FC Sankt Pauli in 2015
For a long time at the club it appeared to be a bit of a battle. For many years things ran pretty chaotically, for years flirting with financial disaster. Even once the club was brought back onto an even keel, you would still occasionally find yourself studying the team sheet at the beginning of each season, wondering who all the new players were, as loan players and journeymen dominated the side.
Leading up to, during and shortly after our last adventure in top division in 2010/11, we also had a long fight for the character of the club. It is important to note that you can fight for your club. The top flight features the likes, Bayer Leverkusen (Bayer), Wolfsburg (VW) and recently sold HSV (now backed by Beiersdorf and Kühne & Nagel). RB Leipzig will surely join them soon enough. It would be easy to retreat to the pub, moaning about “modern football”, but whilst the odds are stacked against the fans, some victories can be won. Sankt Pauli is a good example of this. A few seasons ago, we campaigned against the continued commercialisation of the club with “Sozial Romantiker” movement, turning the stadium red with banners and flags. At the same time outsiders would often claim that Sankt Pauli had lost its soul. Occasionally it was hard to claim otherwise. VIP Lounge events that contradicted the ethos of the club, LCD screens in the ground to display fans text messages for a tidy sum, a ground where many fans didn’t seem that interested in the football anymore, and a board and president that seemed open to dialogue but didn’t really appear to be normal fans. There were in essence times, where on a matchday, you felt the only thing that really was “Sankt Pauli” was the few thousand fans standing on the terrace in the Sudkurve.
Since the time of the Sozial Romantiker campaign though, things have slowly changed for the better. Club Presidents at Sankt Pauli have often had a hint of social conscience, but have seldom been people you could imagine having a pint with after the match. This season our president resigned. He was replaced with Oke Göttlich. Oke is someone who regularly attends matches, he has been involved with the fanzines in the past and more recently turned up for an interview wearing a “Refugees Welcome” jumper. In other words, for the first time we appear to have a president who isn’t just open to dialogue but actually “gets” fans. In the supervisory board at the club, there are at least two fans who travel home and away to matches, and have represented fans voices both at Sankt Pauli and further afield in the past. They inherit the reigns of a club that is now in a relatively healthy state, with an extremely well graded youth team setup. That is an ideal situation for a club like Sankt Pauli. We will never be well off, but we could be in a position to compete, using young, home grown players, who can, once they move on, generate transfer funds.
This season in the stadium itself has been mixed but with a positive end. We started off very poorly indeed, and by halfway through the season, were even playing in the relegation zone, with one end of the ground missing following the demolition of the Nordkurve. By Christmas though we had a new coach in charge, Ewald Lienen. The change was almost instant. He insisted on changes to the way players behaved, creating a better spirit. At the beginning of every match, he walks along the front of the terrace, pumping his fist, stirring the crowd up. Interviews with him suggest he didn’t just choose Sankt Pauli for sporting reasons, but believes in what the club stands for. The stamina of the squad appears to have been dramatically improved too. Whereas morale might have kept the team battling until the 70th minute, we often found ourselves conceding late on. Yet in the final, hard fought, run in towards the end of the season, and with us desperate to avoid relegation, the team was now in a position to dominate matches for the full 90 minutes. Teams such as RB Leipzig and Kaiserslautern were beaten, despite them challenging for promotion. The Nordkurve is almost rebuilt, and elsewhere in the ground fans have woken up. The Gegengerade in particular has graced several matches with fine choreos, something normally only expected from the Ultras in the Sudkurve.
On the final day of the season, away in Darmstadt, we finally secured confirmation that we would stay in the second division. Fans celebrated on the pitch. The key moment though was still to follow. The coach was conducting a TV interview, when the president came over. He apologised to the camera, and explained that the interview would have to stop. The reason? Because they both needed to catch a tram to the station, before boarding the football special back to Hamburg with the fans. The spirit of Sankt Pauli is back!
