Personally, it is a shame that Alex's time commitments meant he had to leave the Home directorship, I personally quite admire the amount he does for English Chess. (Edit, that said, Junior seems well suited to him too)
This is one of the reasons, I don't believe in the Development Manager post, I think someone like Alex gets more new juniors involved and becoming ECF members through the events he runs in Warwickshire (and all the other events he organises and arbits), than the proposed Development Manager will achieve; and there are many people out there already (and will) make a big difference across the local chess scene, who will not be getting a bonus for contributing to the membership increase, but the Development Manager would somehow be attributed this credit.
Roger de Coverly wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:59 pm
Tim Wall wrote:
At the time, I was essentially arguing for the creation of the post of Development Officer, but since the post of Director of Home Chess will become vacant in October, it makes sense for me to aim to carry out the plans put forward in that paper from the Board. If that means that someone else is employed by the ECF to carry out the Development Plan reporting to the Director of Home Chess, that's fine by me.
I shall endeavour to inquire whether Tim Wall intends to stand by this Development Officer role in the context of the current ECF proposals. Whilst Tim and I agreed on the issue of the Bronze and Silver merger, a poorly justified case for membership fees increase is more long term damaging, if members feel they do not get value for money.
The ECF funding structure relies on the not-very-good chess player (like myself) in the 80-120 region that could happily spend their money elsewhere, not play in leagues, and just do online chess only. Even at Warwick University, we know far more people play online chess, simply by walking through the Maths Department, or Engineering, or the Library, but do not join the Chess Society which is £3 membership (plus £19 to the Student Union).
The ECF needs to recognise that as online chess (whether chess.com or lichess) is the go-to thing for young people, people have more freedom about how they play chess without even leaving their house than ever before - with free analysis on these websites to even help them improve; the ECF does not have a monopoly on chess. If it wishes to keep this near-monopoly (which I believe that chess should benefit from, and have, a helpful national organisation for people to turn to for events, tournaments, etc), then it must always think about whether it is delivering value for money.
Andrew Zigmond wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:49 pm
I'm sorry Hok but I have to disagree. I don't consider the paper to be irresponsible. Slightly overambitious perhaps but for the first time the ECF is focusing on the area that most needs attention; attracting new players to the game. I hate disagreeing with you as I see you as one of the new generation of chess visionaries that the English game needs (Peter Hornsby is another example). This is completely different to some contributors to this forum (three in particular) who are negative about everything the ECF does without offering anything positive or constructive of their own.
When the late Martin Regan was reflecting on his (ultimately unsuccessful) stint as CEO he made an interesting comment. Upon being elected to the role he spoke to as many players as he could make contact with and asked the question, `What do you want the ECF to be?` Once he had a consensus he would try to make that happen but he would also need to tell them how much it would cost. If they weren't prepared to pay for it there was nothing he could do. I didn't agree with Martin Regan on everything but he was (literally) bang on the money with that one.
The ECF will always be the umbrella rather than the person clutching it. They will provide the overall strategy and structure. People like you and me on the ground will have to do our own thing and adjust accordingly to local issues (our main disagreement seems to be whether ECF membership is a disincentive or not). But hopefully we will soon have an overall strategy to be part of rather than working in a vacuum.
Sponsorship; whether we like it or not there are only two people in English chess who have the ability to pull in the big corporate money we need. Even the most generous assessment of one of them suggests he is a maverick who doesn't work well within the ECF. That leaves us with Malcolm Pein; the man who has negotiated the sponsorship with Capital Developments that has given the British championship a shot in the arm. Malcolm has been distracted by his international ambitions lately but I'm sure he will continue to seek a sponsor for the national teams. If he can't do it - who can? And I don't think it's simply a case of local sponsorship being magnified on a national scale. There are many local organisations who are happy to give community grants. For a big corporation there is no real return on sponsoring chess so a five figure philanthropic donation is all we can expect.
I respect your opinion on it, and yes, I agree that our disagreement is on whether it is a disincentive or not.
If members aren't willing to play, we can not simply just raise fees, and hope all will be ok! If members don't then, we need to scale back things that don't deliver immediate value to them.
If we can't draw sponsorship for some of the projects than benefits fewer members, than we simply can't fund it as much of it.
When Warwick didn't have sponsorship, we only sent 4 teams to BUCA, but when we had sponsorship, we sent 6-7 Teams (this and last year).
I have been lead to believe that we do not just cover expenses for the Olympiad team(travel, branded clothing, food) but in fact, the top players get paid, £36,000 direct spend plus £13,500 on additional expenditure for the Olympiad seems excessive as a lump sum. We certainly don't get a breakdown of that - it would be wrong of me to vote for an increase of this already opaque figure..
Angus French wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:01 pm
Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:46 pm
if that someone [the Development Manager] somehow hits the 500 new members a year target
Challenges for English Chess paper wrote:... the bonus and expenses will be covered by the ECF via the increases in membership growth for the first year of membership over and above the current growth plans of 500 per annum over the next three years.
As it read, the Development Manager won't get paid a bonus or expenses unless the growth in membership is above a net 500 new members a year. To achieve the maximum bonus (of £5K) and payment for expenses (also of £5K) I guess the growth in new members would have to be something like a 1000 a year.
Indeed, my criticism in the first post was that even if the target is hit, it is irresponsible for the 5 reasons I gave. And if we don't hit the target, we may find that the ECF will struggle to break even!
Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:59 am
Having individual bonuses linked to a non-deterministic performance indicator is outright thoughtless
Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:59 am
- The idea that new membership growth can be attributed to just one individual is as simplistic as it is wrong
- It is irresponsible, because the bonus payments will formally mis-attribute credit of future membership growth, to one individual, instead of the collective achievement of the Board and other officers. This type of idea would be thrown out at conception in any other organisation.
- Not only is it irresponsible for actively mis-attributing credit of people's work - by singling out responsibility for membership growth to one individual, will over time lead to other Directors being more likely to defer to the Development Manager on any growth-related issues. But, this is precisely one of the few topics which requires collective thought/discussion/action/responsibility from the Board, not a one-person job.
- It is also irresponsible, because it gives the impression to Leagues across the country that you need to throw money to pay for a Development Manager to drive growth. Most League do not have this money for such a post, but if the ECF gives this impression, it will unwittingly encourage inaction, where Leagues simply keenly await further instruction from the ECF. What Leagues need is grassroots initiatives appropriate for their local area, [editted] not to await the ECF's new manager to generate a new wave of members
- The biggest issue with this proposal is not the money, but the unintended consequence where it implicitly encourages people, clubs, and Leagues off-load creative thinking on membership growth to the ECF's Development Manager, which is outright bonkers
- The job description of the role is also vauge, if the Board knew of the job should entail, they would've said, we want someone to do (A) (B)
and (C), instead, we are engaged in wishful thinking, gambling that some individual with the right ideas will appear.