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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:38 pm 
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David Robertson wrote:
The following is the text of the editorial due to appear in the forthcoming edition of CHESS. It is published here at the request of its author

The ECF website continues to trumpet the massive ‘success’ of the Chess Sets for Schools program. We have been told for many months now that Holloid Plastics have agreed to supply 250,000 chess sets to schools free of charge. MPs and Ministers have been enlisted to give their support and there have even been presentations in schools and in Parliament. Now the whole thing threatens to become a huge embarrassment as Holloid Plastics have yet to deliver the goods and Fergus Christie, the driving force behind the original concept has left the company which does not augur well.

There is nothing on the Holloid Plastics website about this project which I find mystifying; and if these sets really were going to be produced free of charge, why have I been approached as a possible supplier?

I find it disturbing that on public forums such as the hugely popular website moneysavingexpert.com, individuals are disparaging the ECF and even questioning whether this whole thing is a scam. Of course it isn’t a scam; it’s just an example of the shambolic way the ECF has been run by the cabal in charge. Readers will be familiar with the circumstances in which the four most able directors resigned earlier this year. Outgoing CEO Martin Regan first found about this scheme on the ECF website. He said: “ In my view the announcement was extremely premature and has led to some of the problems we now face. It never occurred to me that the scheme would be announced without the production having been secured”. The ECF President Gerry Walsh went ahead and now he is rightly worried. The Marketing Director Peter Wilson should resign.

Some of the ECF’s web pages need to come down. Here are a couple of quotes from a photo report on a presentation made on June 20 2008 to a school on Teeside in the presence of local MP Vera Baird and Gerry Walsh.

Gerry Walsh said “This national programme is picking up pace and I’m proud that one of the first schools to have taken advantage of it is in Teesside. The ECF supports all young chess players as well as taking our young champions to international tournaments. There are vital issues around the funding for chess, however, with its recognition as a sport still not finalised. Hopefully these new sets will mean we will have future chess champions from Teesside.”

This is one the first such handovers of the national programme of chess sets for schools coordinated by the English Chess Federation and backed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Excruciating stuff given the current state of affairs.

I WONDER, WAS IT THE LAST ??

I spoke to Julian van Wyngaarden the MD of Holloid Plastics at length and it’s clear that the project is in serious trouble. However, despite dreadful mismanagement it can be rescued. Holloid would like to manufacture the sets but, according to Mr Wyngaarden, having already spent tens of thousands of pounds on it for what now appears to be no reward apart from increasingly bad publicity they would need some financial assistance to see it to fruition. After all, as he pointed out, there is no contract between the ECF and Holloid Plastics (can you believe it ??) He did not want to put a precise figure on the amount of money required but I can assure readers it is an amount that could readily be found from the ECF or the John Robinson Foundation. Mr Wyngaarden also said that chess boards were on the way from China. He confirmed the line put out by the ECF that there are some problems with the mould and tooling which are delaying the manufacture of the sets. Although he would not say this explicitly, I got the clear impression he requires some assistance before he is prepared to invest more time, money and raw materials.

Heads must roll for this but more importantly, the ECF should stump up enough cash to organise the production of the 90,000 sets required to satisfy the demand so far.

Malcolm Pein


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:06 am 
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He explains exactly where the allegation comes from. Read the text properly before mouthing off.

David
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:14 am 
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Ernie Lazenby wrote:
David Robertson wrote:
He explains exactly where the allegation comes from. Read the text properly before mouthing off.

David
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David By all means correct me when I am wrong but please keep your less welcome comments to yourself for 'mouthing off' is something you are very good at. Kettles and pots come to mind a little.

Keep to the point please David

To be honest the editorial paints a far more favourable picture of Holloid than they deserve in my opinion

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:52 am 
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Which point would that be, Carl? The point that people should read what's been posted with care before criticising? Or the point that any nonsense can be spouted on here without fear of correction?

David
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:41 am 
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Perhaps you should learn chess before making an evaluation of David Howells games then in future :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:19 am 
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Ernie Lazenby wrote:
I dont recall anyone at any time saying this project is a scam; where has that come from.

