St. Pauli FC is a football club in the district of San Pauli, Hamburg, in Germany. It was founded in 1910 and is often considered to be one of the most political clubs in the football world (1). In addition to its far-left ideology, the club is also the first sports entity in Germany to have integrated a charter of 'guiding principles' (2), which outlines the core elements of the St. Pauli ultras’ common political ideology.
Values, Ideology, & 'Guiding Principles'
The Sankt Pauli ultras engage in a phenomenon referred to as “Sankthpaulismo”, a term which encompasses the St. Pauli ultra’s responsibility to be a militant for the club’s values, on and off the pitch. The ultras consider themselves to be anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-fascist, and anti-sexist (3).
Their militancy for these values, as aforementioned, is not restrained to simple chants and tifos in football stadiums. Rather, St. Pauli ultras have a reputation for participating in protests, assemblies, and other political events in the Saint Pauli district. In fact, the ultras have even organised their own events in the past to rally support for the causes they support. The yearly Anti-racist Football Tournament, for example, is a competition organised by the ultras since 2004 which promotes diversity within sports and society (4).
St. Pauli is a football club which has very deep ties with its supporters. In 1998, their stadium was renamed from “Wilhelm Koch Stadion” (former club president) to “Millerntor Stadium” after the ultras discovered that Koch had collaborated with Nazi authorities during WWII.
Outside of politics, the club is also profoundly characterised by its subculture of punk music and countercultural values. St. Pauli’s close affiliation to the radical left has often coincided with the integration of pro-LGBT and anarcho-communist themes in this subculture (5).
Approach to Resistance
St. Pauli’s approach to resistance is very similar to other hooligan movements in football. However, the club’s omnipresent mixing of politics and football has made its confrontations with rivals (i.e Hamburg SV) very violent. Every year, police supervision is enforced during St. Pauli’s marches and hooligan movements. Most of the ultras’ messages are spread and displayed through giant leftist tifos, stickers across the city, or even graffiti art (6).
Works Cited (Chicago-style)
(1) - Chris. “Left Wing Football Clubs.” Outside Write - Football Travel, History, & Culture, August 10, 2022. https://outsidewrite.co.uk/left-wing-football-clubs/.
(2) - “Sankt Pauli's Guiding Principles.” FC St. Pauli Official Website. Accessed October 1, 2022. https://www.fcstpauli.com/en/club/guiding-principles/.
(3) - Čizmić, Alex. “St Pauli, a Football Club like No Other in the World.” New Frame, March 18, 2022. https://www.newframe.com/st-pauli-a-football-club-like-no-other-in-the-world/.
(4) - “Anti-Racist Football Tournament.” UncomradelyBehaviour, April 21, 2012. https://uncomradelybehaviour.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/anti-racist-football-tournament/.
(5) - Huxley, Phill. “Birmingham Features - Punk Rock Football.” BBC. BBC, November 2004. https://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/features/2004/11/st_pauli/st_pauli.shtml.
(6) - St Pauli Punks Fight for the Football Club They Want! YouTube. YouTube, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzhEt7VXS_c.
Manifesto & Additional Resources