Two years ago the British National Team had to withdraw its participation at the Final Olympic Qualifying event in Taiwan due to a lack of funding. While a start at the 2010 European Championship in Germany doesn’t seem in danger, Mister-Baseball.com has learned that the British Baseball Federation (BBF) apparently at the moment doesn’t have significant funds available for the EC budget of the national team. As consequence General Manager Alan Smith and Head Coach Stephan Rapaglia will resign by February 28th and have sent a proposal to the BBF board, which includes suggestions to help solving the problem.
Smith and Rapaglia are willing to serve as volunteer consultant/assistant to their successors in 2010, return to their posts in 2011 or serve to the Baseball program in a different capacity if the BBF Board wishes to continue the partnership. These intentions however depend on if the BBF Board adopts the mentioned proposal and that both are on the same page with the BBF Board regarding the selection of their successors.
Main points of aforementioned proposal:
- The BBF Board continues to recognize that the ability of the GB National Team to compete at the highest levels in European and International Baseball is of great importance to the development of Baseball in Great Britain.
- By eliminating the salary for the head coach position the board could save £5,000 in 2010, which partly should be committed to the EC budget.
- National team players would have to be required to contribute to the costs for their participation in the EC.
- Sponsorship/funding money from any sources should be used to reduce the player contributions to the EC budget.
- Players and staff members shall be allowed to earn commissions on any money they secure through own fund raising initiatives.
- After approval of the EC budget by the BBF board, the national team staff would be allowed to make preparation and tournament plans without further approval by the board.
- The National Team Head Coach will be allowed to choose his coaching staff and the EC roster with 25 percent being players based in Great Britain.
- The BBF Board will assist the national team actively prior the EC.
Smith and Rapaglia also make recommendations for potential successors. They suggest that the BBF Board chooses from the pool of the assistant coaches on the GB staff during the 2009 Baseball World Cup. They are naming Brant Ust, Charlie Sullivan and Brian Cleary as potential candidates.