The majority of Bayern Munich fans will know that former president Uli Hoeness is not the type of character to shy away from speaking his mind, regardless of how harshly his words might sometimes be perceived. He’s always called it like he sees it, and when it comes to speaking ill of Bayern’s players or staff members, he never hesitated to snap back at whoever perpetrated the slander, justified or not. In a recent episode of the OMR podcast, Hoeness recalled what he referred to as his “attack department” during his time as president of Bayern Munich (tz).
Hoeness no longer sits on Bayern’s executive board, but he said that, to this day, he will still phone up journalists and let them know when he feels they’ve done something wrong. “When I attacked, it was 98 percent to protect FC Bayern. To this day I call journalists and abuse them,” he said. For a club nicknamed “FC Hollywood,” they’re constantly under the proverbial microscope as Germany’s most successful club and even the slightest mishap can cause an onslaught of negative press. A loss for Bayern is usually followed by a storm of negativity, as was the case for last week’s 2-1 loss at FC Augsburg.
“If I have the feeling that FC Bayern - or parts of the club, players, coaches and board members - are being treated unfairly, then you have to say something,” Hoeness explained. It wasn’t too long ago during Niko Kovac’s tenure as manager when Hoeness was still president that Bayern’s front office had called an emergency press conference where they essentially had told the press from major publications like Bild that they were tired of the unfavorable press and had even banned some of the journalists from Bayern’s press conferences moving forward. While some of the criticism lodged at Kovac might have been justified at the time, Bayern’s front office, led by Hoeness, wanted none of it.
Hoeness recalled recently giving Lothar Matthäus an earful after he questioned Bayern’s standing following the 4-1 win over RB Leipzig earlier this season. “What kind of nonsense did you say that Bayern is the worst-placed club in the Bundesliga across the board - among the top clubs,” Hoeness questioned to the former Bayern and Germany legend. He also said he had an affinity for challenging former Werder Bremen supervisory board member, Willi Lemke. “When we played against Werden Bremen, I was quite happy to tangle with Willi Lemke. That there was also something going on,” he said.
Television pundits also have a tendency to be a bit more reserved than Hoeness. They won’t speak their minds as freely as Bayern’s honorary president. Because of that, Hoeness said he had methods for interjecting in certain conversations to hit the hot buttons that nobody else wanted to press. “There’s so much steam talking and it never really gets down to business. You have to say something. I have the number of an editor whom I then call. He passes it on, then everything is thrown away and Hoeneß comes on the show,” he explained.