Subscription concessions?

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:29 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:
well why would anyone just want to play one game?
Because a match captain is desperate to avoid a default is one reason. There are players in the grading list who do just play one game, so it obviously happens. Of course they wouldn't be in the grading list at all if they hadn't previously played, so there are rather more of them than the grading list suggests.

You've also got those who are interested in chess to the extent that they play socially, play blitz, play online blitz, play online correspondence. These are natural warm leads for a chess club to follow up as it searches for new membership, sometimes you try to entice them into a league game to convince them that club players aren't grandmasters. You've got clubs based around schools, universities and workplaces. These ,too, may encourage the widest possible participation.

So when you start to think of reasons, there's a whole host of them. There was a player recently who acted as a wild card filler in a 4NCL team *. I expect that cost £ 25 for the single game. Quite possibly, the ECF are likely to want another £ 25 or £ 27 from him next year, or they will take away his newly reactivated FIDE rating.

I suppose that suggests players are willing to pay £ 25 for a single game. This was the prestigious 4NCL division 1 * though, not the xyz county third division.

(edit) * Having bothered to look this up, it wasn't the 4NCL but the CCF Super League. This is a team event based around the CCF in South London which is FIDE rated chess in team league format. In some respects, central venues, teams not clubs, a sort of local or regional 4NCL. (/edit)
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:35 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:I doubt theres one single chess player anywhere in the UK who cannot find what in many cases amounts to less than a £1 a week over a year to pay club fees.
You obviously don't have much imagination, then, do you? If someone was on Unemployment Benefit, for instance, they might seriously struggle to pay £50 per annum. Or if they received the State Pension and little else. Or if they were earning the minimum wage. Or if they were in London, earning £25K pa say, but paying £700 pcm, say, in rent and 2K pa in travel. All those people might find £50 per annum a stretch. Or in bankruptcy for a failed business, say, unable even to claim Unemployment Benefit. Nothing to do with your booze and fags.

LozCooper

Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by LozCooper » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:47 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
There was a player recently who acted as a wild card filler in a 4NCL team. I expect that cost £ 25 for the single game. Quite possibly, the ECF are likely to want another £ 25 or £ 27 from him next year, or they will take away his newly reactivated FIDE rating. This was the prestigious 4NCL division 1 though, not the xyz county third division.
I thought you meant me at first but then I realised I'm already a member and I played an unrated :D

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:52 pm

LozCooper wrote: I thought you meant me at first but then I realised I'm already a member and I played an unrated :D
It's a poster to this forum though and someone who used to do your job for the ECF. Unless I imagined it :)

Simon Brown
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Simon Brown » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:46 pm

Roger, you didn't imagine it. I did join the ECF, played one game, donated a few ELO points to our newest IM and haven't played since. I was invited to rejoin the ECF this year which I declined, but if I decide to be a filler again I would gladly pay the membership fee again. My choice.

And if I understand correctly, I will be deregistered until I play again, when I will become active again for a year (assume I pay whatever the fee is), after which I will no doubt be deregistered again. None of this troubles me - it is frankly ludicrous for me to be shown as the 71st strongest active player in England when I have played one game in 15 years - but it does trouble me that the ECF appears to be pressurising others in a similar position.

Alan Burke

Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Alan Burke » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:03 pm

Could there not be a two-tiered system, whereby an annual membership fee can be paid by those who wish to do so, whilst a weekly contribution could be made by those who might only visit or play for a club once every so often ? Obviously an annual membership would work out cheaper per week than the 'one-off' contributions (eg £50pa membership as opposed to a £1.50 weekly fee - similar to when buying either a weekly saver ticket for the bus as opposed to paying for an individual journey.)

At 3Cs, members are not actually forced to pay anything but just trusted to assist the club by dropping some cash into a money box on their arrival each week they attend.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:05 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:I have never read so much rubbish as the above. Bottom line, cannot afford to play dont play, one cuts ones cloth accordingly. I can afford to do what I do but when I cannot afford it I wont- simple economics. Bottom line a lot of chess players can pay but wont pay or winge at having to pay its the nature of the beast. They want the game for nothing.
So, your argument has changed from saying that everyone could afford high levels of club fees to telling them to get lost if they can't. Progress of a sort, perhaps. :?

