Bayern Munich president Hoeness sentenced to three and a half years in prison for tax evasion

The 62-year-old had admitted to owing approximately €27.2 million in taxes through an undisclosed bank account but had hoped to avoid jail time

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness was on Thursday sentenced to three and a half years in jail for tax evasion.

The former World Cup winner had confessed to the crime in a voluntary disclosure last year only for Judge Rupert Heindl to rule it incomplete and therefore not admissible in his defence.

"The voluntary disclosure is not valid with the documents that were presented alone," the judge said.

The scale of Hoeness’ crime had become evident during the four-day trial in Munich.

The 62-year-old was initially charged with evading €3.5 million in taxes but Hoeness conceded on Monday he had actually evaded five times that amount.

The defence team acknowledged on day two the figure had risen again to €27.2 million. He held the money in a secret Swiss bank account.

The prosecution demanded that Hoeness be sentenced to five and a half years for failing to declare his full income between 2003 and 2009.

When the verdict was read out, Hoeness stared motionless at the floor.

His defence team has already announced it intends to appeal.

The former forward won four Bundesliga titles and three European Cups during his playing days with Bayern and has been involved in administrative roles with the Bavarian club ever since his retirement, serving first as general manager and then as president.

The case has prompted thousands of Germans to pre-emptively pay back taxes in order to avoid possible prosecution, with the number expected to increase over the coming years.