Does poaching exist?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Rambo Chick, Sep 6, 2011.


Does poaching exist

  1. Yes!

    77 vote(s)
  2. No!

    37 vote(s)
  3. You're talking about eggs right? Delicious on toast!

    15 vote(s)
  1. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    Poaching is a dirty word in banding, but does it actually exist? Being approached by another band and being asked to play for them is deemed as ‘poaching’, however inevitably it is down to the decision of the player in question. I believe the mantra “you can’t poach a happy player” is a good one.

    Barring being drugged/coerced/blackmailed, if a player leaves to head to a higher section/ better band/ different band for whatever reason, then surely as banders we should wish them well and congratulate them on improving and aiming higher/going for a change. Perhaps there will be anecdotal examples where ‘poaching’ can be proved. However overall I think that it doesn’t really exist. We could perhaps say that abandonment exists whereby a player chooses to leave a band, and the band feels disgruntled about this: perhaps the band has invested a lot of time/effort in the player and had hoped to reap the rewards of bringing a player up.

    Given that banding is decreasing in popularity, I think positive encouragement and keeping players happy is a better way forward than grumbling and stigmatising players who for the most part, probably look to improve themselves by moving around bands. Of course there are many other reasons why players move, but as I said above, it is more than likely for legitimate reasons.

    However you look at it, it still falls to the player in question and not to the band which has approached them, as to where they choose to play.

    So does poaching exist? Or is this a knee-jerk reaction from bands which have lost players to ‘poaching’ and are feeling that their egos are bruised?
  2. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I think it happens but not as much as many might like to think. Poaching really implies an unfairness about things. I think as Carolyn mentioned most instances are really fair play.

    However, I think guilting somebody into switching groups would be considered poaching, and I don't have much respect for bands that "put people in the middle." Simply offer the opportunity and let them make their own decision.
  3. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    It exists in the SA too.

    A certain London based band to my knowledge in the 80's approached the best players from other Corps to arrange 'transfers'.
  4. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Any other times that a player may move between bands due to incentives, fiscal, social or otherwise, cannot be called poaching.
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    My own opinion is that as long as no rules are broken, then we're all equally free to play for whoever we want to - assuming they'll have us.

    There are any number of reasons a player may leave a band, some of which are difficult to take for the players left behind (financial inducement is always a controversial one) and band spirit is a fragile thing, so any departure - however amicable - is always going to leave some residue.

    But poaching? No. Nobody ever left a band who didn't want to, and time will always tell if they were right to do so.
  6. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I've said it before on here (and I'll probably say it again!) - except in rare cases with an extremely small minority of bands who can afford to offer financial incentives, there's no such thing as poaching.

    Asking a regular dep if they'd be interested in joining is NOT poaching.
    Making a player aware you'd like them to apply for a vacancy is NOT poaching.
    Accepting applications to join from players who take it on themselves to approach your band is NOT poaching.
    Asking an unattached player to register to help out at a contest is NOT poaching.
    ...and yet I've been in bands that were accused of "poaching" in all the above cases.

    If a player chooses to leave one band and join another without being coerced by financial gain or forced in some other way, then they haven't been poached they've simply exercised a choice to move on. When that happens, perhaps the original bands would benefit from spending less time crying foul and more time looking at why people are unhappy or uncommitted enough to walk away.
  7. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    interesting that 7 people have voted "yes" but only 2 have posted why they think that......
  8. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Just as an aside, I recall that in 1964/5 (ish) Lindley Band from Huddersfield came 2nd at the British Open and also qualified for thr National Finals at the RAH.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall that within a year they had lost over half the band to Dyke and B&R.

    I'm not saying they were "Poached", as I agree that an individual can play for whoever they like, but you can imagine the devastating effect this had on Lindley Band at the time.

    I suppose it is a natural process that aspiring young players will mostly reach a stage in their musical development when they want to test their improving technique at the highest level.
    So sad for the bands that nurtured and trained them and inspired their musical ambitions, but it is an inevitable progression.

    - Mr Wilx
  9. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    Many years ago, I was invited to join a championship section band whilst playing in the 4th section. When I accepted the invitation, the MD of the 4th section band claimed that I had been poached. Furthermore, he said, "you will not be happy playing with them!" I was very happy, and did not consider that I had been poached.
  10. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I'd argue that neither of these circumstances can be called poaching either. Let's face it, if we could be paid to play, most of us would take the opportunity.

    Accidental I'd be interested to know in what other ways players can be forced to move bands?
  11. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Andi, I'm with you on this one - I just have memories of being blasted last time this 'conversation' came up for not conceding that very, very occasionally poaching might be possible and wanted to avoid the same reaction this time around!! Financial is the obvious exception for me, and in the past I've heard people blame coercion through jobs (which I guess boils down to financial anyway) or family/socail ties but I can honestly say that in 30 years of banding I have never known it to happen.

    The bottom line for me is very simple - happy players don't change bands.
    If a player is unhappy enough to leave then that suggests to me that either they're looking for something their current band can't offer, or the band has a problem. Blaming anyone else for "poaching" is wrong and achieves absolutely nothing imho.

    That said though, it completely p*sses me off when bands repeatedly go after players and don't take no for an answer, or ask players to move just before a big gig or contest... its not poaching, but it is more than a little inconsiderate!
  12. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    People will play for whatever band they want to play with, within the rules about transfers and new registrations. Everything else is just griping because your own band wasn't enough to fulfill the needs of the player who leaves to join another band. I don't know a single person who has been FORCED to join another band ;)

    People only join other bands when their needs are not being met by the band they are in...whatever those needs are (not always to do with playing either).

    Accusing bands of poaching players, I think, is pathetic, and doesn't address why your band wasn't enough to keep players. Putting the blame on the leaving player, and the other band...and taking no responsibilty for how your band isn't doing enough to keep players.

    Of course there are occasionally players who play the system, but those are the players who are not particularly interested in being in one band forever and ever...and are happy to chop and change. Fair play to them if that's what they want...but it still isn't a case of poaching...more like a kind of detachment from every band they're in, or not being able to find the 'right' band (whatever that is).
  13. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    It is interesting that the only responses so far are from the 'no' camp - but the 'yes' camp leads on votes. I'd be (genuinely) interested to see some argument from the opposite side of the divide?
  14. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I would genuinely like to hear what some of the "yes" voters define as poaching, and why they think it happens.
    Any takers?!
  15. JR

    JR Member

    The FA dont like it though...

    Interestingly the Football Association, often derided for it's backward thinking has (as I recall) pretty strong rules against poaching of players - a few years ago didnt the Leeds Chairman Ken Bates threaten to sue his former club Chelsea over alleged illegal approaches to young Academy players? - I think it was settled out of court. Arsenal have also been similarly accused.

    John R
  16. davethehorny

    davethehorny Member

  17. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    Attempted poaching is very common. If the player moves after an unsolicited request, surely they've been poached?
  18. davethehorny

    davethehorny Member

    Surely if they were happy they wouldn't leave anyway, unless the offer matched some ambition that the player had - e.g playing in a higher section or financial incentive for a player needing money.

    The player can always say NO!
  19. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    Of course they can. But if they then say yes, I can see why people class that as being poached.
  20. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    How do you define poaching?

    If talking to player who is at another band and saying "my band is better/more fun/going places/your band is dying, etc why not come and join us" is poaching then I have been both a poacher and a poachee.

    And if Cory/Dyke/Grimethorpe, etc want to poach me please send me a pm. :)

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