Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness was moved to tears at the club’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday night with chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge saying the club would not be the same without him.
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Hoeness is under investigation for alleged tax evasion and he has been summoned to court for a hearing in March.
The Bavarian club have backed him, turning down an initial offer to resign as president several months ago while Hoeness says he will ask once again for a vote of confidence once his trial is over.
Yet it was an emotional speech from Rummenigge in which he defined Hoeness the "spiritus rector" of the record German champions which prompted a standing ovation, and saw the 61-year-old lose his composure.
"I am overwhelmed," Hoeness said as he struggled to wipe the streaming tears away. "Not only for your speech, Karl-Heinz, but for the reaction of our, of my members.
"I will never forget this, I am incredibly proud."
Hoeness is less proud of his actions over the past few years in which he admitted hiding funds in an undeclared Swiss bank account, although he claims the amount is not as much as being speculated, and that he has more than made up for it with charitable donations.
"I don’t want to redeem myself because I stand up to my mistakes," he said. "I want to mention a few facts: I have not evaded hundreds of millions of Euros in taxes, I have paid plenty of millions of Euros in taxes over the years and, in the past five years, I have donated over five million Euros to charity by not being paid for speeches.
"I also donated all of the proceeds from my anniversary game for my 60th birthday to charity. I will serve this club until I can no longer breathe."