Paul Buswell
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Paul Buswell » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:19 pm

Thank you for interesting comments posted. My concern is to retain existing members and to encourage new members; because without them our Club will wither away. And there are people for whom the sub of £55 is genuinely onerous - a full week's income support is only £67.50 and those in residential care can have much less disposable income. I need to find the balance between those whom our full-paying members would recognise as genuinely unable to pay and those who they might think were able to if they really wanted to.

PB

Chris J Greatorix
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Chris J Greatorix » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:24 pm

The fact that people can't agree on subscription costs and who to subsidise and by how much shows just how tough local councils and central government have it, who effectively are having to do this on a larger scale.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:06 am

Paul Buswell wrote:Thank you for interesting comments posted. My concern is to retain existing members and to encourage new members; because without them our Club will wither away. And there are people for whom the sub of £55 is genuinely onerous - a full week's income support is only £67.50 and those in residential care can have much less disposable income. I need to find the balance between those whom our full-paying members would recognise as genuinely unable to pay and those who they might think were able to if they really wanted to.
You might want to consider whether you need to differentiate between those who represent the club in matches, particularly away ones and those who just play socially or in your internal competitions. The idea being to reflect the lower costs of those only playing internally. Like CCF, I think Hastings is a vice-president of the ECF, which under current rules buys you grading services for an unlimited number of internal games. It's difficult to push this argument too far because league players can draw your attention to their travel expenses, if you charged them a higher sub.

Martyn Harris
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Martyn Harris » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:05 am

Paul Buswell wrote:I'd be interested to know how other Clubs handle the matter of members for whom finding the annual subscription is a real or an apparent difficulty.

In the past couple of years we've been able to use local grant funding to heavily subsidise members on means-tested state benefits (or on DLA) but that funding has now run out.
In reality this means that the funding has been used to subsidise all members. Had it not existed in the past either the general fees would have been higher so as to allow reduced fees for those members with limited financial resources, or these members would (probably/possibly?) have left leading to the cost of the venue being shared by fewer people - again higher costs for those remaining.
The view has been expressed in the past that some members pleading difficulty with the subs were not being completely dispassionate and were simply choosing to make chess a lower priority for their available personal recreational spend. There may well be an element of truth in that, but my concern is that requiring full subs from everyone (our AGM's default position in the past) will lose members, and there is no doubt that the recent subsidy has both retained members and brought in new ones.
You seem to be doubly unfortunate in your members. We operate a two tier system with the economically inactive entitled to pay half the rate of the economically active. However all the economically inactive who have either built up reserves or have access to pension income insist on paying the full rate, and no-one seems interested in who is on which rate.

Maybe as a club with about 20 members we are all reasonably well known to each other so that temptations to freeload or worry about others pulling their full weight are diminished.

It is difficult to get upset about the prospect of losing members who are not prepared to pay the full cost of their leisure activity. Are they the captains and drivers, or those who think they are doing you a favour by condescending to turn out for you? Yes, the number of chessplayers is not so high that one should casually discard some, but there are limits.

Do you take a hard line or a soft one?
A soft one.
Payment in installments is allowed where cash flow is tight, and we will agree a fee for those joining part way through the season or who is not looking for much in the way of matchplay. Overall fees are set so as to roughly meet our expenditure for the seasonand make a small profit or losss depending on the current state of reserves. Clearly we can't factor in any mid-season joiners into these calculations and being gentle with them on arrival seems a good way of encouraging them to stay.
Who decides how to respond to particular cases?
Nominally the club membership through the AGM could stipulate how we act. In practice it tends to be a combination of the chair (me!) and the treasurer, possibly consulting anyone who might give us an extra insight into the particular case.

Usual rules apply:
"If you don't like the way we run the club we are more than happy to step aside and let someone else take our place."
We haven't managed to escape yet.

