• 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
Merkel tops Putin hot-line call queue
Call me maybe: The Berlin-Moscow hot-line has been busy. Photo: DPA

Merkel tops Putin hot-line call queue

"If there's somethin' strange in your neighbourhood; Who ya gonna call?" If you're Vladimir Putin, growing ever more isolated among his G8 peers, it's Angela Merkel, say the Kremlin hot-line stats. READ  

More Germans seek assisted dying abroad
A Belgian "suicide kit" including the commonly-used drug sodium pentothal. Photo: DPA

More Germans seek assisted dying abroad

A study revealed today that more people traveled to Switzerland to undergo assisted dying from Germany than from any other country in 2012. READ  

80,000 trainee jobs empty as Germans opt for uni
Photo: DPA

80,000 trainee jobs empty as Germans opt for uni

More young people are choosing university degrees over vocational training, leaving firms scrambling to find qualified new hires. READ  

Doctor arrested over medical test 'rape' photos
The Bamberg Clinic, where alleged abuse was reported. Photo: DPA

Doctor arrested over medical test 'rape' photos

Police in Bavaria have arrested a 48-year-old doctor for allegedly drugging and raping medical test volunteers, media reported Thursday. READ  

German of the Week
Nuts and bolts of being a piercing king
Rolf Buchholz, world's most pierced man. Photo: Caro von D Photografie

Nuts and bolts of being a piercing king

The world's most-pierced man, Rolf Buchholz, was just deported from Dubai, for fear of 'black magic', he says. But as shocking as many people find his body modifications, it is a genuine passion, our German of the Week explains. And who knows, he may just enchant you yet. READ  

Amazon 'should not endanger diversity'
State minister for culture and media Monika Grütters. Photo: DPA

Amazon 'should not endanger diversity'

A German minister on Wednesday threw her weight behind the authors battling US online retail giant Amazon over its alleged strong-arm negotiating tactics with publishers. READ  

Opposition calls for arms export debate
Photo: DPA

Opposition calls for arms export debate

Green Party leader Katrin Göring-Eckhardt is calling for a special session of parliament following Wednesday's announcement that Germany will break its rules and deliver weapons to an active conflict zone. READ  

Families find solace and help with seniors
Photo: DPA

Families find solace and help with seniors

When Verena Herz found out she was pregnant with twins, she had no idea what she was in for. Luckily, she was able to borrow a grandmother. The Local learns the advantages of welcoming a new grandparent into the family and why Omas and Opas say: "I tell everybody about it!" READ  

Merkel targets 'shadow banks' in Lindau speech
Chancellor Angela Merkel opens the 2014 Lindau meetings. Photo: DPA

Merkel targets 'shadow banks' in Lindau speech

Chancellor Angela Merkel has opened an economics conference in Lindau, Bavaria, with a call for more regulation of so-called shadow banks. READ  

Dying town centres seek the miracle cure
A senior couple walk down Delmenhorst's main pedestrian promenade, amid a string of empty shops. Photo: Tomas Urbina

Dying town centres seek the miracle cure

Home to two-thirds of Germany's population, many of its small cities and towns are struggling to revive their declining centres. The Local's Tomas Urbina reports from Delmenhorst in Lower Saxony, as it tries to dig its way out of the economic doldrums. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Photo: DPA
Society
A German journalist shares the story of his US arrest in Ferguson
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
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
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

3,365
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd