Lienen: The Boss.

It took until Matchday 20 last season for St. Pauli to amass 17 points – the current total after Matchday 8 which sees them 2nd in the 2.Bundesliga. St. Pauli had only picked up 4 wins by Matchday 20, a tally already surpassed this season with today’s 1-0 victory over Heidenheim. Thankfully last season St. Pauli picked up a further 5 wins in their final 11 matches to survive the drop under the guidance of Ewald Lienen, and it’s Lienen that has to be credited with the huge turn-around in the club’s fortunes.

Lienen has very much done more with less this season. St. Pauli lost 11 players from last season’s squad, notably Halstenberg to Leipzig for a club record fee, as well as Daube, Schachten, Tschauner and Koch amongst others. Such change could have unsettled the club, but it hasn’t. It wouldn’t have been surprising if St. Pauli’s rejuvenation under Lienen had subsided this season, but instead he’s continued the transformation of the club. The first team hasn’t changed drastically from that which played last year, there’s been no massive spending spree, but what has changed is the confidence of the players and the team balance.

St. Pauli didn’t have one problem area last season prior to Lienen’s arrival – they had three. Defensively they were weak, unstable and were likely to throw away a goal at any moment. They conceded 15 goals in the opening 8 games of the season. In midfield they lacked any defensive midfielder, and the attacking midfielders was ineffective. And upfront? No chances and no clinical striker meant the team averaged just a goal per game.

Lienen has found a way to make the team tick, to get them playing to their qualities. The team has only conceded 4 goals in the opening 8 matches of the current campaign, the best defensive record in the league. Sobiech, a key signing in the summer from HSV, and Ziereis have looked assured and comfortable. Buballa and Hornschuh have looked solid defensively, yet hugely effective when the team are on the attack – pushing forward and causing problems. Alushi, somewhat of an player on the periphery last year, is suddenly a key element to the passing and structure of the team. The biggest transformation though is saved for Marc Rzatkowski – the diminutive winger who had so often frustrated since joining from Bochum due to his many tricks and lack of end product. In a stroke of genius, Lienen has transformed him into the no.6 role – a defensive midfielder to break up the play, link the passing between defence and midfield and start attacks. I imagine it was like asking your big bulky striker in your local pub team to go play left back because your teammate is running late. What do you mean i’m playing there, boss?

But Rzatkowski has been the player of the season so far for me. He’s been brilliant in breaking up opposition attacks, he’s linked played brilliantly from the back, and he’s also got himself into some excellent attacking positions and scored goals. Between him and Alushi, they’ve allowed the other midfielders to shine. Maier has scored goals, Sobota looks dangerous whenever he goes forward and new signing Dudziak looks like he’ll be a danger to the opposition too. Lennart Thy upfront is a nuisance, who works hard for the team and has the ability to score goals when given the service.

Today’s 1-0 win was symbolic of the change under Lienen. Last season St. Pauli lost this fixture 3-0. Heidenheim were clinical, solid and the better team. St. Pauli simply couldn’t cope with them defensively, and couldn’t offer anything in attack. Today, the opposite was true. It was St. Pauli who were solid and professional. Heidenheim struggled to create a chance against the St. Pauli defence, and when the boys in brown got the ball they looked dangerous.

It’s too early to dream of the Bundesliga, and many St. Pauli fans don’t even hold the riches and the commercialism of Bundesliga in their dreams. But thanks to Ewald Lienen, we can enjoy the football again.

12/09/2015 – Nazis Stoppen!

Germany, not unlike the UK, currently experiences a period of racism, prejudice and xenophobia against those fleeing war and poverty and seeking safety in Europe. This is not least fuelled by the right-of-center, populist German press, just as we have the Daily Mail stoking prejudice over here. There have been more than 200 attacks on refugees and asylum seekers in the first 6 months of 2015 – varying from verbal abuse to arson. In Hamburg, there were ugly scenes when the Red Cross tried to erect emergency accommodation tents in the district of Jenfeld which again included verbal abuse and threats of violence and arson.
In this context a neo-nazi march has been announced for September 2015 which caused the FC St Pauli fan committee to issue the following call to fan clubs and groups (slightly shortened):

