(Translation by @parneq)
It could have been just great.
Winner of the derby. Smirking and thumbing your nose at others for weeks, funny stickers, bragging. But instead, there’s a 0-4 and in the stadium, everyone involved is getting uncomfortable with everyone else and insurmountable trenches within the fan-scene need to be filled by huge excavator shovels now.
Gegengerade against the South Stand, ultra-supporters against “the normal” ones, some against the team, almost everyone against the manager – and now even the club against “what happened”.
After having some time to flush it down, it’s time to review what happened from a little distance and maybe even to forecast the future. If that’s possible.
Let’s start to objectify the facts, if possible. (There’s however a chance for subjective bias but I’ll try my best to avoid it and be as neutral as possible.)
- A sportive disaster, a 0-4 loss at home and in the derby, against a by no means dominating opponent whom we were facing somehow paralysed on matchday.
- Choreographies: Top
- Pyrotechnics: Almost okay to brilliant. However, with some blemishes in regard to its timing and missing the moment of “That doesn’t contribute very much any longer, so let’s stop”
- Atmosphere: was starting great everywhere but decreased more than useful later
- The presentation of hsv-supporter items on the South Stands caused a huge confusion
- The stands and within them the respective supporter groups assure each other verbally that they do not appreciate each other on this particular day
- The club announces a list of measures against the supporters on the South Stands
On twitter, this would be called “unexcited news” and looking at what happened from a distance, I start to realize that there is nothing major threatening the FCSP’s supporters scene. There have always been some sort of pyrotechnics and this was for sure also expected to happen by the club officials. I (and some more) rather disliked the presentation of hsv-supporter items but USP did also clarify in our podcast that this happened for some particular reasons but will definitely not become the norm now. Furthermore, this should absolutely not affect the amount of the expected penalty of the DFB.
The somehow martial appearance of some individuals on the South Stands is definitely to blame but is also already critically revised internally. This is not entirely new, especially not within youth and sub cultures. However, the South Stand is still remaining an ultra-supporter stand and not a coffee party. For sure, you can also revise such things critically, but please do not overestimate the problem as that’s going too far. There was certainly no public cremation of tiny kittens happening on the fence.
But it should also be clear that any type of physical violence against each other is to blame without hesitation.
Additionally, some fellas of a small group managed to overrun the entry checks on the South Stands. This is also total crap and thus USP also tried to avoid this to happen by any means and to already find alternative solutions beforehand, what they also further elaborated in our podcast (in German only, sorry).
However, all these aspects contributed to the fact that “club officials” published a “package of measures” yesterday.
The measures include:
- Infrastructure alterations in the South Stand entrance area.
- More intensive checks of persons entering the South Stand.
- Increase in the number of security staff deployed.
- Reduction of the ticket contingent self-administered by the fan groups in the South Stand. These tickets will be put on open sale.
- Fan groups in the South Stand to contribute to the costs of fire-protection measures.
Bullet points 1 to 3 are a clear dedication to the public relations concept and appear useful especially in regard to what will be demanded by the DFB anyway and might help to reduce the expected penalty. Often these financial penalties include special regulations such as “19.10€ of the hundreds of thousands of millions penalty can be used for internal safety measures”
Bullet points 4 and 5 are clearly severe cuts. However, they are also formulated very vague and do not specify what to exactly expect now.
Self-administered ticket distribution scheme: Let’s assume that there are ca. 300 tickets subjected to the self-administered distribution scheme of the fan groups. If this scheme will be reduced by 5 tickets only, the statement still remains valid for the public but does not hurt anyone very hard. Furthermore, it was not stated for how long these measure will be taken. I assume that this will be the case until the end of the current season. Additionally, the open ticket sale will not be as accessible as the current distribution scheme for the “inner circle” but the tickets will neither simply become invalid nor sold anymore.
But where is the point reached when this is not just a sign of symbol politics but rather a real punishment?
20 tickets? 50? 100? 200?
This has to be judged by every person on its own. However, assumed that there will be 100 tickets affected, this is for sure a hard punishment but somehow manageable until the end of the season.
Cost sharing for fire-protection measures: Again, a rather unspecific statement. It makes a huge difference, if there are three buckets of sand bought for 10€ and USP has to pay its 30% or if there will be a 10 million high-tech fire-protection system installed and USP will have to pay 50%. Furthermore, it was not stated who is exactly addressed by “fan groups in the South Stands”.
I assume that both measures have been developed under permanent dialogue with the “fan groups in the South Stands”. However, maybe not to their fullest satisfaction but the publication of the package of measures certainly did not come to their total surprise and completely out of the dark.
USP stated in our podcast that they take full responsibility for whatever happened on their stands during the derby. Hence, they were for sure also expecting that “such” reactions of the club might follow.
Let’s stop the summary here and start with my subjective review:
For me, the club statement was not necessary in its form. I perceive the statement as too hard, unnecessary and in a tonality of punishment that other clubs are known for. And let’s be honest: other clubs are often only publishing such statements after even more serious incidents.
The club condemned the storming of an entrance and the resulting injuries of the security staff? Absolutely. Do they have any alternative?
The club rejected the high use of pyrotechnics, aggression and violence? They have to, no further question asked.
But then I stumbled about the following sentences:
“FC St. Pauli will not abandon its policy of engaging in dialogue with fans, even though the trust shown by the club was disregarded by parts of the fan base during the derby.”https://www.fcstpauli.com/en/news/published/club-announces-measures-after-derby/
Really? Come on! Why does the club has to state such things? If they really have to write such things, they should also include that the team will start with one goalie and eleven fielders tonight. And all of them will breath!
I really wonder how far did we already separate from each other, if such sentences are written by the FC St. Pauli?
Furthermore it was rumoured that not all fan groups named here have been involved in the dialogue of the recent days. Sure, you don’t have to involve them, but please don’t use them as a fig leaf either.
And if we are drawing attention to certain wordings in the statements:
“In the aftermath of the game, the managing board, supervisory board and the club management all criticised what happened in the South Stand.”https://www.fcstpauli.com/en/news/published/club-statement-after-derby/
Well, the statement published yesterday first and foremost refers to “club officials” without further specifying who is addressed by “club officials”. This is for sure a complete speculation of me, but maybe not everyone amongst the three boards mentioned earlier is completely backing the package of measurements?
Some might say that “Wutpaulis” are getting what they asked for with this statement.
Some in social networks name it a “hit in the face of the active fan-scene”.
The “Magische FC Blog” did also use a rather clear tonality.
I might be more interested in balancing sides as well as in constantly searching for the positive aspects of this whole statement. I rather search for the grey between the black and the white – and this is why I do not see the apocalypse due to this “package of measurement” coming. Not now and not straight after the derby. But however, we have to talk about the intention of such a text and its impact and this leads me to our derby review text.
Did we publish this text because we were aiming to give the Gegengerade a tongue-lashing and because we were such huge fans of the South Stands? No, for sure.
And specifically not me, I am far too old and lazy to stand on a Stand behind the goal. The view from the Gegengerade is far better, I do not want to change it.
But we wrote the article the way we wrote it because there were already clear fronts emerging and we were already completely sure where we will end up eventually.
The media just got what they were waiting for, particularly the tabloid papers could invent their stories about unsafe football events including a family dad who allowed a picture of his traumatized but smiling child on the front page. Well, if this where the trench is running, one can only stand on the South Stand’s side.
For sure, not all criticism has been that flat and blunt. There are many things we need to talk about – but please, not in such a way.
Furthermore, there was no need for just another “F*ck the ultra-supporters”-article because there were already so many of them published. Not even a constructive “That was rather uncool, my beloved ultra-supporters”-article would have reached someone meaningfully. Because everyone did already chose sides in the trench warfare.
On the other hand, our derby review article which had many critical nuances (we instantly condemned the presentation of hsv supporter items) was however blamed as biased and one-sided. It is always a matter of perspective.
And this is why I would have wished for a more conciliatory or at least less one-sided article of the club, which collects all stands again and unites them behind the team on the pitch. Especially, to beat the Zebras by 5-0 tonight and somehow manage to make the Dino (hsv) a more constant participant of the second division. But from my point of view, this is rather not intended with the package of measures.
Which leads me to another point, which has not been yet discussed: during the last couple of years, we regularly did make fun about the neighbour.
Absolutely deserved, for sure.
And we will keep on.
Most of them are wimps with whom I do not share a lot in regards to fan culture. They are following a stock company which frequently pointed out that their fan-scene as well as their club members are only of value when they sign for another bond but better don’t interfere in between. Everyone is certainly allowed to keep on doing that and for sure there are many good people stuck to the hsv, one can only feel sorry for them because due to their historic roots they are not able to leave the club. That’s okay, they should continue. As long as they can.
But what really annoys me is in this regard: they started to laugh about us!
That was however never planned but well deserved due to our own mistakes.
To lose a home game by 0-4? Crap, for sure. But this wasn’t the first time, we should be used to such things and know how to react.
But to fight and swear at each other while the neighbours are still in our stadium? And to even further tear each other apart in the aftermaths of the match by publishing such statements which could be straight copy and paste versions of Hannover 96’s statements? (Well, this might be a little bit too much… but sadly not very too much.)
And last but not least: The publication date at the day before the next home match – sigh, that’s perhaps not Champions league either.
Let’s hope to get the “m” out of their brackets of “(M)ein Verein” (translated: “My club” instead of “One Club”) next Thursday. After yesterday’s publication this latter is however a bit more isolated again.
On the other hand (see above) we have to wait for the exact impact of such measures.
St. Pauli is the only possibility.
That’s obviously clear anyway. // Maik