When revenge was gained over Glasgow Celtic in the Champions League qualifiers of 2003 it was sweet revenge for a painful 1974 European Cup defeat.

But the win also coincided with the start of a new period of success for the Swiss club.

The newly redeveloped St.Jakob-Park had opened two years earlier.

Basel were embarking upon a period of dominance in the newly formed Swiss Super League. In the process leaving behind them the previously dominant Grasshopper Zurich, whom had previously been the powerhouse of the National League A.

Basel have been the super club domestically in Switzerland over the last 20 years, juggling titles with YB Bern and FC Zurich. Eight straight championship titles attained between 2010 to 2017 were a sign of consistent supremacy.

Only the powerful challenge from FC Zurich and more recently YB Bern has prevented complete domination.

Football supporters in Basel are like many in Switzerland – there is a strong sense of pride in the stadt and the verein but they are extremely passionate fans.

That sense of passion and rivalry are factors – together with the club emblems, regional canton symbols and colors – which go a long way to creating an strong fan culture that mirrors Germany but is just that little bit more radical.

Football fan culture in Switzerland is born out of traditional club rivalry and historical cultural differences rather than social change. There are long standing rivalries between the large urban centres of Basel and Zurich that long transcend football.

But the modern era of success footballing wise has seen an increased level of needle creep into the league set up.

Despite this being a society where stability rests on a culture of compromise (there is no real ideological opposing political parties) this sense of societal stability and practice of consensus does not correlate to football.

Some say everyone in Switzerland is middle class and it is true that this is a society characterized by stability and direct democracy. However, beneath the ‘streets of gold facade’ there is widespread wealth inequality and discontent. 

There is a sort of working class in Switzerland, which, although perhaps not what you may see in other parts of Europe, it exists and it is visible. There are homeless people, those who are destitute and there are those on the lesser paid ladders of income.

Like-minded ultra supporters groups in the Swiss Super League have grown exponentially over the last 20 years. Youth from all sections of the community congregate in close knit groups that follow each club and they are mostly middle-class.

And the sub-cultural phenomenon of ultras groups filled with hundreds of youths goes much further than simply what happens inside the stadium.

Graffiti may well have strong roots in a ghetto in the USA or be best seen in a creative sense in some Brazilian back alley, but in Europe football graffiti is a man from a middle class background – someone with a paid for education.

Wall paintings and murals dedicated to clubs and fans are very often project managed or sponsored by the fan groups collecting money and forming design ideas. Very often the work is commissioned and paid for by the clubs themselves.

Walking around Basel it’s not difficult to let your eyes wander at the myriad of art dedicated to the local football club.

The badge of the Swiss club is composed of a sleek shield with its top part arched to the centre. The shield – vertically divided into red and blue halves – features a thick gold and black outline, which is balanced by an elegant FCB monogram placed in the middle.

It’s is the FCB logo that is most commonly seen in most of the work.

The yellow lettering boasts narrowed shapes and elongated lines and has its contours repeating the contours of the crest.

The location of the football makes the logo special and modern, showing the strong yet vivid and playful character of the club across the decades.

Urban art has become an integral part of the football culture scene and is now an indispensable element of football tourism when visiting just about anywhere.

While lots of graffiti can be ephemeral in nature the same cannot be said for football related work. This is simply because of the long standing themes of football tradition and the permanence of club colors and symbols.

Most of the best work related to FC Basel consists of colourful murals located along and near the tracks between the Swiss SBB railway station and the Schwarzwaldbrücke bridge. There are many around the Schänzli area with all its urban underpasses and walkways which is very close to St. Jakob-Park stadium.

Its colourful, creative – certainly amongst the best in Europe.