“Dear fans and members of FC St Pauli, 

Neo-nazis and hooligans plan to march through Hamburg’s city centre with the slogan “Day of the German patriots” on September 12th 2015. We’re not having that! 
The FC St Pauli fan scene stands for an uncompromising antiracist attitude. We will not and cannot accept such a neo-nazi/hooligan-demonstration which shows contempt for humanity. 
We therefore call upon all fans and friends of our club to contribute to the counter activities against the planned right-wing march on September 12th. We also call upon all fan clubs and groups of FC St Pauli to sign the counter declaration of the “Hamburger Bündnis gegen Rechts” (Hamburg Alliance against the right-wing). It is planned to distribute the declaration in large numbers at the home match against Fürth. This will form part of a day of action. Please join in with your own banners, rolls of wallpaper etc.
Let’s show clearly that there is no room for racism with us – not on the streets, not on the stands, not in the heads. Alerta!
Your fan committee.”
Yorkshire St. Pauli is proud to be signatory to the counter declaration of the “Hamburger Bündnis gegen Rechts” as we fully share the fan committee’s intolerance of racism and neo-nazism. While we cannot stand shoulder to shoulder with those opposing the right-wing march on September 12th, we will send solidarity and support this way. Antifascista siempre!
Nicole, YSP.

Football and ‘Weisse Rose’ is back!

It doesn’t seem two minutes since St. Pauli held onto their 2.Bundesliga status in dramatic minutes at Darmstadt. However, it’s seems like forever since we did an issue of our ‘Weisse Rose’ fanzine!  The fanzine gives you the low-down on pre-season, last season, the squad, fixtures and updates on Yorkshire St. Pauli and our ‘Football For All’ project.

Weisse Rose: July 15

To open the fanzine, just click the link. To download, right click the link and select “save link as” (firefox) or “save target as” (internet explorer).

If you enjoy the fanzine, become a member, and help keep YSP and our great projects going!


Become A Yorkshire St. Pauli Member


Membership of Yorkshire St. Pauli is now open for the 2015/16 season. Membership of Yorkshire St. Pauli is entirely optional, but it goes a long way in allowing Yorkshire St. Pauli to continue. Membership is open to everyone as long as you agree with and adhere to our constitution ( Whether you attend our screenings, whether you just follow us on social media from afar or you’ve bumped into us once at the Millerntor and loved our Yorkshire accents – everyone is welcome to join us!

Details of membership below:


People who are waged – minimum donation £5.

People who are unwaged – minimum donation £3.

Please note – this is a minimum donation and we would be grateful for any additional money donate if you can afford to do so. Any additional donations will be split between the Social Fund collection and PAFRAS donation as explained below.


Membership is available now, and you can renew your membership or become a new member by simply sending us your membership fee (see above for prices).

Membership can be paid either in person during one of our meetings, via PayPal to our email address, or by bank transfer (please email us at for the details).

Please note – If you pay via PayPal, please also pay the PayPal fees, otherwise we will incur a charge from PayPal for your payment which then means we won’t receive the full membership fee. PayPal should give you the option when sending the payment to say that you are sending it to “friends or family” and to pay any transaction fee. If you are paying from abroad and do not have this option, please pay an extra £1 and this will cover the PayPal fees.

Membership fees are not obligatory, everyone is welcome to watch the games with us, but if you can afford to become a member to help with the running costs that would be great. If you have any questions about membership, please contact us via email at We are also on Facebook and Twitter, just search for ‘Yorkshire St. Pauli’.


This is the breakdown of how each membership payment is used…

£1 – £1 from each membership fee will go to the fanclub, and will be used cover costs of running the fanclub – such as our official fanclub registration with the club, the administration of our website and subscribing to St Pauli TV which allows us to show delayed streams of games.

£2 (and 50% of any additional donations above the minimum membership fee) will go to PAFRAS – Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. PAFRAS works with asy­lum seek­ers, refugees and local com­mu­ni­ties in Leeds and the sur­round­ing area, providing a range of services such as food, hot meals and vital help and advice to those who need it. You can find more information on PAFRAS on their website, below:

Finally, £2 (and 50% of any additional donations above the minimum membership fee) will go to the Yorkshire St. Pauli Social Fund, which we recently voted to establish. The scope of the Social Fund is wide reaching, but the principal is to help run social activities and events for the benefit of people outside of our membership and the fund will be used to subsidise such events for the benefits of those individuals, not the benefits of our members.  An example would be the weekly ‘Football For All’ football matches that are organised through Yorkshire St. Pauli, where refugees and asylum seekers are invited to play for free. The cost of subsiding this for the benefit of those individuals would be covered through the Social Fund.