Ultrà Sankt Pauli in 2015
As most of you know, our group was founded back in 2002. This is now more than 10 years ago. Today it’s difficult to sum up who we are as a group. The opinions held within the group about what we should be, are wide ranging and people naturally focus on different things. But that makes us who we are, that is also what has made the big melting pot Ultrà Sankt Pauli so interesting and unique for so many years.
There is a big team of cooks working on this pot and everybody does his or her best to find the right ingredients to provide a good meal. The basic ingredient, of course, is the love of FC St. Pauli and its unique and down to earth fan base. It brought all of us together.
But we also have to focus on the different chefs: The meal starts with a crazy mix of international cuisine with many influences. Creativity is essential for our meal. Where, in the past, we have just cooked the same dish as the day before, we have failed. We are always looking for new flavours, to mix them with the good old ones. One cook would like to have a little more politics simmering away, like anti-racism (an example being our support for refugees). But the fight against discrimination will be always part of the menu at Ultrà Sankt Pauli.
Another cook would like to add more of the fine Italian cuisine from the 80s, some cooks maybe want to cook a Polish meal and others are keen to cook something completely different. Some people want to cook with only a select few chefs, some want to cook with music and some want to do a BBQ with beer.
That’s what Ultrà Sankt Pauli is – a small and unique meal cooked by a small numbers of cooks at a backyard of a bar in the St. Pauli district. We always cook “learning by doing” and will chance the ingredients as much as necessary. Our meal is never boring but always spicy and tasty.
We always need new cooks to help in the kitchen too. Even when sometimes external influences make it hard, we always place trust in our people. It’s the people that add all the spices and the taste, and the people that cook the great meal of St. Pauli. An international, political and delicious meal.
The games in Season 2014/2015
We started the past season with a great opening barbecue at a small park near the stadium in the shadow of he most famous church of Hamburg. With a few hundred fans, flags, banners and smoke we had a great march along the harbor. Unfortunately we finished the match against FC Ingolstadt with a draw.
Before our away match in Aalen we visited a beautiful lake to enjoy some time in the water and the sun. After entering the stadium we celebrated a 2:0 victory. We also said‘thank you’ to a small fan club in southern Germany called ‘Province Fanatics’. For the second time they organized an antiracist party at the evening before our match in Aalen and donated the profit to USP Antirazzista for our antiracist refugee support every home match.
In the first round of the German cup we played against ‘Optik Rathenow’, a 5th division club from a small village in Brandenburg. In the small stadium in between trees and next to a lake we won the match with a safe 3:1 victory.
At the home match against the next small club from southern Germany Sandhausen we celebrated the German world championship trophy in our way. With thousands of destroyed German national flags, a burning police car and a burning jail we showed, that there is no home country, to be proud of. Fuck patriotism and nationalism! After that great, smoky, chaotic choreography we celebrated a 2:1 victory of our brown-white team. Days after this match the Squatting Days started in Hamburg. With supporters from all over Germany and Europe there were many workshops and actions. Also a house between the Hamburg harbor and our stadium was squatted by some activists. For some years this has been the first time a squatted house was defended in a very militant way. After that action an activist and St. Pauli fan got arrested and placed in custody for many months without a proof. Luckily the activist is at least free again.
After our 0:3 failure in Fürth the team manger Roland Vrabec was fired and the former player Thomas Meggle took over his job. But the following matches against 1860 Munich and Aue were lost as well. Not until the match against Braunschweig St. Pauli could win again.
Before the draw against Frankfurt, sadly we had to learn, that Hamburg’s most famous and notorious graffiti sprayer OZ died in the train yards of Hamburg. After displaying some banners in Frankfurt we bade farewell with a colorful choreography at the match against Berlin. Thousands of balloons, his famous smiley and some of his slogans filled our south stands. OZ – free like a bird!
St. Pauli won the match with a 3:0 victory.
But the following two games against Düsseldorf and Karlsruhe we lost again.
And then the next opponent in the second round of the German cup was Borussia Dortmund.
