By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Bayern Munich will be heading into this season knowing that Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge are set to depart.
After chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced to hand over to the club's legend and former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn by 2020, now president Uli Hoeness made the decision to leave by the end of 2019. Herbert Hainer, the former CEO of the Adidas group, is the most likely successor of the 67-year-old.
What do these changes mean for the 2013 treble winners' future?
For years, football fans tried to figure out what German record champions would be looking like after Hoeness' retirement. And for years, the most common answer was that the Bavarian club will not be able to maintain their success after the man that invented the modern FC Bayern leaves.
Hoeness initiated the Bavarian's corporate identity as "mia san mia" ("we are what we are"), led the club to the country's number one and developed Bayern into one of the world best football sides in over 40 years.
Now the unimaginable seems to become a reality. According to a report of the well-informed tabloid, Bild, the former striker has decided not to apply for a new term as president at the general assembly in November 2019.
Hoeness' withdrawal is said to include his job as the club's chairman of the board. The report mentions the Hoeness decision to withdraw from every day running and his personal disappointment in the face of growing criticism. While Hoeness has maintained the club's independence, others fear Bayern might lose contact with the leading clubs if they do not open up for investors.
Internal reports speak of a possible new leader group of Kahn (chairman), Hainer (president) and Max Eberl (sports director), who is currently working for Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Pundits see the trio ahead of a serious challenge as the club's structure, and its leading policy will significantly change. Hoeness decision caused growing unrest among fans and players despite him claiming to hand over a well working club.
While Bayern officially refused to comment on the report, left-back David Alaba said, "it is a difficult situation" to think "about Bayern without him." Midfielder and German international Leon Goretzka emphasized: "He shaped the entire club over decades. That is what you call a successful lifetime achievement." Enditem