From Portland to Hamburg, through Spain to Italy and on to a leafy London borough, we look at six of the worlds most achingly trendy football clubs
Considering the word hipster creates up personas of classy and pretentious bearded, beanie-wearing, over-priced cereal-munching Nathan Barley characters in tapered trousers and ironic Buddy Holly sights, you could be forgiven for presuming it to be well, perhaps exactly a mite pejorative. These bastions of self-awareness arent everyones glass of Fernet-Branca and generally dont refer to themselves as hipsters, presumably on the grounds that they presume gadding about Hoxton on a pogo remain or micro scooter to be completely normal action and it is everyone else whose behaviour is peculiar. Besides, its not them to whom the word denotes, its those other people who seem and act just like them in an extravagant entreat to replica their unique style.
Although its precise origins continue mired in debate, the fairly recent opening of the term football hipster into everyday parlance continues to entertain. A expression of travesty for the kind of people who claim to find The Blizzard extremely mainstream, it used to describe a demographic who revel in the overshadow by shown interest or at the least pretending to take an interest in niche various aspects of football culture to which “the worlds largest” general football-following public persist merrily oblivious.
They are harmless kinfolk: weekend fighters, kicking against the motherfuckers and railing against the soullessness and venality of modern football, which they quite rightly claim to abhor. By propagation, through no great fault of their own, particular football clubs had now become emblems of football hipsterdom and many of them seem to have a lot in common: an almost covering deficiency of on-field success, a biography of anti-establishmentarianism, the situation of women plucky underdog, a nice away shirt, detested competitors they regard as sellouts, swank patronizes( or ideally , no sponsors at all ), subsidised tickets, ties to many benevolences, a good relationship with their neighbourhood parish, and a habit of grandiose gestures and accept towards minorities often traduced by those in favour of more mainstream team.
Many, needless to say, are owned or part-owned by their followers and have almost certainly featured prominently before now at some stage in the Guardian, as youll see below. A funny numeral seem to have ties with Celtic Football Club, a longtime global label but often cited as the original hipster interlopers, in thus far as any academy reverie up by a Catholic clergyman can be considered chill. Here then, for your delectation, are six phenomenal football clubs dotted around the world to whom an developing generation of modern football hipsters have hitched or will continue to hitch their wagons.
Of course, in this live-and-let-live world which features the ludicrous madnes of many football fans to chisel out offence where none is intended( see the comments under last weeks Joy of Six for examples ), its worth pointing out that if a team in which you happen to take an interest happens to appear on the schedule, that doesnt move your backing inauthentic in any way. Those other Jeremy Come-Latelys might be bandwagon-jumping tossers muscling in on your golf-club generating much-needed atmosphere and income, but its you who is the sincere fan.
1) FC St Pauli
Ground : Millerntor-Stadion( ability: 29,546) Location : St Pauli, Hamburg, Germany League : Zweite Bundesliga Founded : 1910
With their unappealing chocolate-brown emblazons, undeniably cool and iconic skull and crossbones comb and steadfast devotion to worthy campaigns, St Pauli were perhaps the first team to sear themselves in all the regions of the hipster consciousness in recent decades. OK, so Birkenhead rockers Half Man Half Biscuit stimulated a rush on Dukla Prague away kits with their famed 1986 Trumpton Riots B-side, but in their day the Czech organization were a serially successful horde attire who raised a Ballon dOr winner in Josef Masopust, so are in no way obscure enough for our purposes. St Pauli, by distinguish, have enjoyed merely modest success by comparison, yo-yoing up and down the top three tiers of German football, spending a lot more time out of the Bundesliga than in it. These days, they can be found in Germanys second tier, where they currently sit handily in third place.
St Pauli is and will always be a social, attending society, showed their sorority president Oke GAPttlich in an interview with Uli Hesse reproduced in the Guardian. We will always take a stand against combating racism and homophobia, always look out after the weak and the poor, because its important for us. Its in our blood. With his squad flirting with relegation from the second largest split at the moment of its interview, GAPttlich went on to stress the importance of the team not “losing ones” focus on the equally important business of not falling behind their rivals in football matters, their consideration for societys feeble is what made them their place on this list.
