Fußball-Club St. Pauli is a German sports club based in the St. Pauli quarter of Hamburg. The football department is part of a larger club that also has Rugby, American football, baseball, bowling, boxing, chess, cycling, handball, skittles, softball and table tennis teams. While the footballers have enjoyed only modest success on the field, the club is widely recognized for its unique culture and has a large popular following as one of the country's "Kult" clubs.. After dropping down to the Regionalliga, the then third football division in Germany, in 2002/03 and remaining there for four years. In 2007 St. Pauli were promoted back to the 2. Bundesliga and stayed up after the 2008/09 season.
FC St. Pauli enjoys a certain fame for the left leaning character of its supporters: most of the team's fans regard themselves as anti-racist, anti-fascist and anti-sexist, and this has on occasion brought them into conflict with neo-Nazis and hooligans at away games. The organization has taken up an outspoken stance against racism, fascism, sexism, and homophobia and has embodied this position in its constitution. Team supporters traditionally participate in demonstrations in the Hamburg district of St. Pauli, including those over squatting or low-income housing such as the Hafenstraße and Bambule. The centre of fan activity is the Fanladen St. Pauli.
The club prides itself on having the largest number of female fans in all of German football. In 2002, advertisements for the men's magazine Maxim were removed from the team's stadium in response to fan protests over the sexist depictions of women in the ads.
St. Pauli is also a worldwide symbol for punk and related subcultures. The unofficial Totenkopf logo and the team's brown and white football jerseys have often been worn by international artists such as Asian Dub Foundation. Turbonegro recorded a special version of their song "I Got Erection" with re-worked German lyrics for St Pauli. Bad Religion played a charity match against St. Pauli's third team in 2000. KMFDM frontman and Hamburg native Sascha Konietzko is a recognizable St. Pauli fan, even at one point placing a huge picture of a fist smashing a swastika on his band's main page with the caption St. Pauli Fans gegen Rechts! (St. Pauli fans against the right-wing) underneath it. One of the most notable supporters and sponsors is Andrew Eldritch, lead singer of band The Sisters of Mercy. On his latest tour, Sisters Bite The Silver Bullet in 2006, Eldritch wore the famous Totenkopf shirt. German musicians: Fettes Brot, Die Ärzte singer/drummer/songwriter Bela B., Kettcar, Tomte and many other bands, most of them underground.
Georg Holm, bassist of the Icelandic post rock band Sigur Ros performed at sereval festivals, waering a Sankt Pauli shirt While the team played in Germany's second football division home fixtures at the Millerntor used to average greater attendance than any other team in that division, and often exceed turnouts for second division teams. St. Pauli can also boast more season ticket holders than many Bundesliga teams. One study recently estimated that the team has roughly 11 million fans throughout Germany, making the club one of the most widely recognized German sides. There are about 200 registered fan clubs, many of them outside Germany.
St. Pauli are also known for their close links with many other foreign clubs and enjoy a particularly close friendship with Celtic with St. Pauli fans attending Celtic games on the continent when Celtic play UEFA competitions. St Pauli flags and scarves are frequently seen on display at Celtic Park (The official Celtic stores sell St Pauli merchandise) and every year Celtic supporters arrive in Hamburg for the annual St Pauli - Celtic Festival.
In Israel, St. Pauli is identified with Hapoel Tel Aviv, a first division team that also see itself as anti-racist and anti-Fascist. In the Tel Aviv derby that took place on 17 February 2008, Hapoel Tel-Aviv fans waved a large St. Pauli flag in the stadium.
Also, St. Pauli Ultras are friends with the Ultras of FC Bayern Munich the Schickeria München.
St. Pauli opens its home matches with AC/DC's Hells' Bells, and after every home goal Song 2 by Blur is played, turning the stadium into a giant mosh pit.
A rivalry developed between St. Pauli and Hansa Rostock in the early 90's because of the number of neo-Nazis among Hansa supporters at that time. As Hansa brought these groups under control and eventually banned them, the rivalry faded. However, after Rostock fans unprovoked attacked St. Pauli supporters at the away match in Rostock 26 September 2008 (Hansa Rostock : St. Pauli 3:0) it became obvious that still some of the neo-Nazi Groups are active and not under control.
The club's arch enemy is Hamburger SV, the city of Hamburg's largest and most successful football club. Past derby matches have taken place under close police watch to keep the supporters of the two sides separated, as HSV has a small group of neo-fascist fans. During derbies, HSV supporters have held up banners reading "HASS" (hate), or chanted "Zecke verrecke!" ("Ticks, croak it!"), while St. Pauli fans often answer, in allusion to the Italian leftist Ultra scene, "Amburgo, Amburgo: Vaffanculo!" (Hamburg, Hamburg: go *** off!). Another chant of some HSV supporters is "Eine U-Bahn bauen wir - von St. Pauli bis nach Auschwitz" ("We'll build a subway - from St. Pauli up to Auschwitz").
As HSV's stadium lies on the outskirts of Hamburg, many St. Pauli fans see their club as the only true football club in the city.
St. Pauli was very proud of having what was probably the last non-electronic scoreboard in the upper leagues. After every goal, a worker manually updated the scoreboard by taking down and then replacing a number placard. With the 2007 opening of the new South Stand, a large electronic scoreboard was installed in the South-east corner of the stadium.
FC St. Pauli 1910
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