|Germany Bundesliga II||05/15 13:30||34|| St Pauli v Fortuna Dusseldorf ||W||2-0|
|Germany Bundesliga II||05/07 18:30||33|| Schalke v St Pauli ||L||3-2|
|Germany Bundesliga II||04/29 16:30||32|| St Pauli v Nurnberg ||D||1-1|
|Germany Bundesliga II||04/23 18:30||31|| St Pauli v Darmstadt ||L||1-2|
|Germany Bundesliga II||04/16 11:30||30|| Sandhausen v St Pauli ||D||1-1|
|Germany Bundesliga II||04/09 11:30||29|| St Pauli v Werder Bremen ||D||1-1|
|Germany Bundesliga II||04/02 18:30||28|| Hansa Rostock v St Pauli ||L||1-0|
|Germany Bundesliga II||03/18 17:30||27|| St Pauli v Heidenheim ||W||1-0|
|Germany Bundesliga II||03/12 12:30||26|| Dynamo Dresden v St Pauli ||D||1-1|
|Germany Bundesliga II||03/05 12:30||25|| St Pauli v Karlsruher SC ||W||3-1|
|Germany DFB Pokal||03/01 19:45||3||Union Berlin v St Pauli||L||2-1|
|Germany Bundesliga II||02/26 12:30||24|| FC Ingolstadt v St Pauli ||W||1-3|
|Failed to score||7||1||6|
Fußball-Club St Pauli von 1910 e.V., commonly known as simply FC St Pauli (German pronunciation: [ɛfˌt͡seː zaŋkt ˈpaʊ̯li] (listen)), is a German professional football club based in the St. Pauli district of Hamburg, that competes in the 2. Bundesliga.
The football department is part of a larger sports club that also has departments in rugby (FC St. Pauli Rugby), baseball, bowling, boxing (FC St. Pauli Boxen), chess, cycling, handball, roller derby (Harbor Girls Hamburg), skittles, softball, and table tennis and since 2011 Marathon. Until the end of 2013, the club also had a department in American football, but it was dissolved because it lacked the youth team required in order to hold a men's team. FC St. Pauli has 27,000 members as of November 2018.
The men's professional football team dropped down to the Regionalliga in 2003, at that time the third highest football division in Germany and remained there for four years. In 2007, they won promotion back to the 2. Bundesliga and in 2010, they were promoted to the Bundesliga, the highest division. After relegation, since the 2011–12 season they have played in 2. Bundesliga, the second-highest division in Germany.
FC St Pauli has a cross-city rivalry with Hamburger SV; the matches between the two are known as the Hamburger Stadtderby or simply Derby. The club also has a more recent rivalry with Hansa Rostock.
Although the footballers have enjoyed only modest success on the field, the club is widely recognised for its distinctive social culture and has a large popular following as one of the country's "Kult" clubs, which has now developed beyond Germany. FC St. Pauli supporters are strongly identified with their support of left-wing politics.
The club began its existence in 1899 as a loose, informal group of football enthusiasts within the Hamburg-St.Pauli Turn-Verein 1862. This group did not play its first match until 1907, when they faced a similar side assembled from the local Aegir swimming club. Officially established on 15 May 1910, the club played as St. Pauli TV in the Kreisliga Groß-Hamburg (Alsterkreis) until 1924, when a separate football side called St. Pauli was formed. The team played as an undistinguished lower-to-mid table side until making their first appearance in 1934 in the top-flight Gauliga Nordmark, 1 of 16 premier level divisions created in the re-organization of German football that took place under the Third Reich. They were immediately relegated, but returned to the top flight in 1936. Relegated again in 1940, St. Pauli re-appeared in the Gauliga Hamburg in 1942, and played there until the end of World War II.
After the war, the club resumed play in the Oberliga Nord in 1947. A second-place finish in the 1947–48 season led St. Pauli to its first appearance in the national championship rounds. They advanced as far as the semi-finals, where they were knocked out 2–3 by eventual champions 1. FC Nürnberg. The club continued to play well throughout the early 1950s, but were unable to overtake rivals Hamburger SV, finishing in second place in five of the next seven seasons, and going out in the early rounds in each of their championship-round appearances from 1949 to 1951. In the late 1950s and into the early 1960s, St. Pauli were overtaken by rivals such as Werder Bremen and VfL Osnabrück, but finished fourth a number of times.
In 1963, the Bundesliga – West Germany's new top-flight professional league – was formed. Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, and Eintracht Braunschweig joined the new circuit as the top-finishers from the Oberliga Nord, while FC St. Pauli found themselves in the second-tier Regionalliga Nord. That year, the club signed Guy Acolatse, who became the first Black professional footballer to play in Germany.
Nearly a decade-and-a-half of frustration followed. St. Pauli won their division in 1964, but finished bottom of their group in the promotion play-off round. They took their next Regionalliga Nord title in 1966 and, while they performed far better in the play-offs, still failed to advance to the top-flight, losing out to Rot-Weiss Essen on goal difference, having conceded two more goals. Division championships in 1972 and 1973, and runner-up finishes in 1971 and 1974, were each followed by promotion-round play-off disappointment.
