It won’t go on like this anymore
We say stop.
Just again, after a long time.
There is a certain point in the ability of every human being in accepting circumstances at
which he is no longer in the position to take it. To remain silent. To continue hoping and waiting for the situation to turn better without his intervention. This point comes at a different stage for every human being.
We reached that point. It’s enough!
All of us are glad about the year 2010, the promotion of our magic
FC St. Pauli to Bundesliga 1. All of us are glad that our stadium, the Millerntor, is being reconstructed and becoming bigger. This joy was endless.
All of us were also afraid of this year. How will Stani’s team compete in the Bundesliga? How will the stadium feel with two new stands? How will the balancing act between the necessary income and the preservation of our fan culture, which is recurring theme in the media as well, work in practice?
These were our thoughts when the new main stand was finished, when we became 100 years old and when we were able to celebrate the promotion.
The balancing act.
What does that mean particularly?
To stand with two legs on two points which are far apart from each other but still not losing balance. Right? Okay.
We can imagine the balancing act of FC St Pauli as one between two pedestals, one for each leg.
One pedestal is the symbol for the income, which is necessary to pay a successful football team, to continue the reconstruction of the stadium without taking horrendous amounts of money from the fans to watch a match of our club.
And the other pedestal symbolizes our ideals, our understanding of football and how we want to experience and live it. A St. Pauli that is like an island in a world which is only interested in the monetary value of everything. Our uniqueness in the marketplace that professional footballhas become.
And between those two pedestals there is the deep canyon of insignificance. Both regarding our „uniqueness“ and also in terms of success in sports.
So much about metaphors.
What has happened to us this year?
To us Sozialromantiker (social romantics)? Us, who guarantee for one of the two pedestals?
One year ago we helped to arrange for a congress, we carried out this congress with a lot of other fans in order to find a consensus how big and deep the canyon between both pedestals may become. It was not easy, not for us who put their focus so strong on the one pedestal and not for the club who mainly has to take care of the other.
But we did achieve results which define the canyon between both points of view, both pedestals on which this balancing act taking place on.
Finding such definitions is a difficult exercise. It can only work if you base them on values and ideals which are important to you, otherwise you have no point of reference, no home, origin you can move away from or get closer to.
We were glad that the club and us as part of the club were able to organise for such a congress. That all of us seemed to care where the money comes from which is necessary to survive in the modern football business. And that we all rather do without some of the modern football’s temptations even if they might be financially interesting.
To list all the results of the congress in detail would go beyond the scope of this text, but in principle all decisions aim to preserve the experience at the Millerntor: football in a natural and down-to-earth way as it has always been , combined with the factors which have made the FC St. Pauli unique in football in the past 30 years:
- social and political bonded to the district St. Pauli
- 90 minutes football without being a commercial event
- a timeframe of 5 to 10 minutes before kick-off in which only the fans may be responsible for any acoustics in the stadium
- no contracts with sponsors which may be suspect to be fascist, racist, homophobic or connected with wartime economy
- no sale of the stadium’s name
- no ways of commercial advertisement which could distract from the match
- a dialogue between supporters and club-management in questions of the implementation of these guidelines
- distribution of tickets in way that respects the interestsof the club members
And now this year happened, what we could have expected but didn’t want to expect:
The first of the two pedestals is moved by the management and the employees of the club from match to match. In small steps, each single step not really noticeable maybe but very clear in relation to the origin mentioned before, the one pedestal is moving away from the other and the gap becomes bigger and bigger.
- The brand new main stand consists of 50 percent business seats
- There are twice as many corporate boxes than planned originally.
- One of the boxes got rented to a strip club, who lets slightly clothed or naked girls dance at the pole during the match
- Suddenly the team lineup is presented by a sponsor
- A Coke-red wine springbreak-style drink remains the official club drink despite ambiguous to sexist advertisement and big protests of the fans
- Then nets are hung up behind the goals which consist of thread that thick you can hardly look through but the sponsor’s name is displayed very well
- A bank is allowed to present its name in big letters on a grey wall in one corner of the stadium
- An advertising agency is allowed to use a creative vintage look syled container as their vip-box for their customers
- Women’s toilets are blocked in favour of creating parking space for tv broadcasting trucks at the first home match of the season
- And now LED displays are installed in the stadium where the audience’s short messages (with costs) can be displayed.
You really succeeded!
You really got your pedestal moved that far that the balancing act is hurting in every bone, every tendon, every nerve.
And all what you have asked us in the last month is to „be so kind“ and move our pedestal, too … in your direction.
BUT THIS IS NOT WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO!
BECAUSE THIS WAS NOT WHAT WE AGREED ON!
We, the subscribers, demand:
- No further advertisements in the time frames which have been agreed upon at the congress!
- No further advertising panels on the stands!
- Cancelation of the contract with the strip club „Susis Show Bar“
- No LED displays in the stadium and no audiovisual advertisements during the 90 minutes
- Transformation of parts of the business seats on the main stand into normal and affordable seats
- Making paint available to the kids of the kindergarten in the stadium to paint their grey walls!
- No further lip service from the club management – we are tired to hear them!
If you, dear club management, do not act according to our demands, we will go into open resistance.
We will be the spanner in the works, we will start activities you would not dream about.
We will boycott the consumption in the stadium and the visit of the stadium.
We will spam your sponsors‘ e-mail inboxes, we will work with the press, we will order an extraordinary general meeting of the club members.
In a nutshell: We will do everything until you realize how many we are!
We will do everything until you realize it can go on with you, but it also can go on without you as well!
The time of meetings and talking is over. It’s enough!
Sozialromantiker Sankt Pauli and all subscribers
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