FC St. Pauli

Founded in 1910, this club has never won anything, but is one of the more lovable clubs around. After all, if you're based in the infamous Reeperbahn, you've got to be something special. St.Pauli has always been in the shadow of the more successful HSV, but they retain a dedicated following not only in Hamburg, but throughout Germany.

The tale of St.Pauli is really the story of two different clubs built in one: the "traditional", and the "Kult", which started in the late 1980s...

Although the soccer section was only founded in 1910, the club can trace it's roots back to around 1862, when a couple of local gymnastic clubs merged. In 1924, the soccer section became independent, but success was minor. SP played in the Gauliga through most of the 1930s-1940s, but usually finished around mid-table.

After WW-II, things started getting better on the field. Throughout the 1950s, SP played in the old Oberliga Nord, finishing runner-up to HSV, and even participating in the German championship rounds in 1951. Upon the reorganization of soccer in 1963, SP was seeded into the new Regionalliga Nord.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the club was always a tough 2nd division contender, but when it came to the promotion playoffs, they'd always get their ass kicked. They finally made to leap up at the end of the 70s, but got bounced after one year. Then, they dropped another division due to financial irregularities (i.e. no money). After a few years of 3rd division though, they were back knocking at the top.

The 1998-99 season was a bit shaky, but in the home stretch, they put things together and finish mid level. Things got even hotter the next year, but a tense battle and a last second goal by Marcus Marin was enough to save their ass. Amazingly, it didn't take much time to bounce right back. By 2001, they were again making a cameo appearnace in the top flight. But not for long, as they were back on the roller coaster.

Starting in the late 1980s, St.Pauli began it's transformation into a "cult", at least in the positive sense. This has led to a change in it's supporter base being limited to a district of Hamburg to a truly national phenomenon. Many supporters were attracted by the left-leaning politics and the "event" and party atmosphere of the games. Hardcore oldtimers accused the new carpetbaggers of not even knowing the player's names. Nevertheless, in huge increase in fanbase (SP was averaging only 1,600 in 1981, was frequently selling out the Millerntor by the late 1990s) was necessary to save the club. President Heinz Weisener, who used his fortune to keep the club solvent, basically went bankrupt. The relegation from the 2.Liga in 2003 and director incompetance almost led to bankruptcy. The fans jumped in with a massive campaign to save the club. Although the famous Saufen für St.Pauli (Gulping for St.Pauli - Basically all bars in the district added 50 cents to every drink, which was donated to the club) was picked up international media, it actually only raised some 100,000 euros. The big seller was the T-shirts, which apparently raised several million. The massive campaign was a success, but it wasn't before long that the Paulistas were in hot water again: in February 2005 the Federal "Finanzamt" announced that St.Pauli owed some 1 million euros in back taxes. Yet despite all the problems, St.Pauli proved once again that with a strong fanbase and decent elevator cables, anything is possible. By 2007 they were back up in the 2.Liga.

