Time to call time on the foreign legion?

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by JR, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. JR

    JR Member

    It would appear 2007 is their finest hour
    Seemingly never before in the field of banding conflict has so many Euros and Krone been owed by so many to quite a few Norwegians and Belgians...
    I see 4br has again "flagged" up (sorry) this recent development
    Like many other things in modern band contesting - it's out of hand folks!
    We are going to have to call a halt before an entire Scandinavian cornet section is deployed to get a band to the area (Alliance Brass - have you thought of this?!)
    Seriously though, come on, let's face it, Dyke can't borrow from Brighouse, Fodens can't borrow from Faireys, Polysteel can't borrow from Woodfalls etc etc - so why should any band be able to borrow from top class Euro stock?
    Let's close this loophole for 2008. Oh, and whilst we're at it, it works both ways - let's ask the New Zealand Championships (and others) to stop allowing British ringers...

    John Roberts
  2. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Couldn't agree more. Makes a mockery of having a registry at all. All that would be needed would be for the players registration to be checked with the relevant authority in their country of residence. That would of course, still leave a loophole for those countries that don't operate a registry.

    We already have similar structures in place for cross border transfers and guest players between the English and Scottish registrys so I see no reason why this couldn't be extended at the very least to the top European nations.
  3. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    Good article in the Brass Herald about the need for a central registry or at least co-operation between registries...

    (tMP Xmas Quiz Win doing well for me...! :-D)
  4. bassinthebathroom

    bassinthebathroom Active Member

    As every UK band is free to do it, surely that creates a level playing field and does that not cancel out the whole argument? Unfortunately, the number of top level performers in the UK willing to play for a Brass Band is continuing to dwindle, and the best bands are finding it hard to find suitable permanent replacements to fill empty chairs. Rather than compromise standards in the long term, using foreign players the 'cover' in the short term maintains the band's standard, increasing the chance of a good contest result and, logically, the band's 'pull' for new, quality (British) players. If it's available across the board, then this loophole seems totally fair (by being an option for all), but equally, if changed, also a fair system for all then.
  5. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    You are making a big assumption here. Not all bands could afford to fly in foreigners and pay them high fees. The promotion/relegation issue should not be determined by a bands ability to pay guest players. It should be on the bands own inherent strengths - that not only includes their musicianship but also their ability to manage their band properly and retain their player's services.
  6. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Excellent post BigHorn. How many bands can actually afford to do this?

    To continue with this practice you will create a system where only the wealthiest bands will ever be able to compete at the top level. So how can it be a level playing field?

    I have to say that I believe this practice of buying in talent from overseas band should be stopped.
  7. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    How about stopping the practice of buying in talent full stop! I am aware of a band paying around £500 for one player (not foreign) for this years regional contest. What's the point if there is no band or at least only 60% week in week out. We all use deps on occassions, it's unavoidable but the things that go on for contesting are crazy.
  8. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    I know a couple of these people who have made a trip to the UK to play in some of the contests. I think I can say that most them consider it an honour to be asked to play with a UK band at one of the famous contests (regionals, nationals, British open), which would otherwhise be impossible for them. They certainly don;t do it for the money.

    In Belgium, the registration system is more flexible than in the UK, but there are severe restrictions on foreign players. I think these rules were originally introduced to prevent the "import" of british soloists especially for the national championships. But because of this rule, a couple of bands that have Dutch members (which is not so unusual for bands close to the border), can't compete in the nationals either. So some people are proposing to change the "foreigners" rule.
  9. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    If that's the case then maybe we should have European wide registration or even world wide so that if you do sign for another band you can't just hop it back just like we can't within Britain
  10. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    But you will still be able to pay for professional non-brass band players to fill seats. To be honest, I'm not as concerned about the problem of overseas players coming in as I am about the underlying problem it highlights, i.e. the dirth of quality brass players playing in bands. I'm sure you'd all complain even more when instead of getting people from abroad they start "poaching" all your best players with 4 weeks to go 'til your area.
  11. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    Bands work hard raising funds through concerts and other avenues, makes sense to spend the money on the areas. This is the most important 6 weeks of serious contesting bands, and if they have a budget to pay expenses for players from abroad then so be it. How much do the top professionals conductors cost? It isn't 'wrong' in the strictest sense.

    As with most things in life, if you close one loophole, other imaginative ways will be found of exploiting another. Until some form of borrowing is approved for the areas, whether it is national or international, these things will happen.

    I've also anecdotally noticed that there are more people from other musical areas i.e. orchestral and wind bands being drafted in for national contests. It's not an empirical study but seems to be another tactic in filling important seats with quality.
  12. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Interesting to read that Ransomes have brought in players from Europe because it was the cheapest option available to them:

    "Steve also pointed out that the band had tried to sign players in the UK, but for a variety of reasons, including money, it was not feasible. “Other players we approached couldn’t commit to the band for the contest whilst others were asking ridiculous amounts of money. The Norwegian option was the best for us both musically and financially.”
  13. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    I think if a band decides to pay a UK based player 'expenses' (however excessive they may seem) to sign for them its difficult to stop them from doing it, as at the time they will only be registered with one 'British' band.

    However being allowed to sign for different bands in different countries is slightly different and should be looked at.
  14. JR

    JR Member

    ...but the same people then return to play for their own bands in their own Nationals and in the European! - thus making a mockery of the principle of registration

  15. Mr_Euniverse

    Mr_Euniverse Member

    Totally agree with JR's first post. If a band has to buy players in to get them through to the Final's, what happens actually in the Finals? Do they have to get in same players or do they use the fact they're in the Finals as a carrot in order to poach, steal and kidnap players from other bands.

    Personally I'd much prefer to be in a band that gets to London because we did it as a team and the rehearsal after the contest has exactly the same players as the stage.

    It's Man Utd buying in a Scandinavian player to get them further in Europe!! Oops have I said too much!!
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2007
  16. JR

    JR Member

    I agree - and Man Utd, who had Larsson on loan (but is longer on their books) will not be able to "borrow" him brass band style, later on will they?

  17. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    No, they won't but he can go back to play for his own club as he didn't sign permanently for Utd. In banding for the regionals it is different, you have to be a registered player with the band and as such cannot simply return from whence you came immediately after the event! This is the point, the foreign players playing in this years events can go back to their home bands whereas if any of us did it in this country, we can't!
  18. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    This is a tricky one, I think we need to be flexible, allowing bands to get players to fill gaps, so they can enter with a full band, but I think we need to limit the numbers, maybe to a maximum of two.

    Ask any English football league manager why they have foreign players and they will probably say there isn't the talent or they are asking too much money. Sound familiar?


    I think we also need to be a little bit flexible here. Our own band, as quoted on 4br, utilized the talents of a Belgian cornet player. This was a very last minute thing, due to illness, and there were no other british options around because of time constraints. What would people have preferred? To see a band go on and use the principal cornet player from the previous band? This is a risky move at the best of times, but before such an important contest, its not fair on the sub player concerned. the whole band, or the paying audience who may not get a band's best performance.
  20. Col

    Col Member

    Good Point John perhaps if all those bands that can afford those kind of expense levels invested the same amount in the development of players especially younger players then the fears of lower standards and not enough players might dissolve.

    What would the reaction be if all First and Championship Bands had to have a strong junior/training regimes to gain promotion as Rugby League Superleague Teams have to do.

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