Thursday, 11 April 2013

FC Basel

Thursday 11th April 2013 kick off 20:05 hrs

Europa Quarter final game 2nd Leg

FC Basel 2 v Tottenham Hotspur 2 (4-4 over two legs)
FC Basel win 4- 1 on penalty kicks.
St. Jakob-Park Stadium
Birsstrasse 320 A, 4052 Basel

Customer Service : Like clock work - as expected in Switzerland
Weather : Wet - rain and lots of it in the evening. During the day pleasant.
Attendance : 36,500
As mentioned in the last post our Swiss Air took us to France , here we are at Bartenheim awaiting our train to Basel which is Switzerland's third most populous city with 166,000 inhabitants. Basel is located where the Swiss, French, and German borders meet, and as a consequence Basel central station has Swiss and French Customs controls. A more interesting fact, is that in one particular part of town you can have a beer in three different countries whilst in the same street - best to try this before you had a few - others "things" become rather confusing!
Note the way the German Shepherd dog views us with suspicion - looks like the dog has reverted to type and taken a dislike to the "Cat" Burglar.
Luckily, our pre match arrival at the ground was greeted with less suspicion. In fact the security was rather lax or should that be "wax"?
It was a nice surprise to find that lunch was laid on for us - totally unexpected - obviously news of the Flysouth press is reaching out across Europe.
We've also obtained advance footage of the ground for you readers - it's pity we're always so slow in going to "print"! 
FC Basel are one of the most successful clubs in Swiss football, having won the Swiss Super League 15 times and the Swiss Cup 11 times. They have competed in European competition since the 1999 -2000. In season 2011/12 they knocked out mighty Manchester Utd of the Chumps League. Quite impressive for a club from humble roots - the club was formed by an advertisement in the Basel Gazette in 1893!

The Stan Odgen statue
Just one of the important meetings we had to attend!
The Cat Burglar always looking for opportunities to break in.... the club shop for merchandise.
Here he is again folks, one of our regulars - please put your hands together for the one only "Old Fordy" one sixth of the world famous Parnell sextuplets. He will sell you any car, as long as it is a Ford.    
A pre match drink or two (and I'm talking two - at Swiss prices!) was enjoyed at Zum Braunnen Mutz. One of old Fordy's recommendations - I trust you will agree he is a class act. I think you know this bar quite well Ken - is that right?
We opted for a wheat beer by the Swiss Brewery Ueli - very freshing it was too. So much so, that we opted out of the bar snacks - just like old Fordy and the pretzels - there are times when you don't want to upset your taste buds. 

The highly recommended tram service - btw the NO 14 takes you direct to the ground. If you board after 5pm with a match ticket the journey is free - what a fantastic idea - do you think TfL will implement this policy one day readers?

The Cat Burglar meets Uncle Albert from "Only Fools and Horses".
Here we are readers, at no extra cost - I've arranged a special welcome for you! Just like another well known organisation - Customer service is at the heart of everything we do at the Flysouth syndicate. Have you heard that phrase before - possibly a slight variation? Was it Reg Varney in "On the buses"?  

Ah the pretzel seller - No thanks says Old Fordy - even at half time.
That's more like it - Old Fordy will have a beer - he's spotted some small "dark" beers on taps.
It was one of those nights when the heavens literally opened up!
More of those Swiss Ultras - they really do like their "fags" - gauging by the amount of smoke being generated.
This week's crop circle.
Looks like the well known chain smokers - Fag Ash Lil is in the ground tonight readers.  
Just like WHL the other week, Basel press on - early doors.
Cough cough bloody hell - Fag Ash Lil really is in the ground with her brother JPS.
The Spurs section - this week's compo - can you spot our friends "Flemish Spurs" - the winner receives a lifetime's supply of smoking cessation products - well they're clearly redundant out here!
Hey - Popcorn are you sure - we're at a footy match not the flicks! I know watching Spurs is sometimes like watching "Nightmare on Elm Street" but this is ridiculous.
Ah that's more like it says Old Fordy - even though he was served by probably the world's grumpiest bar steward.

Here we go folks penalties - needless to say Spurs reverted to type and lost! That's now played nine lost two - second only to England's record or are we the world leader in losing shoot outs!
Let's ask Clint Oaksey in his Poncho below shall we readers? - He must of seen what was coming -to turn up dressed like that. I wonder if he is any good with lottery numbers as well? Well penalties are a lottery after all - so it's worth a punt ! Or even a Euro these days.

That's the end - of our European adventures (temporarily I hasten to add!) .

I hope you've enjoyed this short series on urban decay across Europe- who knows where next season will take us - if Spurs qualify for the Champions League it could consist of visits to high quality stadia. If not, it's the Europa League and it's back of beyond destinations. One thing for sure readers, whatever the level of footy, we will enjoy the local beer, food and I'm sure we will meet some interesting characters on our travels....until next time. 

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