Obviously this match was one of the past season’s highlights – it was the first home match in the German cup since 2007. Many weeks before we started to prepare what was to become the greatest choreography ever at the Millerntor Stadium. A huge banner covered almost the hole south stand including the seats. And even the other stands had some great choreographies as well. For the north stand it was the very last match – the next day workers began to dismantle the stand. Before the second half we displayed quite a lot of pyrotechnics.
As expected Dortmund won the match with 3:0.
The next great mark in this season was our match in Leipzig against redbull. Many German fan scenes decided to boycott their matches in Leipzig. But we decided to organize a great away tour there and enter the stadium together with a lot of St. Pauli supporters. For the kick-off we covered all fan club banners with the slogan ‘St. Pauli is the only way’. During the second half we also showed a great banner with ‘all bulls are pigs’. In German ‘bull’ is a common name for a cop, so the slogan is similar to ‘ACAB’. So both, the red bulls from RB Leipzig and the cops got a little slap. Unfortunately we lost the match with 1:4.
One day before our match against Bochum we welcomed a contemporary witness to hold a panel in our fan rooms Fanräume. Our guest Esther Bejarano is a Jewish survivor of the concentration camp Auschwitz. The way in which she told us about her life in Nazi Germany impressed us all a lot.
Until the end of the first half of the season we gained only one more point. So after the first 17 matches we ended up on the very last place with about 13 points. So, the current team manager Meggle changed into a different position in the club to make room for Ewald Lienen the new team manager of St. Pauli. Though the first match under Lienen ended also in a failure, in the following match against Aalen we won and gained three important points. With this little high we spent the winter break on the 17th place.
The new year started with a draw in the away match against Sandhausen, a very unlucky loss against Fürth at home and a also very unlucky draw in Munich against 1860 Munich. Followed by another draw at home against Aue. Thus coach Lienen got six points from the past six matches, which was already half of the points we had gained from the first 17 matches before.
In the away match against Braunschweig Lienen got his second victory. It was clear to almost everybody, that St. Pauli is close to a relegation to the third division. Every point was crucial. Therefore, this victory was celebrated accordingly.
For the home match against FSV Frankfurt we called for a match-day motto: Millerntor Roar. With this manifestation we wanted to bundle all energy for this season’s ultimate goal: to stay in 2nd division. Before the match we met in a park nearby and celebrated a colorful, smoky corteo to the stadium.
A smaller group invited about 60 refugees to the stadium to enjoy a nice match day with us. The day started with a collective breakfast in the squatted house and social center Rote Flora. Afterwards we went to the stadium and enjoyed the match, which ended in a 1:1 draw. After that we had a well tasting lunch in the Rote Flora, as well. Apart from inviting about 15 refugees to every home match each season, this “Migrants Welcome Day” is an activity we organize once a season.
The following home match against Düsseldorf hosted another important action day. The Rote Flora squat, which is the iconic center of left wing politics in Hamburg, is undergoing a big renovation, which takes several months. For the summer the activists plan a construction month with many volunteering crafts(wo)men coming from all over Europe. To help support this big construction site we collected money and used our many ways to inform about this project in every part of the stadium. Even the club’s official crowd funding campaign ‘Kiezhelden’ started a funding site. To top it all of the match ended with a superb 4:0 victory.
After the next away loss in Karlsruhe, St. Pauli won the following home match against Nürnberg by scoring a goal in the very last minute. In this moment, five games before the end of the season, Ewald Lienen had gained as many points as Vrabec and Meggle in their 17 matches combined. Unfortunately, all the other clubs in the lower tier of the table scored as well, so we were still in danger of being relegated.
On the way to the away match against Heidenheim one of our buses broke down, so we had to find another way to get there.In order to do so we had to rent some cars in a nearby town and spend a lot of money to support our team. Unfortunately we lost the match 1:2.
The next opponent was Leipzig, and they wanted to keep their slim chances for relegating to the Bundesliga alive. So, everybody expected the match to be a tough one. But soon after our colorful, smoky and shining intro, which covered all of the Südkurve in smoke, flags, confetti and paper rolls, Kalla scored the 1:0 and we won this awesome match.