To me a club isn't just a group of people with a common interest. Hopefully they will support each other too. Though it would mean raising subscriptions above the bare minimum there seems to be a good case for having a fund within a club for providing financial support for members. This might be used not only to keep down the charges of those with limited resources, but also help defray some of the costs of a junior playing in a prestigious tournament, or for other support of the club's choosing.

[/quote]

Paul Buswell
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Paul Buswell » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:24 am

Roger de Coverly wrote: You might want to consider whether you need to differentiate between those who represent the club in matches, particularly away ones and those who just play socially or in your internal competitions. The idea being to reflect the lower costs of those only playing internally. Like CCF, I think Hastings is a vice-president of the ECF, which under current rules buys you grading services for an unlimited number of internal games. It's difficult to push this argument too far because league players can draw your attention to their travel expenses, if you charged them a higher sub.
Thank you: we differentiate at the moment by charging a board fee per match, home or away. Players taking others to League matches by car do have their mileage reimbursed if they request it.

As an aside, we inadvertently allowed our ECF VP-cy to lapse about 18 months ago; this came to light when the first wodge of game fee bills hit us, and we are re-joining as fast as we can because it's cheaper than the game fees.

PB

Paul Buswell
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Paul Buswell » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:29 am

Thank you - interesting again.

In practice we are likely to appoint a little committee of the Club's Great & the Good to determine, as confidentially as possible, who can be subsidised or given time to pay.

PB

chrisobee
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by chrisobee » Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:56 am

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Middlesbrough chess club for years had a system of fees based on 'waged' or 'unwaged' (Ie unemployed/retired) I always thought this unfair particularly when I could have claimed the reduced fee being retired when in reality my pension is more than some peoples salary. I always paid the full fee.
I know on a couple of occasions several members who pleaded poverty were allowed to pay the fees weekly yet the same members always seemed to have packets of cigarettes to burn or money to buy beer.
I doubt theres one single chess player anywhere in the UK who cannot find what in many cases amounts to less than a £1 a week over a year to pay club fees.
Even if fees were £1 a week its cheap. I suspect that those who say they cannot afford the club fees can afford to go out drinking. Bottom line is many chess players want the game for nothing.
What utter nonsense. I know many players who neither drink nor smoke yet still struggle to pay to join a club and/or play 1/2 tournaments a year.
I have been lucky that for many years I have belonged to a club that was subsidised so the main cost was actually travelling, the time and expense no longer make it worthwhile. However, prior to that I not only paid full membership for the chess club I belonged to ( even though I was a student for a lot of that time) I also spent a lot of time as a team captain when I invariably had to make phone calls from home etc; (more expense ) . I have no idea if others paid a lower sub, neither would I have cared. Making such assertions as:

"I suspect that those who say they cannot afford the club fees can afford to go out drinking."

is both shameful and wrong to be honest.
"Men who for truth and honour's sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky. " Ralph Waldo Emerson

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:59 am

Paul Buswell wrote:As an aside, we inadvertently allowed our ECF VP-cy to lapse about 18 months ago; this came to light when the first wodge of game fee bills hit us, and we are re-joining as fast as we can because it's cheaper than the game fees.
You would need to factor in the ECF membership plans as well. Notwithstanding the 55/45 April vote for an essentially flat rate scheme where the ECF would try to collect £ 18 no matter how many graded games were played, they now seem to be talking about tiers of membership whereby they try to collect one level if you only play in clubs or at club matches, a higher level for playing in Congresses and the highest level if you play FIDE rated as well.

As regards grading, the proposal now appears that all games will be graded as now, but only grades earned by members will be published. Whether Vice Presidency will be withdrawn isn't (yet) considered. By the very nature of the proposal it means that more money per game will be expected from those playing fewer games. Whether this is demanded directly from the players or via the club, league or county isn't determined, but that might be a local decision. Attitudes may vary, but I would imagine there's an £ x per year (or effectively per game) at which players will say that a published grade is too expensive and they will spend the money on a pint or two instead.

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