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Dirty Tackle

The roll of paper that cost St. Pauli $85,000

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

Back in December, we brought you footage of a dimwitted St. Pauli fan throwing a cash register roll onto the pitch during a match with Eintracht Frankfurt. It may not seem like a big deal — particularly in Germany where throwing stuff on the pitch appears to be customary — but hitting a player in the head with a deceivingly heavy cash register roll (the center is often made of a hard plastic and feels like a rock) is a serious matter and it has had great repercussions for the club.

A sports court at the German Football Association (DFB) has ruled that St. Pauli must play its tie with Karlsruher SC on March 12 without 5,800 fans in the standing areas of their Millerntor-Stadion. The lower capacity will effectively cost them €63,000 ($85,000) in lost ticket sales — no small amount for a 2. Bundesliga side. German news site spiegel.de explains how the fan who caused this financial world of pain cried in court:

At the trial on Monday in Frankfurt am Main, the 20-year-old supporter made a personal appearance as a witness and described his actions in part, while sobbing.

The blubbering fan had already apologized to Eintracht Frankfurt's dramatically flopping midfielder Pirmin Schwegler in person and in writing, but the DFB still decided to throw the book at Germany's least boring club. The Hamburg-based side could have come off much worse too: the chief DFB prosecutor had actually asked for all 13,000 regular standing fans to be excluded, presumably because people who are sitting down cannot throw things.

[Related: Bodyguard protects unpopular Premier League manager from fans]

The fine seems pretty harsh. And frankly, if I ran the DFB, any club that makes its entrance to AC/DC would be completely beyond reproach...

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