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Master of Puppets: Uli Hoeness still pulling strings behind the scenes for Bayern Munich

Bayern’s former president still has a lot more influence than people might think.

Training FC Bayern Munich Photo by Christian Kolbert/picture alliance via Getty Images

It’s been over three years since Uli Hoeness retired from Bayern Munich’s presidency and was replaced by Herbert Hainer. Although he no longer sits on the club’s executive board, he’s still on the supervisory board and considered to be the clubs ‘honorary president.’ When the front office transitioned to Hainer, Oliver Kahn, and Hasan Salihamidzic running the show, it was understood that they would be chiefly responsible for most of the decisions the club made, with consultancy from the supervisory board. Bayern, for example, still has a policy where the supervisory board has to green light transfers over a certain amount.

However, a new report from Sky Germany has suggested that Hoeness is still very much involved in the influence of important decisions behind the scenes at the club. He’s never been known as a character to hold his tongue in any situation as he speaks his mind quite freely, even if he hold an unpopular opinion, but it is, perhaps, a little bit surprising, or not surprising at all, how much influence he still has it what was assumed to be a more reserved role.

The Sky report claims that Hoeness still has significant influence over the club’s coaching staff, transfer decisions, and decisions that the executive board makes. It’s the executive board, and Kahn in particular, that’s currently under a lot of scrutiny for Bayern’s poor run of form and its proximity to the decision to fire Julian Nagelsmann and replace him with Thomas Tuchel, a decision Hoeness was very much supportive of. So much so to the point that Hoeness and Tuchel are in regular contact via telephone conversations and text messaging in addition to when they’re able to meet face to face.

Fingers are being pointed at Bayern’s board, Tuchel, and the supervisory board, but at some point, the players need to take some of the blame. This is a sentiment that Hoeness shares and he paid Bayern’s away dressing room a visit after the 3-1 defeat to Mainz last weekend to hammer that message home. They’re currently a point behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and out of both the DFB-Pokal and Champions League; it’s up to then to finish off the season with at least one trophy.

Despite having a past of slandering the ever-growing inflation rates of the European market for football transfers, Hoeness is one member of supervisory board that is actually in-favor of a €100-million+ transfer to bring in a top class striker this summer, which is something Tuchel really wants. He also wants a number 6, defensive midfielder, but a top-class striker is the more pressing area for Bayern. Hoeness prefers Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani, while SSC Napoli’s Victor Osimhen has also been linked with a move to Munich this summer in addition to the looming Harry Kane links that fizzle in and out.

Hoeness is in favor of a €100-million euros striker, but he’s not entirely sure whether the other members of the supervisory board will be too. He’s stressed that he’s only one of a total of 9 members on Bayern’s supervisory board, so he could, in theory, get overruled in this particular matter.

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