St Pauli is the community based football club of a working class neighborhood of Hamburg of the same call. Their Millerntor-Stadion can be found within moving interval of Hamburgs famed docks and red light territory the Reeperbahn, where their organization browse sits cheek-by-jowl alongside many lairs of iniquity, exchanging branded tat of every stripe and colour( well, stripes of light-green and grey, as a gesture to Celtic with whom they enjoy a fraternal attachment, together with colours of chocolate-brown and pitch-black ), does a roaring trade from which we are really realise relatively limited fund thanks to a woefully ill-advised, but endearingly rubbish business deal forged to save the guilds future some years ago.
A bog criterion football club until about 30 years ago, St Pauli first adopted the philosophy that would afterward make their reputation a byword for trendiness in the mid-1 980 s, when their change into a Kult phenomenon began in earnest and the team developed a left-leaning honour due to the nature of an rising fanbase of students, anarchists, hippies and punks, along with various sexually permissive, socially active and aware residents from the down-at-heel tenements circumventing the red light district where St Pauli is based. At a meter when European football was being poisoned by right-wing bigotry, their refreshingly liberal vistums a accepted antidote to footballs ills.
Having transactions on their low-rent brothel of the league portrait, increasing their median attendance from smaller than 2,000 to crowds often numbering 10 periods that sum in the intervening years, the golf-club had now been successfully existed a dangerous toying with liquidation, trounce their ferocious rivals Hamburger SV on one occasion and developed a honour as a compassionate society that imparts countless good works for donation. They are flatly against discrimination sexism, homophobia, fascism of any kind and had now become perhaps the most famously cultured guild in Europe albeit one that exchanges branded snow spades in its ridiculously over-priced keepsake shop for an eye-watering 37.
2) Real Oviedo
Ground : Nuevo Carlos Tartiere( capacity: 30,500)
Locating: Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
League: Segunda DivisiA3n
Founded : 1926
It is the club of Santi Cazorla, Juan Mata, Michu and AdriA! n. For a short time it was the club of Stan Collymore, although unlike the quartet of aforementioned Spanish luminaries, the former England international expended an sad incantation there and terminated, rather than embarked, his busines at the Nuevo Carlos Tartiere. Currently playing their football in Spanish footballs second tier, where they sit comfortably in mid-table, Real Oviedo last-place disturbed the top flight 13 years ago and could, as recently as last-place season, will find information languish in Spains second fraction B, the countrys third rank. A notoriously difficult prison from which to break out, last season they eventually escaped after years of contend in which their very existence was routinely undermined and threatened.
Our own Sid Lowe has previously provided in-depth analysis of their fight( much of which has been shamelessly plagiarised here ), having helped hawk millions of the shares that helped fasten the clubs future and make Oviedo love and owneds of us all. The short form: back-to-back relegations from La Liga in 2001 led to the local government going their is supportive of the fraternity on the back of an unedifying political haggling. Numerous suspected hopes were being made to spew the association from the municipally-owned stadium in which they play.
Mobilising to save Oviedo like so many followers at so many squads before and since, supporters demonstrated, caused funds and secured a stay of hanging in what came to be known as EspAritu 2003( the Spirit of 2003 ). A mint done, more to do: the team woes persisted, with the Spanish industrialist Alberto GonzA! lez taking a restraining be participating in 2006 before absconding from Spain to escape seizure for fraud. Once again, Oviedo were jumped into crisis, one that was averted in a highly publicised international share question that secured both the societies future and eventually its hipster status.
With fans on the board and requiring 4m to procure Oviedos medium-term future, a share question was schemed with posts in the club going for 10.75 a pop. Led by Michu, Mata, Cazorla and AdriA! n, who dipped into their own pockets while simultaneously publicising their boyhood squads plight, the money submerge in from other participates, other golf-clubs, followers of Oviedo and fans other teams , not least a massive contingent of Guardian-reading football admirers beguiled by the publicity drive. In 2 weeks 1.93 m merit of shares were bought by more than 20,000 beings in more than 60 countries, wrote Lowe at the time. Tiny shareholders alone had rescued the society in the short term; long term viability was self-assured too.
It was locked primarily through the efforts of a duet of a columnists and Oviedestas reputation Paco GonzA! lez and Marcos LA3pez, who somehow convinced one “of the worlds” richest guys, the Mexican telecommunications baron Carlos Slim, to come on board and invest over 2m. His subsequent investments in the organization have stirred him the majority shareholder but alongside him, shoulder to shoulder, stand more than 40,000 crazy hipsters located in 190 different countries around the world, millions of whom have since moved pilgrimages to shed an seeing over their asset. Unsurprisingly, they are invariably accepted with open arms.
3) Portland Timbers
Ground: Providence Park( capability: 21,144)
Location : Portland, Oregon, USA
League: Major League Soccer( Western Conference)
Founded : 2009
Viewed as grizzled, backward and unsophisticated woodsmen and hippies by followers of the neighbouring Seattle Sounders, the Beams prepared world headlines this year after eliminating their detested MLS West Conference challengers from this seasons US Open Cup in a particularly wild encounter that led to three Sounders players( including Clint Dempsey, who grasped the referees notebook from his pocket and rent it to bits ), being moved off. The fourth franchise are stationed in Portland to call themselves the Timbers, the present incarnation joined MLS in 2011 and it is their current batch of followers who have developed something of a honour for hipsterish fanaticism in American soccer circles.
The Timbers are well subscribed, having never failed to sell out the 21,144 -capacity Providence Park, where reputation rights are paid by a not-for-profit healthcare provider and the waiting list for season tickets, capped at 15,300, currently figures more than 10,000. In the northern edge of Providence Park, a 4,000 -strong group of ultras known as the Timbers Army supply raucous, inhaled bomb enhanced aid led by the fraternities official mascot Timber Joey, a lumberjack who ensure a round of wood from a large log each time his crew tallies; a trophy to be presented to the goalscorer after video games( their goalkeeper also goes one for obstructing a clean expanse ). In predictable hipster mode, the Timbers offset any possible environmental damage caused by Timber Jims exuberance by ensuring a tree is planted for every point scored.
Their crest is also achingly hip, including a circular shape that signifies solidarity, wholeness and the pursuit of perfection, as well as a giant axe that behoves their status as grizzled, backward an sorry, the Pacific Northwests famous logging industry. Three chevrons arranged to resemble a pine tree represent the Timbers participation in three different tournaments: the North West Soccer League, the United Soccer Leagues and Major League Soccer, while the ponderosa( translation: dark park) and moss( translation: light-headed green) shadows of their shirts represent the woods of their dwelling government of Oregon.
Any doubt that might remain about the undoubted hipster status of the Portland Timbers was surely dispelled in 2011, when in a feature explaining the simmering and endearingly sweetened hatred Sounders and Beams fans( who, in so many routes, ogle and think precisely alike) modesty for one another, the Wall st. Journal listed some of the refreshments on sale to patrons of Providence Park: barbecued-tofu sandwiches, spinach salads and chocolate-covered bacon. Try asking for any of those particular snacks at Anfield, Old Trafford or the Emirates and see how far you get.
In periods of actual football ability, the Beams who multitude former Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell among their ranks are fairly achieved. Theyve made the MLS play-offs twice since to intervene in the conference in 2011 and will play the second leg of their Western Conference semi-final against Vancouver Whitecaps this weekend. Should they acquire, they could face the Sounders in the final.
4) Rayo Vallecano
Ground: Campo de FAotbol de Vallecas( 14,708)
League: La Liga
Site: Madrid, Spain
Described by the former director JosA( c) RamA3n Sandoval as the last of the Barrio units, Rayo Vallecano shaped headlines last year when players and love of the organization chipped in to re-home Carmen Martinez Ayudo, an 85 -year-old woman who had been forcefully ejected from her live by police as a result of the financial crisis. Unbeknownst to Carmen, her feckless son had expended her flat as defence on a loan he was unable to refund and the lender had asked the property instead. Its what we had to do, said the Rayo manager Paco JA( c) mez, upon being quizzed about the teams marvelous gesture. We couldnt merely stay where you are; we will help her so that she can live somewhere with glory and not find alone. The following epoch during Rayo Vallecanos dwelling win over Celta Vigo, followers unfurled a massive banner declaring: The evictions of a sick position, the solidarity of a working-class neighbourhood.
It was Rayo in a nutshell. The only high profile Spanish squad called after a specific metropolitan one-quarter, Rayo Vallecano is the football unit of Vallecas, a staunchly working class domain to the east of Madrid and like most of the fraternities peculiarity here, their fanbase is defiantly left-wing and raucously opposed to the commercialisation of modern football.
When not rehousing homeless pensioners, they regularly protest about late kick-offs and the apparently random last-minute changes to Spanish fixtures for television purposes. Applauding from a neighbourhood where tenants of every colour and tenet are accepted, they recollect with fondness the England international Laurie Cunningham, who was killed in a vehicle crash while a player for their golf-club in 1989. Their former skipper JosA( c) Movilla was once a bin man and remained active in the union throughout his playing periods. Tucked in among the neighbouring tenements, their Campo de FAotbol de Vallecas stadium boasts one far-famed goal “its exactly” that: a concrete wall. Theres a feeling here. Theres something about this lieu: every second something happens, from the first minute to the 93 rd, Sandoval once said. Thousands of throats carry us, like the wind. It never stops; they never stop.
More recently, Rayo Vallecano further enhanced their hipster credentials by unveiling a brand-new away shirt with its conventional diagonal stripe replaced with rainbow quality to represent the fight against homophobia, with each separate emblazon indicating a separate cause to which the sorority donates: the fight against facilitates, against abuse and domestic violence cases; the fight for disability privileges, for hope and the environmental issues.
If any other club had done it it might have jarred, reported Sid Lowe. When Rayo did it it detected right somehow. If there is a team that should express a sense of solidarity with various radicals then its Rayo, because it feels like it fits that dialogue, it fits that narrative, it fits that self-identity.
5) AS Livorno Calcio
Ground : Stadio Armando Picchi( capacity: 19,238) Location : Livorno, Tuscany, Italy League : Serie B Founded : 1915
A left-wing Tuscan port that was opened to all wannabe immigrants in the 15 th century, Livornos history as fairly the culture smorgasbord moves a long way towards explaining the honour of local football devotees as card-carrying leftie communists. Surely, it was in Livorno that the Italian Communist Party was founded in 1921, so it should come as no surprise that roughly 100 year later, tributes to Che Guevara and Fidel Castro can often be seen on the Curva Nord at Livornos Stadio Armando Picchi( reputation after the former Italy international sweeper who began his busines at the club ), where boosters who take prodigious dignity in the ramshackle sort of their disintegrate stadium can be found wearing camouflage cases, rarely curving Palestinian or Irish pennants( they also have links with Celtic) or putting on carefully choreographed presentations of the persist ideology and region out stirring renditions of Bandiera Rossa ( The Red Flag ). Whatever about not being in Kansas anymore, youre surely not at a Lazio game. This is hipster heaven.
One of the original Serie A sides, playing in a stadium once mentioned after a daughter of Benito Mussolinis daughters, of all parties, Livorno currently play in Italys second rank having expended recent decades in and mainly out of Serie A. Perhaps the foreground of their entire world was a 2-2 attract with Milan on the opening day of the 2004 -0 5 season, when circulating supporters of the newly promoted area wasted the entire game scorning the then Italian chairman Silvio Berlusconi.
Boasting up to 10 different Ultra groups, best available known collective of Livornos hardcore love is the Brigate Autonome Livornese 99 ( Autonomous Livorno Brigade ), from whom the club most well known former participate, Cristiano Lucarelli, Serie A top scorer in 2004 -0 5 and a local boy who wore No99 on his back in honour of the aforementioned ultras. He famously accepted better offers to leave his hometown squad from other clubs during his four-year incantation by saying some musicians buy themselves a Ferrari or yacht with a billion lire; I precisely bought myself a Livorno shirt.
A self-confessed supporter of socialism and Guevara, Lucarelli has the Livorno club crest tattooed on one of the forearms that were integral to his famous double-clenched fist point fete and enjoyed two largely glad charms at the association before his retirement in 2010. He formerly courted polemic by paying for a bus to bring Livorno ultras who had been arrested for rioting at an away competition and had Bandiera Rossa as his mobile ringtone, adding to his own and his beloved fraternities hipster credentials.
6) Dulwich Hamlet FC
Ground: Champion Hill( capability: 3,000[ 500 sat ])
Place: Dulwich, south London, UK
League: Isthmian League Premier Division
While Livorno is located in Tuscany, Dulwich Hamlets Champion Hill stadium merely resembles the Italian field. At least thats what one exasperated and instead cheated local tenant told the human rights council meet in the late 1980 s, as he attempted to block the south London sororities efforts to get a brand-new stadium built on the decrepit environs of definitely unexotic-sounding Dog Kennel Hill.
Prompting much travesty by likening what was then a moderately grim vicinity to the diverse and natural landscape of Tuscany, he showed its panoramic vistums would be spoiled by the introduction of a new supermarket and accompanying football ground, which in 2013 became the first in London to become an asset of community appraise. This classic workout in nimbyism motivated an entertaining terrace choru which abides at Dulwich Hamlet home tournaments to this day: Tuscany! Tuscany! Were the famous Dulwich Hamlet and we look like Tuscany!
Some will argue that Clapton FC and their ancient Old Spotted Dog Ground “mustve been” Englands congresswomen in this Joy of Six. Others might envisage Lewes FC and their fame stockholders, organic burgers and slapstick match-promoting signs deserved the gig. Manchesters rebel alliance FC United and the freshly trendy Class of 92 -owned Salford City were also considered, but it is the fairly recent rise of the assistance provided led by south London Nathan Barley types that has ensured Dulwich Hamlet have for the time being at least stormed front and core in the pantheon of non-league English football clubs its become unusually fashionable to cheer from the terraces.
Although they play their attractive firebrand of free-scoring, free-conceding football in the seventh tier of English football, the Isthmian League, Dulwich Hamlets hipster credentials are second to none. Extraordinarily for the purposes of an English football clubs paraphernalium, theirs is blue-blooded and pink. Singularly for an English football clubs administrator, theirs is black. Indeed, the current issue of neighbourhood freesheet, the Brixton Bugle, carries a foremost narration in which the man in question, Gavin Rose, lauds boosters for organising the first Black History Month exhibition in English football record. Last-place year, Dulwich Hamlet became the first non-league team to publicly back the gay rainbow laces campaign against homophobic abuse in football. More lately, they hosted the first anti-homophobia friendly by taking on Stonewall FC, Britains first openly gay men football crew. Indeed, so genuinely left-leaning and right-on are Dulwich Hamlet, their musicians and fans almost certainly find guilty for spanking their guests 6-0.
At Champion Hill, competitor tickets expenditure APS1 0. You can experience the football while drinking locally brewed aircraft brew and bratwurst from pop-up stands. You can stand on the terraces. You can smoke. Their self-styled ultras, The Rabble, hurls its load behind politically radical and invariably deserving local cases, including a food bank and the campaign to compensate hires at Brixtons Ritzy cinema the living wage. A expedition is currently afoot to interpose fan ownership of the organization, while women and children are not only welcome, but actively encouraged to attend. Dulwich Hamlet love have also forged an official relationship with the German association Altona 1893. Many of their male boosters are young, definitely sounds like both students and sport the kind of whiskers that require actual time and effort to maintain.
Small wonder, then, that many of the monotonously predictable and sneery explains that appeared below a recent Observer feature on the team( yes, of course theres been a Observer feature on the organization) dismissed all concerned as a rain of bandwagon-jumping hipster wankers. It seems such is the price one must pay these days for the extremely flagrant misdemeanour of enjoying yourself and having a good time at the football.