, Uli still has a long way to go before he can put this ordeal behind him.

Good luck to you, Uli, and I hope things are getting better every day.