DEC_EB_p34 From the floor 15/11/07 12:20 pm Page 34
From the floor: the October Debate
cline in the open team’s per- AS an EBU member who
Thank you all those who voted and sent in their formance (‘In fact the open enjoys playing bridge at local
comments. 80% of the votes were in favour of team has rarely contained a level, with the occasional foray
allowing the national bridge teams to be sponsored. patron’). This misses the point. competing in an EBU spon-
If a patron pays three of the sored event, I have to say that I
THE EBU has limited resour- greater success than we are few world-class players that am not at all bothered about
ces to fund the national teams. achieving currently? England possesses to accom- happenings at national level. I
I suggest they concentrate on No doubt, it would be neces- pany him in the trials, one of am, however, concerned and
the Youth and Junior teams to sary to impose certain criteria two things will happen. Usually deplore that money provided
bring through and develop the upon such an endeavour that the team fails to qualify and the by membership subscription
next generation. I expect part the sponsor would have to eventual England team there- is used to cover the expenses of
of my subscription to fund adhere to, including entering fore misses out on these world- fielding teams at international
national teams – it would be and performing well at the class players. Even if the team events.
nice to have some successes. trials, but that would not be did qualify, England would This does not mean that I
Without professionals we are too difficult. So long as the then play in the European support sponsorship, more pro-
unlikely to achieve team success trials are based on team per- Championship or Olympiad perly described as patronage.
in the future. The top profes- formance rather than indivi- with a team member well below This smacks to me as unfair use
sionals, with proper funding by dual performance, then there the required standard. In both of influence, not necessarily
sponsor(s), should have their is no problem. cases the prospects of our producing the best team and,
chance. Sponsors with five top I do believe that if the team would suffer hugely. although I can understand
professionals are unlikely to ‘many’ are expected to finance David Bird, Chandlers Ford players accepting to play under
perform worse than open the ‘few’, bridge will continue this form of financial support,
teams have done recently. to decline in this country. SPONSORSHIP yes . . . ideally I am sure that they must feel
Selection committees rarely Paul Whetton, by e-mail from industry/commerce etc. somewhat demeaned.
produce the best team avail- Every other sport or activity Having said all that, if spon-
able, unless they are ‘Joe STEVE Eginton and Richard makes use of sponsorship, and sorship/patronage, despite its
Mercer’ committees (one is Fleet both gave lucid and well- frankly not to do so is wasting undesirable attributes, becomes
dead, one is abroad, and one written accounts of the present money that could be other- the norm for player selection,
makes the decisions). ‘sponsor problem’. They were wise spent, or not collected off then, so long as my money is
Richard Millard, by e-mail mostly in agreement, it seemed members! This includes Youth not used for the purpose, I am
to me, so it was hardly a debate teams. Surely we have members content – particularly as I
FOR me the argument centres between two opposite points who are involved where money could now expect the EBU to
around whether the rank and of view. I disagreed with Egin- is available. spend more money furthering
file membership should be ex- ton on one point, however. He Private sponsorship: as long the interests of the more rank
pected to pay more for their said that patrons could not be as no tags attached, then OK. and file members.
bridge so that a few elite mem- blamed for the perceived de- John Davy, by e-mail M.J. Connolly, Norwich
bers can represent the country
at international level. Being a
part of that rank and file, know-
ing full well that I shall never
reach such dizzy heights, I am
County Sponsorship – is it a first?
reluctant to pay extra for my WARWICKSHIRE CBA are pleased to have secured sponsorship from a well-known local company,
games when I am only able to who have no previous connection with bridge. Bigwood Chartered Surveyors have agreed to
play at my local club. sponsor our 2007-2008 season. Their logo and details now appear on the front page of the County
However, we would all like Calendar, and we also agreed for it to be shown on our website.
to see English national teams When considering whom to approach, it is clear that the level of exposure which county bridge
can offer the national chains is far too small. However, certain types of local professional company
do well, so it would seem to
will see the bridge world as a source of potential clients. It should be emphasised that access to
me that there is no alternative
the membership was not requested, or we would have withdrawn.
to some form of private spon- From our discussions, we also realised that such companies preferred an on-going relationship,
sorship, if such benevolence where their name is prominent for the whole year, rather than to sponsor a one-off event.
can be found. If that means The amount is not large at £1,200, but represents a significant addition to the limited revenues
that a private sponsor were to on which all counties have to operate. The intention, to a large extent, is to ring-fence the additional
surround himself with expert funds for attracting more players to county events, and for educational purposes. Some will be used
players and use his/her money for the re-structuring of prizes in certain competitions, with particular focus on medium-ranking
to fulfil a personal ambition, players and improvers, who are not usually in contention but need to be encouraged.
then why should we object? If other counties are interested, I hope the above comments will be of assistance. It can be done!
What objection can there be if Colin Lang, WCBA Chairman
such a scheme was to produce
34 English Bridge December 2007 www.ebu.co.uk