The Import Chronicles is a seasonal podcast series aimed at having an open discussion about topics specific to American Football Imports around the globe. As the host of the podcast, Perfect Pervis interviews various people involved in American Football in Europe, as they give informative answers and opinion. Today, the topic is What is an Import?
Perfect Pervis interacts with his guests on the podcast, but has supplied his own answers to the questions asked during the interview, in written form below.
WHAT IS AN IMPORT?
Why does a team/organization need Imports? The purpose of imports is to elevate the level of the local team. This elevation can be for multiple reasons. Some organizations utilize imports to make their team more competitive against opponents. Other teams utilize imports with the intent to develop their local talent and juniors. Then you also have organizations who utilize imports as professional employees, whose job is to play football for their team.
What is expected of an Import? Imports are expected to leave their homeland, and live and play/coach in a foreign country. These players and coaches need to be an improvement over local players/coaches at their positions. If they are not an improvement, that is a wasted investment by the team. Americans especially, should stand out, in comparison to the local players of the country. Imports are also expected to be model citizens in the countries they are temporarily living in.
What does an Import expect from a team/organization? Imports expect to be supported by the teams and organizations they are playing for. Being in a foreign country means there are different rules and regulations the imports expect the organization or teammates to explain to them. Imports expect to be paid a fair wage for leaving their homeland and whatever amenities they had, to be placed in a foreign country where they must rely on the discretion of the organization to supply them with the necessary resources to live comfortably. Imports usually expect to be treated as members of the organization, or even family in most cases. This means being involved in the development of the team during their time in country, as well as being included in non-football events. Now that they LIVE in that country, they expect to participate in some day-to-day cultural norms.
What is a fair compensation for an Import? I think it is very difficult to come up with a specific number for compensation. There are a lot of factors to consider in compensation. You have flights, accommodation & amenities, transportation, equipment, health insurance, sometimes food, and finally salary. All these factors must be considered when determining what is expected from both the team and imports. Then these factors will need to be adjusted to the economic differences as well. It is common knowledge that 400 euros spends different in Serbia compared to Switzerland. There is a difference in living in a teammates guest bedroom and having your own villa. Also, having a car in a metropolitan city is not the same as having a bike in a rural town. With so many variables involved, a fair compensation really depends on what the import and team want from the experience.
How does having Imports, advance the growth and development of Football nationally? Imports help the game in many ways, but I will just name a few that come to mind. First, imports naturally make the local players better through osmosis, all that knowledge and experience is contagious. Secondly, import presence increases the quality of the game on the football field, which in turn helps in recruiting more players, fans, and sponsors. Lastly, imports have a lasting effect on teams, whether good or bad, that they learn from that effect going forward.
Disclaimer: This article is property of The Import Group, written with the intent to inform the international football community about various topics important to everyone involved. Media outlets are allowed, and strongly encouraged to post this article on their websites, blogs, and social media channels, provided this disclaimer is included. Thank you for respecting the author rights of The Import Group.