One aim of pitchinvasion.net is to focus attention on the lesser known clubs of the world (those not privileged to dine at the high table of the G-14) and their supporters. The efforts of FC St. Pauli from Hamburg, Germany, deserve such attention: the below video shows one of the best arrays of supporters’ flags and banners I’ve seen, in their variety and quality.
The supporters are known for their anti-fascist sentiments, and their alternative approach has seen their attendances increase dramatically in the last couple of decades.
St. Pauli also represent the interesting ‘kult’ phenomenon in German football. Wikipedia explains:
It was in the mid-80’s that St. Pauli’s transition from a traditional club into a “Kult” club began. The club was also able to turn the location of its ground in the dock area part of town St. Pauli near Hamburg’s famous Reeperbahn – centre of the city’s nightlife and its red-light district – to its advantage. An alternative fan scene emerged built around left-leaning politics and the “event” and party atmosphere of the club’s matches. Supporters adopted the skull and crossbones as their own unofficial emblem. Importantly, St. Pauli became the first team in Germany to officially ban rightwing, nationalist activities and displays in its stadium in an era when fascist inspired football hooliganism threatened the game across Europe. In 1981, the team was averaging crowds of only 1,600 spectators: by the late 90’s they were frequently selling out their entire 20,000 capacity venue.