Sankt Pauli, the club from Hamburg’s red light district that defines itself as anti-capitalist, anti-fascist and anti-homophobic, a historic German football club that rarely leaves the Second Bundesliga, announced this Tuesday that it will stop working with advisors and agents of the player under 18 years. The law prohibits intermediaries from charging fees for services provided to underage soccer players, but in fact Germany is one of the European powers with the highest trading of youth players between clubs, and most exchanges involve intermediaries who pocket a commission.
“We rely on a dialogue with the players and their families and a personal, collaborative environment,” says the head of the quarry, Banjamin Liedtke, who recognizes that the measure will not always benefit the interests of Sankt Pauli, as many young people are people. They only move through the mediation of their agents. “Children often change clubs and that harms the player’s development,” adds the coach. “By dealing with them directly, we hope to establish greater roots.” The decision is part of a strategy that is being pushed forward under the motto “Rebellion, another youth football is possible”.
The idea of revolt against the system always hovers over the old port stronghold. Resistance to the commercialization of football has been one of Sankt Pauli’s mottos since the 1980s, promoted by a fan base that calls itself squatters and never tires of asserting its left-wing identity. “Who betrayed us?” they sing; “Social democracy! Who has never betrayed us? “Saint Pauliiiiii!”
The new measure deepens the social crusade of the club, which is currently second in the second division. With one point behind leaders Düsseldorf (14 points) and level on points with Hamburg (13 points), the small city club has become a center of attraction with its courageous and exciting game. The team’s growth has made Fabian Hürzeler, 29, one of the hottest coaches in Germany.
Enough of “coaching”
Banning agents from entering the sports city is the most categorical rule in a catalog designed to prevent the proliferation of personal trainers of all types, from physical trainers to individual mental trainers hired outside the club, a very popular trend among all youth players in Europe. Sankt Pauli would like to point out the value of group community, the beginning and end of every training course. “We want to help the players improve in the long term and work with them to develop the skills they need to be successful in high-performance sports,” explained Liedtke.
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