We are aware that some people do not wish to donate to charity for various reasons, therefore if this is the case please let us know when you pay your membership and instead we will donate the £4 from your membership fee to the 1910 Museum – a project to build a museum at the Millerntor.


Football For All – Removing Borders

For the last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of spending time talking to other football groups such as United Glasgow and Mount Pleasant Park for my postgrad dissertation. I’ve also spent time applying for funding and chatting with funding providers and mentors. This has allowed me space to conceptualise what we are, where we’re at and what we’re trying to achieve.                                    

‘Football For All’ was started by a few of us at Yorkshire St. Pauli primarily as a means of connecting with refugees and asylum seekers who did not have the resources to access regular structured football. Our aim was fairly a simple one; to remove the barriers to football for refugees and asylum seekers. We did this by hanging out at the PAFRAS drop-in centre and letting the service users know that if they fancied a kick-about on a Sunday we’d pick them up and provide them with kit and cover the pitch cost.

As I’ve previously said in another blog (see Here) this was never an act of charity. Instead we saw this as a form of solidarity, a form of sharing something that we love with people who don’t have the resources to access it. The idea that someone who loves football can’t access it just because they were born in another country was something that deeply frustrated us and was one of the main motivations for getting off our arses and doing something.  

We originally joined a 5-a-side league but we found this problematic on three fronts. Firstly, we were getting smashed 26-0 every week (I seem to remember our best score being a 12-7 defeat which we were all super proud of). Secondly, we grew in popularity very quickly and we had about 12 players in our squad so ensuring game time was a nightmare. Thirdly, the rampant sexism, racism and homophobia, ultra competitiveness and macho bullshit in these sorts of leagues was precisely what we were trying to stay clear of. So after a few weeks we decided we had enough people involved to do our own thing and started a regular kick-about session on a Sunday at Powerleague in Leeds. 
The aim of this was to create an environment that promoted the values and politics that for the most part appear absent in organised football. As well as breaking down barriers for refugees and asylum seekers to play football, we are also concerned with creating an alternative where people can feel relaxed and enjoy doing something that they love.
What started out as a focus primarily on refugees and asylum seekers (this focus is still absolutely fundamental) has grown to be an environment that everyone can feel comfortable in and contribute towards.

Over the past few months I’ve realised more than ever before that our ‘Football For All project’ does just as much for a lot of participants who have lived in Yorkshire all their lives as it does for refugees and asylum seekers. This is because we have created new social norms within our environment where the emphasis is not on ability instead it is on fostering friendship. This has allowed people who may have felt like their face hasn’t fit into traditional Sunday league football to be active and connect with football again. 

This may make our project sound like a bunch misfits having a kick-about. But I firmly believe that there are more ‘misfits’ like us than there are people who tick all the boxes to play regular football for a Sunday league team. In tackling racism, sexism and LGBT issues we are more representative of people who love playing football than some of the teams we played in 5-a-side leagues will ever be. 

So what now? 

Over the past few months we have grown considerably to the point where we are getting 20-30 participants on a weekly basis. We have got to the point where although we’re financially sustainable (just) we need to look at growing. We have recently teamed up with the Hamara Centre in Leeds who have provided us with some funding via the Ignite funding scheme. With Hamara we are looking at ways we can expand with a strong possibility of moving to a couple of sessions a week.

They have also provided us with a mentor who works as a youth scout for Manchester City who has an array of contacts that could help us grow. We are looking at broadening out to perhaps include educational elements like our friends at United Glasgow do. 

We believe that working with other groups and with funding co-ordinators we will be able to replicate our project and the success it has had in various other cities across the region.

However, we will always maintain the ethos we have fostered at ‘Football For All’ and it will never feel more than a bunch of mates having a kick-about. After all ‘Football For All’ doesn’t belong to a couple of us, it belongs to everyone that contributes whether it be playing on a Sunday or simply retweeting our poster from the other side of the world.

Note – there is no Football For All kick about this Sunday due to a charity match organised with Suma Co-Op, see below poster. Please come along, attend, or even join our team!  

Chris YSP



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