Everybody gained new spirit for the end of the season. But the next match would be the away match against Kaiserslautern. Which, in the past had always won the important matches. The only time we had won a match in Kaiserslautern, they had already been qualified for the play-offs. So, nobody expected one single point.
After the first half no team scored and everybody would have been happy about this draw and one point. But then, in the second half, Kalla and Halstenberg scored for St. Pauli. After 90 minutes we had won against Kaiserslautern, who played for the promotion to the first league. If St. Pauli could win against Kaiserslautern, chances were they could also hold off relegating to 3rd division.
We started the following home match day against Bochum with a collective boat trip. After a short walk we entered the stadium for the season’s final home match – we all wanted to avoid the relegation and even the play-offs. But unexpectedly Bochum scored the first goal and took the early lead. But luckily and amazingly St. Pauli turned the whole match around and won with a solid 5-1! Unfortunately almost all teams below us in the league scored as well, so we had to wait until the very last match of the season to reach a safe place.
For the last match we took a football special to Darmstadt. For the most of us it was the first time at the Böllenfalltor. Darmstadt had just moved up from the 3rd division and aimed for the promotion to Bundesliga, so they would give everything for a victory. And so, in the second half they scored the first goal which meant their safe promotion. Which put us in a tight spot since whether or not we could remain in 2nd division depended on the results of the other ongoing matches. Until the very last minute Aue came close to score and win their game to safe their own ass and put us into the play-offs for relegation. But luckily for us they missed their chance and in the end St. Pauli managed to stay in the 2nd division.
Now we’re very lucky to stay in the league. But, we have to remember, that during the last year a lot of racist people formed a movement by the names of Pegida and Legida and marched week after week in several German cities. On top of that brutal racist hooligans founded a network called HoGeSa (hooligans against salafists) and attacks on refugees or refugee camps are happening more and more frequently.
There haven’t been any big right-wing demonstrations in Hamburg yet, but some events have already been announced for the late summer.
At this year’s Antira Tournament in Winterthur (2013), the Alerta Groups present agreed that in the coming season, two Action Days to be carried out would be in relation to the topics Refugees and Crisis. As with last year, it was intended that this Action Day would not just be a choreo on a certain matchday, but talks and demonstrations related to the subject too. In order to allow a degree of flexibility, only the month in which the Action Day should take place was provided as a framework. This allowed each group more freedom to plan, so that, for example, a choreo at an away match would not be necessary. The topic Crisis was planned for November, but as the issue of refugees is/was very much in the foreground in Hamburg and throughout Europe at the time, it was decided to strategically swap the two topics. FC St. Pauli only had two home matches in November, and a choreo had already been planned for the game against Cologne. As a result the only remaining option was the match against Cottbus. Unfortunately though, this game was then rescheduled for a Monday evening. Monday night games are obviously a load of old shite (just think back to Munich away on a Monday night) so we decided to restrict our activity relating to the Action Day topic to just banners. Paper banners relating to the topic have appeared frequently, and that refugees are welcome at Sankt Pauli, or that that our current mayor an arsehole, should now be clear to anyone who has been in the ground. We wanted to address the subject in a more detailed form though, to look at the root of the problem, in our opinion the walling off of Europe for refugees and the laws by which they are treated here. Both the sealing off of Europe as well as the deportation of refugees are influenced by the so-called Dublin 2 Agreement. Our mayor likes to claim in the press that he is only following the law. And of course the law is always right, and fair to all! Or perhaps not. With this in mind, we agreed on one slogan with regards to this matter: DESTROY THE FORTRESS EUROPE ABOLISH DUBLIN II Alongside this slogan, we also wished to work with the refugees from the Hamburg Lampedusa group. As we had already formed strong links with the group, we were able to do this relatively swiftly. Rasmus Gerlach is a film director who has been following the group pretty much since its inception. As part of this he has also been making a film on the subject. We were able to invite him to the Fanräume at Sankt Pauli and show his film to all those in attendance. In addition, we invited Hotte (who has worked as a doorman at the St Pauli Church for almost half a year now) and a handful of refugees to take part in a podium discussion following the film, where they explained more about their own personal experiences and answered questions. On reflection, we are happy with the Action Day. A larger choreo would’ve been nice, nevertheless it was great to see so many other groups heeding our call, and preparing and displaying banners for the second half of the Cottbus game. We would like to thank all those involved! Also thanks to the Fanräume, and all those who attended the related film and discussion evening. In the event that anyone has missed the film, you can still catch it in a number of Hamburg’s smaller cinemas. We would definitely recommend watching it! The Dublin II-System must must be abolished! No to deportations back into the social crisis areas on the edge of Europe!! Asylumseekers must be allowed to seek protection in the place of their choice!
