It was a week in which St. Pauli proved they were winners – both on and off the pitch. A fourth away win of the season at Aue took St. Pauli to 4th place in the table and level on points with Kaiserslautern above them. (match review here).
But the real story of the week came on Tuesday, with the club hosting the 4th annual christmas meal, catering for over 1,000 impoverished guests inside the stadium. Board members, coaching staff and players served the food and cleaned up afterwards. After the meal, guests were provided with gift bags including warm clothing, food and hygiene items to help them through the winter. It was a reminder of how special St. Pauli is, regardless of footballing success. St. Pauli is a community, which reaches far beyond football.
There was another victory for the club this week too. Yesterday the club won in the courts in the long-standing dispute between the club and Upsolut – the company who own the merchandising rights for the club. Back in 2004, the club were on the edge of bankruptcy and in urgent need of financial help. Upsolut bought the rights for the next 30 years. This means that the vast majority of all profits from official merchandise go to Upsolut – not the club. The club has sought to revoke this agreement, saying that the length of the contract is too long. The court has agreed, and passed judgement that the rights should be passed back to the club in July 2014. That may not be the end of the story however, as Upsolut have a right of appeal and could drag the case on for even longer.
The dates for the first two games after the winter break have been decided. Sunday 9th Feb will be the first game back, away at Bielefeld. This will be followed by Bochum at home on Saturday 15th February. (official site link: here)
On Monday, St. Pauli head to a 1860 Munich who have won 4 games in a row to storm up the table. After a poor start to the season they’ve found form of late, and have picked up impressive homes win over Union Berlin and Greuther Furth. It’ll be a tough match, but St. Pauli under Vrabec have some momentum of their own and so it should be a great game.