Fullname Fußball-Club St.Pauli von 1910 e.V.
City Hamburg (Hamburg). Pop: 1,700,000 (2002)
Address Auf dem Heiliggeistfeld, 20359 Hamburg
Phone (040) 317-8740
Colors Brown shirts with white trim, brown pants, white socks. The Brownshirts!!! A rather ironic choice since Hamburg was a left wing strong hold, and many of it's supporters are students and anarchists. The road uniform varies, from all white to black and gold.
Nickname No official name. Usually called something unflattering by their opponents (Due to reputation of their fan decidedly left-wing sympathies). I always call them Paulistas, because it fits my Brazilian ties...
Stadium Millerntor. Capacity: 20,725 (5,248 seats)
This is one of Germany's classic stadiums, yet in it's present form, only dates back to 1961. An expansion is underway that will lift it to 30,000 in anticipation of a future elevator ride to the Bundesliga. Some big games were moved to the Volksparkstadion to accomodate larger crowds. From 1969-1999, the stadium was officially known as Wilhelm-Koch-Stadion, although nobody ever called it anything but Millerntor. Koch was St.Pauli president for some 35 years. However, it was revealed that Herr Koch was a member of the NSDAP (Nazi) party. While there is no evidence that he was active, given the sensitivity of St.Pauli's fan base, it was decided to drop the name.
Tickets Generally hard to come by, given the low capacity of the Millerntor. Standing room is about 8 euros, but seats are few, and the prices are outrageous, anywhere up to 83 euros for the best ones - even in the 3rd division. So much for "anarchism"!
Supporters Huge. Averaged 17,000 in the 3rd Division! Usually bring thousands on road trips. Strong support in the neighborhood. St.Pauli fans are known as "anarchists" by many rival clubs. This reflects their political outlook rather than unruly behaviour, as generally they are very "mellow". The supporter flag is a skull-and-crossbones. Books have been written about St.Pauli fans. The general impression is that many are not "real" soccer fans, but more interested in the "politics" and the "event".
The club nagazine is "Viva St.Pauli", available in PDF format on the club website.
Friends The Greatful Dead :) Seriously, there is a long established "Fan-Freundschaft" with 1.FC Köln, and oddly enough, with Celtic Glasgow. Additional contacts have been reported with Duisburg, Mainz and Boavista Porto.
Foes Obviously local rivals HSV and VfB Lübeck. The serious rivalry with HSV started as late as the 1980s, when SP followers became more "political". Hansa Rostock and many eastern clubs have become "enemies", largely due to a minority of right-wing hooligan followers of those teams.
Heroes 3 German internationals. Karl Miller had 8 caps, plus another 4 with Dresden (1941-42). Volker Ippig, a goal keeper from the 1990s was very popular for his politics.
Zeroes Stephen Beutel, business manager in the late 1990s is vilified by fans for almost ruining the club.
Beer You'd expect it to be St. Pauli Girl! On the other hand, that beer is actually brewed in Bremen! Of course, the uniform sponsor at one time was Jack Daniel's, so maybe that's more appropriate. Most popular among supporters is the Hamburg "Kultbier", Astra-Pils, which has it's own St.Pauli Fanpage
The Net An official site is www.fcstpauli.de. . It has a counter-culture edge that fits the club's image. Interesting enough, the amateur side also has it's own website, www.stpauliamateure.de , which is very nicely done.

Recent History:

1963-64	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	1st
1964-65	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	2nd
1965-66	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	1st
1966-67	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	5th
1967-68	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	4th
1968-69	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	3rd
1969-70	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	4th
1970-71	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	2nd
1971-72	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	1st
1972-73	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	1st
1973-74	(II)	Regionalliga Nord	2nd
1974-75	(II)	2.Liga Nord		3rd
1974-76	(II)	2.Liga Nord		14th
1974-77	(II)	2.Liga Nord		1st
1977-78	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
1978-79	(II)	2.Liga Nord		6th	(license revoked)
1979-80	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nord	10th
1979-81	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nord	1st
1979-82	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nord	6th
1979-83	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nord	1st
1979-84	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nord	2nd
1984-85	(II)	2.Liga			17th
1985-86	(III)	Am.Oberliga Nord	1st
1986-87	(II)	2.Liga			3rd
1987-88	(II)	2.Liga			2nd
1988-89	(I)	Bundesliga		10th
1989-90	(I)	Bundesliga		13th
1990-91	(I)	Bundesliga		16th
1991-92	(II)	2.Liga			4th
1992-93	(II)	2.Liga			17th
1993-94	(II)	2.Liga			4th
1994-95	(II)	2.Liga			2nd
1995-96	(I)	Bundesliga		15th
1996-97	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
1997-98	(II)	2.Liga			4th
1998-99	(II)	2.Liga			9th
1999-00	(II)	2.Liga			14th		
2000-01	(II)	2.Liga			3rd
2001-02	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
2002-03 (II)	2.Liga			17th
2003-04 (III)	Regionalliga Nord	8th
2004-05 (III)	Regionalliga Nord	7th
2005-06 (III)	Regionalliga Nord	6th
2006-07 (III)	Regionalliga Nord	1st
2007-08	(II)	2.Liga			9th
2008-09 (II)    2.Liga			8th
2009-10	(II)	2.Liga			2nd
2010-11 (I)     Bundesliga		18th
2011-12 (I)     2.Liga

(c) Abseits Guide to German soccer: www.abseits-soccer.com