Auf dem diesjährigen Antira Turnier in Winterthur wurde von den anwesenden Alerta Gruppen besprochen, in der kommenden Saison zwei Actiondays zu machen mit den Thematiken Flüchtlingen und Krise. Wie die Jahre zuvor sollte es sich dabei nicht nur an einem Spieltag um eine Choreo handeln, sondern auch um Vorträge, Demos etc.. Um zeitlich etwas flexibler sein zu können, einigte man sich auf einen Monat, indem der Actionday stattfinden sollte. So hat jede Gruppe etwas Spielraum und muß z.B. Auswärts keine Choreo machen. Für den November war das Thema Krise geplant, da die Flüchtlingsthematik aber in Hamburg und ganz Europa sehr aktuell war/ist, tauschten wir kurzerhand die Themen. Da der FC St. Pauli im November nur zwei Heimspiele hatte und für Köln schon eine Choreo geplant war(wird fett!!), blieb uns nur das Spiel gegen Cottbus über, welches dann blöderweise auch noch auf einen Montag gelegt war. Da Spiele am Montag noch immer kacke sind oder wer von euch fährt alles nach München, beschränkten wir uns im Stadion auf Spruchbänder. Tapeten gab es ja schon viele zu dem Thema und das Flüchtlinge auf St. Pauli willkommen sind und unser aktueller Bürgermeister ein Arschloch, sollte inzwischen jede_r Stadiongänger_in mitbekommen haben. Wir wollten das Thema etwas tiefer anpacken, mehr an der Wurzel und das ist für uns die Abschottung Europas vor Flüchtlingen und die Gesetzte mit denen sie hier behandelt werden. Die Abschottung und die Abschiebungen innerhalb der EU beruhen beide auf dem sogenannten Dublin 2 Abkommen. In der Presse behauptet unser Bürgermeister ja immer gerne er handle nur nach Gesetzen. Gesetze sind natürlich von Grund auf immer richtig und für alle Menschen voll gut, oder auch nicht!! Um es dann einfach zu halten und für alle verständlich, einigten wir uns auf den Spruch: DESTROY THE FORTRESS EUROPE ABOLISH DUBLIN II Neben dem Spruch wollten wir auch noch etwas mit den Flüchtlingen aus der Hamburger Lampedusagruppe machen. Da es zu ihnen inzwischen ziemlich gute Kontakte gibt, war hier recht schnell etwas gefunden. Rasmus Gerlach ist Regisseur und begleitet die Gruppe fast von Anfang an mit seiner Kamera, hieraus ist ein Film entstanden bzw. noch am entstehen. Wir konnten Rasmus dazu bewegen zu uns in die Fanräume zu kommen und uns sowie allen Interessierten seinen Film zu zeigen. Weiter konnten wir Hotte, welcher seit fast einem halben Jahr vor der St. Pauli Kirche jede Nacht Wache schiebt, und eine Handvoll Flüchtlinge für eine anschließende Podiumsdiskussion gewinnen, in der sie mit Rasmus zusammen den Zuschauern ihre Geschichten schildern und Fragen beantworten konnten. Im Nachgang sind wir recht zufrieden mit dem Actionday. Eine größere Choreo wäre sicherlich schön gewesen, so war es aber super zu sehen, wieviele Gruppen im Stadion dem Aufruf gefolgt sind und zur zweiten Halbzeit Tapeten gemalt und hochgehalten haben. Dickes Danke dafür an alle beteiligten Person!! Auch noch ein dickes Danke an die Fanräume und alle Personen die beim Film und der anschließenden Diskussion waren. Falls ihr den Film verpasst habt, er läuft immer mal in HHs kleineren Kinos. Lohnt sich anzuschauen. Das Dublin II-System muss umgehend abgeschafft werden! Keine Abschiebungen ins soziale Elend an den Rändern Europas! Asylsuchende müssen dort Schutz suchen dürfen, wo sie möchten! Für ein Europa, das Willkommen heißt.
