People didn’t just come for the match now, they came for the party. Drinking beer and smoking are still allowed in the stands, a rarity in modern football. The raucous atmosphere is no surprise given the locals’ immersion in pop and rock culture – The Beatles resided in St Pauli for a few years in the early 1960s. The team even  by AC/DC, and every St Pauli goal is celebrated by a rendition of Blur’s ‘Song 2’.
Football as it was meant to be, perhaps?
While I was delighted with Liverpool’s win over WBA last night, WBA earned my respect in many ways.
- Firstly, defending well.
- Secondly, some incisive passing and inventive play.
- Thirdly, and most importantly, they are a club which lives within its means in this era of purchased success.
While Leeds United, Cardiff City, Portsmouth and (potentially) Manchester City went under in flawed attempts to buy their way to the top, St. Pauli sound like WBA. Every now and then they’ll be good enough to provide their supporters with a season in the top-flight.
In our quest for short term success, we often forget about the future. WBA and perhaps even St. Pauli won’t bankrupt themselves to stay and compete at the top, because even though success is important, keeping the club you feel proud of is more important.