Sean Hewitt wrote: The fact that it's a price increase is misleading because that was going to happen anyway - the DCMS grant being withdrawn meant that players had to pay more, whether that was through membership, game fee or something else. You conveniently forget that point.
You do realise that existing Direct members get a price cut, provided that county associations and leagues pass on their direct Game Fee savings. So the argument that "club" and junior players need to pay more because of the loss of DCMS grant has a hole in it. They also have to pay more because the most committed players are being asked to pay less.
Sean Hewitt wrote: I do get the sense though that some counties have been better than others in terms of telling players of the forthcoming changes
Would these be the same counties that wouldn't discuss the proposals last year because they weren't finalised? I'm not even sure it's up to counties to tell players about membership. It's the ECF looking for members, it should do its own marketing. I don't know whether county secretaries have received anything from the ECF presenting the new scheme, club secretaries haven't, nor have existing Direct Members. I know there's material on the ECF website and in ChessMoves, but that's as far as it goes.
Sean Hewitt wrote:For what it's worth I get the sense that very very few people think that Â£13 a year is a deal breaker, no matter how few games they play.
That may be true, but then why was Â£2.50 per head for a five round event such a hardship?
It's not going to stay at that though, is it? As the ECF's primary money raiser, it has to pick up all the revenue shortfalls and expenditure increases. There was much wailing, particularly from the North of England, some years back when Game Fee had to go up by around 20%. Had per head costing then been in place, exactly the same would have happened to the per head fee. The relationship between Bronze and Gold started out in effect at Â£ 10 to Â£ 15, and it's now Â£ 13 to Â£ 28.