Dear Sankt Pauli Fans,
that St. Pauli stands shoulder to shoulder with the refugees within the group „Lampedusa in Hamburg“ became abundantly clear, at the very latest, following the Sandhausen match. Nevertheless it is important that we do not allow our support for them to fade away. With this in mind, we have decided to make the match against Cottbus (11th November 2013) an Alerta Action-Day under the message of „Refugees welcome“. Make sure this message is there for all to see in the Stadium. Bring flags, paint banners and get songs and chants going!
Because solidarity also means understanding, we have planned a second part of the Action-Day for Tuesday evening. We have invited a representative from the group of refugees to attend this event, to tell more about the situation, as well as answering any questions on the subject. We will also be showing the film „Lampedusa auf St. Pauli“ by Rasmus Gerlach.
So come along on Monday the 11th November 2013 (for the second half), bring plenty of banners etc to the match, take part in the Action-Day and come to the Information Event in the “Fanräume“ on the 12th November 2013 at 19:00 hours.
No-one is illegal!
Liebe Sankt Paulianer_innen,
dass St.Pauli hinter den Flüchtlingen der Gruppe „Lampedusa in Hamburg“ steht ist nach dem Sandhausen Spiel mehr als deutlich geworden. Trotzdem ist es nun wichtig, dass unser Engagement nicht abebbt. Aus diesem Grund rufen wir zum Spiel gegen Cottbus zu einem Alerta Actionday unter dem Motto „Refugees welcome“ auf. Macht das Thema an diesem Tag in der zweiten Halbzeit (Montag 🙁 ) im Stadion präsent. Bringt Fahnen mit, malt Tapeten und stimmt Gesänge an.
Weil Solidarität auch heißt, dass mensch sich kennt haben wir für den nachfolgenden Dienstagabend den zweiten Teil des Actionday geplant. Dazuhaben wir aus den Reihen der Flüchtlinge eingeladen, um sowohl über die aktuelle Situation zu berichten, als auch Fragen über die Flucht beantworten zu können. Außerdem werden wir vorher den Film „Lampedusaauf St.Pauli“ von Rasmus Gerlach zeigen, welcher auch Vorort sein wird. Kommt also am Montag, den 11.11.13 mit zahlreichen Materialien zum Spiel und nehmt am Actionday teil und schaut am Dienstag, den 12.11.13 ab 19:00Uhr bei der Infoveranstaltung in den Fanräumen vorbei.
Kein Mensch ist illegal
Deeply concerned, a lot of us see several hundred African refugees being left behind by the City of Hamburg for weeks. We, a group of supportes of the FC St. Pauli, are willing to gather our powers to help these refugees with their struggle for a save stay in Hamburg and a better life.
For a long time the Hamburg Senate fails in its responsibility of being the government of one of the richest cities in Europe and support those people who fled from a civil war with little more than their own lives.
That is not our Hamburg!
Whatever we can do, we will help. Therefore we urge all Hamburg citizens to get up and join us. At the moment, we are networking with the refugees themselves, with antiracist initiatives, with the churches, and with other important institutions to build up a proper plan. All you people who don’t turn a blind eye to the fate of the refugees should follow these wires. We will shortly name the possibilities how you can show your solidarity and support.
We also ask the intitutions and comittees of the FC St. Pauli itself to help where the people concerned and the supporters need it.
No one is illegal!
First Pictures from USP, Herri Norte Taldea and Brigata Giallorossa:
New Pictures from Kopfball Düsseldorf and Ultramarines Bordeaux“
International press reactions: