Subscription concessions?

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Paul Buswell
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Subscription concessions?

Post by Paul Buswell » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:18 am

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.

Our Club sub is now £55 p.a. for local residents, which can be hard to find for those living on low incomes, even more so for those living in residential care.

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.

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.

How do other clubs handle this? How do you keep onside those members who do pay the full whack? Do you take a hard line or a soft one? Who decides how to respond to particular cases? Do you have a formal procedure or an informal one?

PB

Mick Norris
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:23 am

At Bury, the subs are £45 for employed members and £35 for retired, unemployed

I think juniors (and maybe students) are £30

Given in each case we pay £30 of this to the Sports Club where we play (compulsory membership) there is a potential issue

The 4 of us who pay £45 have a wide range of income (in one case lower I guess than at least 1 of our retired members) and a wide range of utilisation of club services (i.e. 2 don't play club championship, 1 doesn't play matches)

If people aren't prepared to pay £1 per week to play, what else can they get for their money?
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Sean Hewitt

Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:17 am

At my club in Leicestershire everyone paid the full whack. However, for those that needed to (and that discretion was left to the players themselves) they could pay the sub in 3 monthly installments. That seemed to make the payments more manageable.
Last edited by Sean Hewitt on Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:52 am

Paul Buswell wrote:Our Club sub is now £55 p.a. for local residents, which can be hard to find for those living on low incomes, even more so for those living in residential care.
You need to be aware as well, that the ECF, which indirectly collects between £ 5 and £ 10 of that, has outlined plans to increase the cost per individual to £ 18, thereby asking for between £ 8 and £ 13 more. As they also outline that this becomes the ECF's only funding source, individual club members will have to bear all future increases in the ECF's costs. It might not all be bad news for Hastings, the Congress may no longer pay anything to the ECF whilst those required to become ECF members to gain or retain their FIDE ratings may see a price cut from £ 25 (next year £27) to £ 18.

Brendan O'Gorman
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:22 am

Mick Norris wrote:At Bury, the subs are £45 for employed members and £35 for retired, unemployed

[some text deleted]

The 4 of us who pay £45 .... [more text deleted]
What a grim statistic!

If you haven't done so already, it might be time to revisit the notion that being retired means being poor. We have been living through a golden age of pensions and, although we're now leaving it with the wholesale withdrawal of final salary schemes, many pensioners today are relatively well off. You could still offer concessions to those on means tested Pension Credit. If such a change proved unacceptable, you might perhaps start the ball rolling by denying the concession to those retiring after a certain future date.

Andrew Farthing
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Andrew Farthing » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:51 am

At my club in Worcester, we offer a concessionary rate for the "unwaged" (juniors, unemployed, retired) which is one third below the standard rate. In practice, several retired members choose to pay the full rate (and a couple even pay extra, by way of a donation) in order to support the club.

At our latest AGM, we introduced a tiered rate based on the number of league teams for which the individual played more than once in the preceding season. The rates are:

STANDARD (CONCESSIONARY)
0 teams - £35 (£23)
1 team - £39 (£27)
2 teams - £43 (£31)
3 teams - £47 (£35)

We don't have match fees.

matt_ward
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by matt_ward » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:30 pm

Paul- Well your lucky your not around the southern area playing chess.

I am employed, but my membership is £95 a year!

Andrew your prices don't really seem to correlate. I just wonder how long it will be until around my area prices saw to a outrageous £100 a year; the problem appears Surrey is a affluent area so people do not tend to complain about how expensive it is and just pay.

Andrew Farthing
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Andrew Farthing » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:03 pm

matt_ward wrote:Andrew your prices don't really seem to correlate. I just wonder how long it will be until around my area prices saw to a outrageous £100 a year; the problem appears Surrey is a affluent area so people do not tend to complain about how expensive it is and just pay.
We're lucky to have the use of a church hall, for which we pay only a very low rent.

The cost of premises is a big factor. One of the other clubs in Worcestershire has a subscription of only £10 (plus match fees), because they play in a working men's club, which doesn't charge them for use of the room. On the other hand, another Worcestershire club has to pay much more than we do and their full subscription rate is pretty close to the figure you're paying.

matt_ward
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by matt_ward » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:42 pm

But I accept the price I have to play, because I am passionate about the game.

Matt.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Adam Raoof » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:38 pm

The cost of a venue is definitely a major factor at Hendon Chess Club.

Our subs are renewed each year in October. It will cost you £60 to join, but £55 if you pay promptly. Students/Unemployed/Juniors pay £40/£35. There are no concessions for seniors as so many of our members would qualify! However it could be argued that this sub level is already a concession, as our 50-odd members don't quite pay for the running of the club - it may be that we need to increase subs by about £5. The main reason for paying a full sub is to play in the Middlesex League which starts in October, and now we have four teams in that League we may persuade newer members to renew at full price next season in order to play.

After Christmas you pay pro-rata for your membership based on the number of months left until the new sub is due.

Summer Membership Fees (from May to end of September) are to encourage people to come and play in our club championships = £25/£15
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Alan Burke » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:19 pm

When compared to other social activities, is chess really an expensive activity or have chess players just been used to having good value for money for pursuing their chosen hobby ?

I picked a few sports clubs (totally at random) and have listed their membership/game fees...

Exeter snooker club : £12pa membership but £5 per hour table fee

Guildford 10-pin bowling club : £27pa membership but £5.50 per game

Knowle lawn tennis club : £165pa membership (£34pa for under 17)

Ruislip cricket club : £70pa membership (£45pa for juniors)

Maccabi bridge club : £40pa membership but £3 per game

Elgin golf club : £420pa membership down to £70pa for 8-11 year olds)

Mick Norris
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:52 pm

Brendan O'Gorman wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:At Bury, the subs are £45 for employed members and £35 for retired, unemployed

[some text deleted]

The 4 of us who pay £45 .... [more text deleted]
What a grim statistic!

If you haven't done so already, it might be time to revisit the notion that being retired means being poor. We have been living through a golden age of pensions and, although we're now leaving it with the wholesale withdrawal of final salary schemes, many pensioners today are relatively well off. You could still offer concessions to those on means tested Pension Credit. If such a change proved unacceptable, you might perhaps start the ball rolling by denying the concession to those retiring after a certain future date.
Brendan

2 of the 4 are an actuary and a pension consultant, we don't need to be told :wink:

I think retired members who have been in the club for years (50 in some cases) you can argue have more than paid their bit, and I wouldn't want to embarrass anyone into disclosing their means tested status
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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Sebastian Stone
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Sebastian Stone » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:47 pm

Alan Burke wrote:When compared to other social activities, is chess really an expensive activity or have chess players just been used to having good value for money for pursuing their chosen hobby ?

I picked a few sports clubs (totally at random) and have listed their membership/game fees...

Exeter snooker club : £12pa membership but £5 per hour table fee

Guildford 10-pin bowling club : £27pa membership but £5.50 per game

Knowle lawn tennis club : £165pa membership (£34pa for under 17)

Ruislip cricket club : £70pa membership (£45pa for juniors)

Maccabi bridge club : £40pa membership but £3 per game

Elgin golf club : £420pa membership down to £70pa for 8-11 year olds)
Chess, unlike most of these options does not require much space or special equipment to play.

What is clear is the bridge club is a bit of a rip off.
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Mick Norris
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:47 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Bottom line is many chess players want the game for nothing.
and the rest want to argue about it :roll:
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Subscription concessions?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:39 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.
The trouble is though, where the £ 1 per week option isn't available. If you expect a fee of £ 52 for one night's chess, you won't see many takers.

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