The success of the Bundesliga, and the growth of professional football in West Germany, led to the formation of the 2. Bundesliga in 1974. St. Pauli was part of the new second-tier professional circuit in the 2. Bundesliga Nord and in 1977, they finally advanced to the top flight as winners of their division. The team survived just one season at the highest level in the Bundesliga.
The club's return to the 2. Bundesliga Nord was also short-lived. On the verge on bankruptcy in 1979, they were denied a license for the following season and were sent down to the Oberliga Nord (III). Strong performances that set the team atop that division in 1981 and 1983 were marred by poor financial health. By 1984, the club had recovered sufficiently to return to the 2. Bundesliga, overtaking Werder Bremen's amateur side who, despite finishing two points ahead of St. Pauli, were ineligible for promotion.
It was in the mid-1980s that St. Pauli's transition from a standard traditional club into a "Kult" club began. The club was also able to turn the location of its ground in the dock area part of town, near Hamburg's famous Reeperbahn – centre of the city's night life and its red-light district – to its advantage. An alternative fan scene slowly emerged, built around left-leaning politics, social activism and the event and party atmosphere of the club's matches. Supporters adopted the skull and crossbones as their own unofficial emblem. St. Pauli became the first team in Germany to officially ban right-wing nationalist activities and displays in its stadium in an era when fascist-inspired football hooliganism threatened the game across Europe. In 1981, the team was averaging small crowds of only 1,600 spectators, but by the late 1990s they were frequently selling out their entire 20,000-capacity ground.
The skull and crossbones symbol had always been associated with St Pauli (the city quarter) in one way or another. Hamburg fostered the most famous pirate of Germany, Klaus Störtebeker, and the symbol had been used by the 1980s squatters at Hafenstraße. However, the one who should be credited with finally bringing the symbol to the terraces is probably Doc Mabuse, the singer of a Hamburg punk band. As the legend tells, he first grabbed the flag from a stall while passing drunk through the Dom on his way to the Millerntor-Stadion.
In the early 1990s, the media in Germany began to recognize the Kult-image of the club, focusing on the punk part of the fan-base in TV broadcasts of the matches. By this time, the media also started to establish nicknames like "Freibeuter der Liga" ("Buccaneers of the League") as well as the satirical "das Freudenhaus der Liga" ("Brothel of the League", literally "House of Joy").
St. Pauli moved in and out of the Bundesliga over the course of the next dozen years: the club was narrowly relegated to the Oberliga in the 1984–85 season, but won the 1985–86 championship and returned to 2. Bundesliga. Two increasingly strong years followed, resulting in promotion and three seasons in the Bundesliga, from 1988 to 1991. Four seasons followed in 2. Bundesliga, and then another two in the Bundesliga In 1995 to 1997, before another return to the 2. Bundesliga.
Until 2010, the club's most recent appearance in the top-flight had been a single-season cameo in 2001–02. A win against Bayern Munich, the reigning Intercontinental Cup winners, led to the popular "Weltpokalsiegerbesieger" ("World Club Champion beaters") shirts. However, the team finished last in the league, partly because the management did not trust the team which surprisingly won the promotion in 2001, but rather spent the additional money from Bundesliga TV contracts and advertisements on expensive but disappointing players. After the relegation to the 2. Bundesliga, only a skeleton of the successful 2001 team remained. The 2002–03 season ended up in chaos, with the team fighting relegation (ultimately in vain) from the very beginning, various coaches departing and other problems internal to the club.
With the club almost bankrupt again and the less-lucrative Regionaliga Nord (III) looming, the club began its fund-raising activities, the so-called "Retteraktion". They printed t-shirts with the club's crest surrounded by the word Retter ("rescuer/saviour") and more than 140,000 were sold within six weeks. They also organized a lucrative benefit game, against Bayern Munich, to raise funds to save the club.
The club has also been active in terms of charity and in 2005 the club, the team and the fans initiated the Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli campaign, which collects money for water-dispensers for schools in Cuba, for clean water in Rwanda et cetera.
During the 2005–06 season, the team enjoyed unprecedented success in the DFB-Pokal, with wins over Burghausen, VfL Bochum and, significantly, Bundesliga sides Hertha BSC and, in the quarter-finals on 25 January 2006, Werder Bremen. Their 3–1 victory in front of a sell-out Millerntor crowd, and their subsequent place in the DFB Cup semi-final, netted the club approximately €1 million in TV and sponsorship money, going a long way to saving the club from immediate financial ruin.
St. Pauli finally went out of the cup to Bayern Munich on 12 April, going down 3–0 with a goal from Owen Hargreaves and two from Claudio Pizarro. Coincidentally, Bayern were also St. Pauli's opponents and dispatchers in the first round of the following season's cup.
After success in the 2006–07 season, the team was promoted to the 2. Bundesliga. After defeating SpVgg Greuther Fürth in the 2009–10 season, the team secured promotion back to the Bundesliga for the 2010–11 season. On 16 February 2011, during the 2010–11 season and for the first time since 1977, St Pauli defeated their bitter cross-city rivals Hamburger SV away at the Volksparkstadion courtesy of a Gerald Asamoah goal. The team, however, finished the domestic season in last place, resulting in their relegation to the 2. Bundesliga for the 2011–12 season. Since then, the club has remained in the 2. Bundesliga, finishing fourth in 2011–12 but declining in results since then.