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Former Bayern boss Hoeness given early release from jail

Munich, Germany

Former Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness has been released from prison on Monday on suspension after serving half of his three and a half year jail term for tax evasion.

The former Bayern Munich player, who was sports director for 30 years before taking over as club president in 2009, was convicted in March 2014 for evading 28.5 million euros ($31.14 million) in taxes.

The 1974 World Cup winner stepped down from his post at Bayern and started his jail term in June 2014.

From early 2015 he was able to leave prison during the day and work at Bayern’s youth department before returning in the evening. It is not clear whether he will ever return to the club in a senior capacity.

Hoeness was initially charged with evading 3.5 million euros in taxes while investing millions of euros in stocks through a Swiss bank account.

But when the trial began the iconic Bayern official, adored by team fans, stunned the court by admitting he had actually evaded five times that amount – or 18.5 million euros.

That figure was subsequently raised further to 28.5 million euros – a figure acknowledged by Hoeness’s defence team.

Bayern have continued to be successful in his absence and are on track for a record fourth straight Bundesliga crown.

They also reached the Champions League last four in 2014 and 2015 and are in the running for the premier European club title this season. ($1 = 0.9153 euros)