• Germany edition
 
Adidas loan haunts Bayern boss Hoeneß
Late Adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus. Photo: DPA

Adidas loan haunts Bayern boss Hoeneß

Published: 25 Apr 2013 11:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Apr 2013 11:39 GMT+02:00

Hoeneß, 61, revealed at the weekend that he had turned himself in for dodging taxes and paid an advanced fine payment running into millions of euros.

But now speculation is growing that he may have also been involved in corrupt dealings at the time, wrote Süddeutsche Zeitung on Thursday.

Super-rich Adidas CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus 'loaned' millions to his close friend Hoeneß back in 2000 so that the club president could go and have a bit of fun gambling on the global stock market, wrote the paper.

Hoeneß says the loan was purely personal, yet the paper raised the suspicion that the money could have been connected to a vicious bidding war at the time between the sports clothing giant and rival Nike, both of which wanted a sponsorship deal with Bayern.

In 2000, a bitter global war was raging between Nike and Adidas for the world market, with football as a particularly fierce battle arena. US giant Nike had a bigger share of the general market, but Germany's Adidas was far bigger in the world of football, wrote the paper.

In an attempt to knock Adidas off its football pedestal, Nike began an aggressive campaign to win sponsorship deals with high-profile European clubs, including FC Bayern.

That same year, Dreyfus casually put 20 million Deutsche marks into Hoeneß's secret account with Vontobel bank in Zurich with which to invest on the stock market. Hoeneß had a few wins, later paid Dreyfus back and continued speculating - without mentioning his success on the market to the German tax man.

And sure enough, wrote the paper, in September 2001 FC Bayern announced they had renewed their long-standing partnership with Adidas. Dreyfus' company had won, although Hoeneß admitted at the time that Nike had offered more money, said Süddeutsche Zeitung.

While the paper suggested Hoeneß may yet be investigated on charges corruption, it admitted it would not be easy to prove any kind of wrongdoing.

Dreyfus died four years ago and Adidas denied that the former CEO had personally been involved in the sponsorship talks in 2000 about a "strategic partnership with FC Bayern München."

Although Dreyfus, who was fighting leukemia at the time, had still been CEO of the company on paper, said Adidas, he had handed over operative decisions to successor Herbert Heiner in January that year, who then formally replaced him in March 2001.

Neither FC Bayern nor Adidas denied any knowledge of the loan, then or now, said the paper.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Prisoners of War pictured in 1918. Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825

Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online

Hundreds of thousands of rare records and images from World War I have been put online by the German government, ahead of Monday's 100th anniversary of the start of the conflict. READ  

Merkel to push for 'swift' EU Russia sanctions
Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Vladimir Putin chat with Fifa President Sepp Blatter (c) in Brazil before the 2014 World Cup final. Photo: DPA

Merkel to push for 'swift' EU Russia sanctions

UPDATE: Russia's failure to help quell the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and fully assist the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 demanded a tough response, a German government spokesman said on Wednesday. READ  

Löw to remain Germany coach to 2016
Joachim Löw (l) during a coaching session in Brazil. Photo:DPA

Löw to remain Germany coach to 2016

UPDATE: Joachim Löw will remain German national football team coach following the World Cup victory in Brazil, he confirmed on Wednesday. READ  

Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
A pro-Palestine demonstration in Berlin on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests

Demands are growing in Germany for the prosecution of protesters in Berlin, Frankfurt and other cities who led anti-Semitic chants and incited violence against Jews over Israel's military offensive in Gaza. READ  

The Local List
The 12 best words in the German language
Photo: DPA

The 12 best words in the German language

The Local List has covered all aspects of German words, from the untranslatable to the longest. But we've never done a ranking of what are simply the best words in the German language, until now... READ  

Munich police find 49 refugees on one train
Police arrested three Italians for allegedly driving 25 Syrians into Germany on Tuesday. Photo: Bundespolizei

Munich police find 49 refugees on one train

Police in Munich found 49 refugees on one train which arrived at the city’s central station from Italy on Monday night. Officers in the Bavarian capital have reported a “huge increase” in the number of people arriving illegally over the last few weeks at Munich's train terminal. READ  

Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Coach Joachim Löw ensured his team had a yoga instructor with them at all times. Photo: DPA

Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home

Germany’s World Cup winning football team have revealed one of the secrets of their success in Brazil this summer – yoga. READ  

Court jails student for protest at far-right ball
Josef S. at the court in Vienna. Photo: DPA

Court jails student for protest at far-right ball

UPDATE: A German student, accused of being the ringleader of far-left demonstrators who protested at Vienna’s far-right Akademikerball, has been jailed, despite questionable evidence of his involvement. READ  

Lufthansa cancels Tel Aviv flights
A Lufthansa Boeing 747 at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa cancels Tel Aviv flights

Lufthansa said on Tuesday it was suspending its service to Tel Aviv until at least Thursday over security concerns amid the escalating Gaza conflict. READ  

German state bans Hells Angels' logo online
Photo: DPA

German state bans Hells Angels' logo online

Displaying the symbols of notorious motorcycle gangs the Hells Angels and the Bandidos is forbidden across Germany, but that ban has now extended to the internet. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Jobtalk: How innovative is Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Joachim Löw: A career in pictures
Photo: Submitted
Society
Is this expat cat the world's oldest?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Germany's week in pictures: July 12th - July 18th
Photo: DPA
National
Heatwave to bring highs of 36C to Germany
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Should Germany follow France and ban the burqa?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Which workers is Germany short of?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten best expat jobs in Germany: Which one would you choose?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,263
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd