Interview with fan groups Wolfbrigade 04 (Sankt Polten, Austria)

Austria does not have such a serious ultras scene in other countries. In general, it is known only derby between Rapid and FK Austria Wien. However, in small towns outside the capital are their local fan group. One of the largest provincial fan movements appeared in St. Pölten and at the same time its members are not alien to the anti-racist views.

- Tell us about your city of  Sankt Pölten. What football traditions in your city? How often do you go to the tourists and the city is known? How many in your town football clubs?

- St.Pölten is one of the oldest cities in Austria and since 1989 capital city of Lower Austria.  With more than 53.00 inhabitants we are the ninth biggest city of Austria. The region Lower Austria is know for it' s wine culture and it's governor Erwin Pröll. In St.Pölten we have a beautiful baroque inner city, an old cathedral and 2 lakes within the city center.  Eventhough it's a beautiful city it's not often visited by tourists and people underestimate the beauty and potential of this city. There is only one big football club in St.Pölten,which is called SKN St.Pölten.  There are some smaller clubs like SC St.Pölten and Sturm 19 St.Pölten or SC Harland, but these clubs play on amateur level.

- Tell about history your club.

- The SKN was founded in 2000 and it's the inofficial follower of the FCN St.Pölten and VSE St.Pölten. VSE St.Pölten played first league in Austria and it's best result was a eight place. VSE St.Pölten was a fusion between Furthner Schwarze Elf and BSV St.Pölten, two teams which played in St.Pölten in the early 1920s. VSE had some popular players like Mario Kempes ( who played Argentinian national team) and Ivica Vastic, who played Austrias National Team.

After being founded in 2000, they quickly managed to go to second League. In 2009 the first played in Austrias so called „Erste Liga“, it's the second highest division after the „Bundesliga“ in Austria. They always finished between 3rd and 5th place since the entered this league. In this season our team became runner-up in Austrians Cup. They've beaten SV Ried and SK Sturm Graz on the way to the final showdown with Red Bull Salzburg. We lost this game 4:2, but because of Red Bull being League Champion and automatically qualified for Champions League, we earned their Europa league Qualifying Place.
We entered the Qualifiers in second round and faced Botew Plovdiv. First away and then at home. In Burgas we lost 2:1 but won at home with 2:0 so we're going to face PSV Eindhoven. 
We played 1:0 in Eindhoven and 2:3 in St.Pölten, but it were awesome games and our team performed well. 

- What are your political views? You take part in the parliamentary elections? Communists or anarchists you?

- We are a mix of people from different politic communities who agreed to unite under the name of Wolfbrigade 04 to support the SKN St.Pölten and stand active against any kind of discrimination.
As we are a football fanclub, political views are not our main business, but I don't think you can be a fanclub without giving away political messages. Our political message is, that everyone is equal no matter where he or she is from or whom he or she loves. This mainrule in everydays live should be lived on the pitch, on the tribunes and in everydays life.

- Tell us about the history of your support group Wolfbrigade 04. Do SKN St Pölten other firms?

- Wolfbrigade 04 was founded in november of 2004 on an Home Match against Vienna on our legendary former homeground Voithplatz. We supported our team from fifth league to the second and had in fourth league games with 100 supporters against SC Krems, our rival.
Within this 7 years there have been a few other firms, who tried to organize support like the Bad Boys, but they we're to small to survive.

- What a performance you prepare for a match? Whether using pyrotechnics?

- We try to support our team  through all 90 minutes or more.We use flags, chants and choreos to support our team. Pyrotechnics are forbidden in Austria, but from time to time we get the permission to use them. 

- What achievements in your club?

- Our biggest club achieved is this year. We play against PSV Eindhoven in 3rd round of Europa League Qualification (we lost in Eindhoven 1:0 and faced them at home on Thursday)  and have been runner up in Austrias Cup. We beat SV Ried and Sturm Graz on the road to Klagenfurt, where we faced Red Bull Salzburg and lost 4:2.

- Which clubs have friendly relations? What fans hate? What is your relationship with Red Bull Salzburg, SV Ried, Sturm Graz, Wacker Innsbruck?

- We have friendly relations with FC First Vienna FC and Wiener Sportclub! We have never played in the same league as Red Bull, Sturm Graz oder SV Ried. We sometimes face one of them in the Cup or in a friendly, but there are no rivalries. 
St.Pölten is very close to Vienna, around 25 minutes per train, so a lot of people grew up with an Viennese Club likes Rapid or Austria, because St.Pölten has not been very successful in former years. 

- What is special in the Austrian ultras?

- Austria has a very small fanculture. In Bundesliga you hardly get a stadium full and you sometimes play in front of 1000 people. The biggest clubs are Sturm Graz, Rapid Wien, Austria Wien and Wacker Innsbruck, who have bigger fancultures. There is some kind of ultra culture in Austria, but only in around 12 of the 20 teams, who play in the top two league and these are sometimes very small ones.  

- Do you have a girl on tribunes?

- We have girls on our tribunes and in our fanclub. We don't care about gender, religion or ethnicity. As long as we agree on being against any kind of discrimination and  standing up against any kind of discrimination and supporting the SKN everyone is welcome.

- Who is represented on your logo?

- In our logo there is a wolf. The wolf is the symbol of our team and of our city. St.Pöltens city logo also has an wolf in it.

- What is your relationship with the players and club leadership? What is your financial situation?

- We meet some of the players after the game in the little bar in the stadium. Everytime we win the scorer or the MVP comes to our tribune and starts a chant with us and we celebrate with the team. 

The contact to the club leadership is divided. Sometimes they help us and sometimes they act crazy and do stupid stuff. I think there is a lot to improve within this relationship, but the situation right now could be a good starting point. 

- Are there many in Austria at the moment fascist fans? In Sankt Pölten many fascists?

- Austria has seen an increase in right or far- right votes and there have been surveys who said that nearly 30 percentage of the people want to have a strong leader. People are unsatisfied with the actual situation and vote against the leading parties. Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ) is at the moment third leading party, but some surveys put them in first place.

In Austria denazification failed and right winged or far right winged Opinions are accepted. Nazis, who have beaten up left wing activists in their house, have been sentenced to very low penalties, while Josef, a left wing activist, who participated in a demonstration against the Akademikerball, a gathering of right or far right wing german nationalist people in Austrias most meaningful building , has been put in prison for 6 months and now has been sentenced on very low evidences. Other activists who participated are still in prison waiting for their Judgment. 

In St.Pölten there is some FPÖ too, but we are the last capital city, which is  governed by the so called (more or less) Social Democratic Party - SPÖ. That's why the FPÖ community is  small.

- Tell about Austria ultras-scene. What is the ratio of right side and left side on the terrace? How often do you have a fight with right-wing?

- It's hard to describe the ratio, because in Austrias stadions there are seldom political actions. 
Austria Wiens fanclub „Unsterblich“ did some fascist actions in and outside the stadium and got banned, but didn't end to exist. More often fascist actions are done by single persons or some small groups. The most fanclubs call themselves unpolitical, but there are a view who are know for being left like : Antifa Döbling or Vienna Wonderers (First Vienna FC), or FreundInnen der Friedhofstribühne ( Wr.Sportclub) or ourselves.  Fights with nazis are seldom, because Nazis in Austria seldom act offensive. They mostly do their Nazi stuffs at home and don't often come out to show their fascist views.

- You take part in streets protest action?

- We take part in streets protests as single persons, but not under the banner woflbrigade. Our capo once held a speech against a right winged politician when she was in St.Pölten.

- In Austria have strict laws for the fans?  Are there any fights with the cops?

- In Austria you have surveillance cameras everywhere in the stadium and you feel like a criminal if you come as an organized fanclub. 
Pyrotechnics are illegal, but you can get permission for it. There is alcohol sold in the stadium, which is very nice because of the bad matches.  Fights with cops are seldom and are more likely to happen at bigger firms like in Vienna or Graz.

- How often drive on tour? In what city in Austria  you are driving on the game? What is your further trip in Austria? 

- We try to go on the away matches as often as possible. Our furthest trip this year will be to Innsbruck with about 400 km. Other away games this year will be Linz, Vienna, Salzburg, or Mattersburg. 

- Do you go to other sports besides football?

- Of us go to American Football matches, but the most of us are only football fans.


- Do grassroots organizations in Austria against modern football? Do you support  Austria National Team?

- There are a very little fan initiatives against modern football, but nothing bigger organized. 
We don't support Austrias national team. 

- Tell us about your stadium. On what do you spend the stadium matches? How much is a ticket to the game? Can I get for free?

- Our stadium was newly built two years ago. and it's called: Traisen- Oval. It's one of the most modern stadiums in Austria and hast a capacity of 8000. Tickets to the games are between 15 € on our tribune up to 120 € on VIP. 
If you want to get there for free you need to contact us.

On home matches we meet before the game, have a few beer and then go in the stadium, where we try to support our team during the whole match!


-Do you organize social proect?

- We organized the "Youth and the Club" project. A project during which26 children from a school in St.Pölten visited us for two days and we worked with them on topics like civil courage or violence and tried to show them something of our fan culture. Then they spend a night in tents in front of the stadium. We organized a choreography with them, which will be shown on an home match within the next months and we took part in FARE actionweeks against Racism. 

- If you have your room or bar?

- We have a room in the Stadium, where we can do our choreographies and meet for some beer.

- How you feel about marijuana and alcohol?

- On of our chants is : Bier und Marihuana - daham da schlogt uns kana ( Beer & Marihuana -  nobody beats us at home). We like Beer and support the legalization of Marihuana. 

- Is there on the tribune punks and skinheads?

- We have punks on our tribunes and most people of our fanclub listen to Punk music. 

- What do you know about russian fans? What ultras scene world do you like?

- What we know about Russian fans are that they are very passionate for their teams and often far right. We know that there's a lot of violence on the games in russia, but also that some of the teams have great support!

We like the Italian style, because they try to support their teams over 90 Minutes.

- What are your plans for the future of your club?

- We try to go to Bundesliga, the top league in Austria. Within the next 10 Years I hope that we can establish in the mid of the Bundesliga. I also hope that the fanculture in St.Pölten grows and we can show Austria and Europe how massive our support for our team is.

- Your wishes our readers

- We wish our readers all the best for their fanclubs, projects and teams and hope that maybe one team some of you find the way to St.Pölten to have a few bee with us!
Siamo tutti antifascist!

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