Malcolm is critical of those who have been disparaging of the ECF yet he himself is doing the same in this editorial and in a previous one.

Theres no mention of Andrew Martins resignations or the reasons for it?

Why should Peter take full responsibility for the mess?

Have I missed something?

No you are of course right but a further point is:-

Exactly who approached Malcolm to supply sets :?:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:11 am 
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Ben Purton wrote:
Perhaps you should learn chess before making an evaluation of David Howells games then in future :lol:


Carl,
Can you create a thread called "Playground Taunts" and relocate contributions such as above therein? :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:28 am 
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John Upham wrote:
Ben Purton wrote:
Perhaps you should learn chess before making an evaluation of David Howells games then in future :lol:


Carl,
Can you create a thread called "Playground Taunts" and relocate contributions such as above therein? :roll:

No :lol:

This is far too important a subject and (hopefully...) people will keep to the debate

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:34 am 
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I wonder why Pein thinks Peter Wilson should resign, but not Gerry Walsh?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:03 am 
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For those allergic to google, here's a link to the forum thread Pein refers to:

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=842747

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:40 pm 
The thing that struck me as really odd about this is Malcolm asks rhetorically

Quote:
if these sets really were going to be produced free of charge, why have I been approached as a possible supplier?


which seems to imply that he believes that the sets were not going to be produced, or at least not produced free of charge. However, he then says that he has spoken to Mr Wyngaarden, MD at Holloid, who says that the problem is that Holloid require some cash to see the project through to completion. Unless Malcolm is alleging that Holloid always wanted some sort of payment for the project - which seems unlikely as surely they would have insisted on a written contract in that case - then it appears that the sets were always planned to be produced FOC, but that Holloid ran into financial problems or encountered additional costs that they had not budgeted for and are not prepared to cover themselves.

Why was Malcolm approached as a possible supplier? I would imagine that the answer to that is simple. The ECF didn't / don't know if Holloid are going to produce the sets and if Holloid eventually do produce the sets the ECF don't know what it might cost them. It seems that the ECF is doing something sensible and seeking a contingency plan.

I'd still like to hear what Mr Wyngaarden said to Andrew Martin prior to Andrew's resignation.

Ernie thinks we need another meeting if the ECF are to finance Holloid. John Philpot is better placed than me to advise but given that council authorised the board to borrow £100,000 to finance the project I would have thought that the ECF could use that loan facility without the need for another EGM.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:05 pm 
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Ernie thinks we need another meeting if the ECF are to finance Holloid. John Philpot is better placed than me to advise but given that council authorised the board to borrow £100,000 to finance the project I would have thought that the ECF could use that loan facility without the need for another EGM
Quote:


Use of money from charitable trusts is a very sensitive issue. I believe the agreement for £100,000 from the JRT was to get the whole 'Chess in Schools Project' up and running, to produce school information/support packages, to establish chess academies etc BUT with a clear understanding that the LOAN would be repaid from the anticipated income. If it were used to purchase 'free' chess sets then it would be a gift and may have some problems with the Charities Commission. Perhaps it would be possible to justify purchasing some sets to assist a limited number of schools to establish chess activity. In fact a most admirable action in my view.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:15 pm 
Ernie / Peter,

Perhaps you should read the entire thread again before posting. We are not talking about purchasing sets. We are talking about funding the purchase / repair of a tool that Holloid, the manufacturer, needs to make the free chess sets.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:37 pm 
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Sean, my post was simply about the 'agreed' use of the JRT £100,000. I cannot find anywhere a mention that it was for purchasing equipment for the production of 'free' sets. Be warned that use of charitable trust funds is very carefully regulated!!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:41 pm 
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Ernie Lazenby wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:
Ernie / Peter,

Perhaps you should read the entire thread again before posting. We are not talking about purchasing sets. We are talking about funding the purchase / repair of a tool that Holloid, the manufacturer, needs to make the free chess sets.


Sean thats 'spin' its clear Holloid want money, cash up front, before proceeding any further. Cost of materials has been mentioned.

Supplying cash to repair a tool makes the sets 'not free'. Free means given in entirety at no cost whatsoever.

No money should be supplied to Holloid as it is clearly a company that is in some difficulty

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