Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed May 15, 2019 9:55 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:04 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:01 pm
And I'll add that I am yet to see one positive proposal as to how ECF members' money should be spent.
It's already spoken for to finance the Office and International teams.
The proposal was to cap the amount of member's money spent on international teams at a certain amount. The question of how the money saved should be reinvested remains unanswered. Presumably council could vote not to spend anything on international teams at all and could also make cuts to the office. Which would again save money but how should that money then be spent?
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Michael Farthing
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed May 15, 2019 10:00 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 8:59 pm
Michael Farthing wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 8:14 pm
Equally, why is an individual gold member so obsessed to keep it secret? I'm sorry, Andrew, but you are getting very angry about a representative expecting to be told about how his constituents money is being spent and more to the point how the executive of the ECF is implementing policies determined by the sovereign body of the ECF. The essential point here is that how much it is appropriate to spend on appearance fees is not an issue of micro management but an issue of principle. We do not allocate a budget and then say, "spend it how you like". The budget should indicate not only how much money is required but also what it is required for.
I'm sorry Michael but my question was whether the bronze members Angus represents are actually asking for this information. To repeat myself I think the question of whether ECF members are being taxed to pay for international chess is a valid one. However professional chess players expect to be paid for their services and the negotiation as to what those services are worth is a confidential one. Presumably if Malcolm reverted to sending `emaciated travesties` of teams there would be outrage.

And I'm still at a loss as to why Malcolm should be hauled over the coals in the interests of scrutiny while the circumstances of Angus resigning from the board, then the governance committee, then as voting register officer is somehow irrelevant and off limits.
Angus is a representative not delegate and it's part of the responsibility to be pro-active in raising relevant questons. The silver post bag persuaded me that appearance fees is a matter that excites a goodly number of the silver membership. I suspect the bronze reaction is not dissimilar.

I'm afraid I don't see any connection between answerabiliy for actions while in office and the decision to vacate office. The last can happen for a variety of reasons, many of which may be intrinsically private and embarrassing and far more worthy of confidentiality than pay rates. I don't think that sort of personal confidentiality is involved in this case and my understanding is that there were issues of principle involved. At any rate to suggest Angus is afraid of the work indicates a lack of knowledge of his character (though, were this the reason, finding yourself unable to do the work strikes me as a good and honourable reason for resigning - if you can't do the job it is proper to say so and stop pretending).

Malcolm was not "hauled over the coals". He was asked a question, which (with some prodding) he answered - not as fully as Angus would have liked (and, for that matter, not as fully as I would have liked). Angus was assertive, but not rude, and I am not aware of any campaign against Malcolm and Mike that you have previously alluded to. If there is one it is pretty ineffective judging by the votes Malcom got at the AGM - certainly far less effective than the arbiter-organiser nexus managed a couple of years ago or the pressure on a person by the name of Farthing before that. [I'm glad that's not recurring]. The campaign against Mike Truran was even less effective : votes for "not that candidate" totalled zero.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed May 15, 2019 10:05 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:55 pm
The question of how the money saved should be reinvested remains unanswered.
The context of the motions by the Bronze, Silver and NCCU representatives was that the money should NOT be collected in the first place. So there would not have been anything to reinvest.

The Bronze representative has explained that the cap on expenditure was envisaged as applying to expenditure financed directly by the ECF. The International Director would be free to spend as much as he felt necessary on international events provided it was covered by sponsorship, patronage or donations.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed May 15, 2019 10:07 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:55 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:04 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:01 pm
And I'll add that I am yet to see one positive proposal as to how ECF members' money should be spent.
It's already spoken for to finance the Office and International teams.
The proposal was to cap the amount of member's money spent on international teams at a certain amount. The question of how the money saved should be reinvested remains unanswered. Presumably council could vote not to spend anything on international teams at all and could also make cuts to the office. Which would again save money but how should that money then be spent?
As the proposed increased membership fees for next year were not designed to cover expenditure anyway your question needs to be structured as "how should that money be used to create a loss elsewhere?"

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Paul Cooksey » Wed May 15, 2019 10:23 pm

I'm starting to think we should mirror Soheil's English Language thread with one for people to patiently explain things to Andrew. Hopefully we will get through this eventually and can get back to the substantive discussion.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed May 15, 2019 10:25 pm

Following the posts above, in particular the one from Michael Farthing, I will just make one further comment and that is that much of my approach towards Angus derives from a post on this forum directed towards Mike Truran (Jack quickly removed it but I saw it). I've been the subject of Mike's ire a few times myself but I thought he deserved better than that. However I shall draw a line at this stage.

My other point remains valid; we know what bronze and silver members don't want their money spent on but we seem to be no nearer finding out what they might like it spent on. I daresay a fair few are worried about the long term future of their club or league.
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Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed May 15, 2019 10:27 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:23 pm
I'm starting to think we should mirror Soheil's English Language thread with one for people to patiently explain things to Andrew. Hopefully we will get through this eventually and can get back to the substantive discussion.
I might be many things Paul but don't ever have the temerity to suggest I'm an idiot. I don't claim to be perfect but I like to think I devote a lot of my time on behalf of local players (and the thanks I generally receive outweighs any low opinion you have of me).
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed May 15, 2019 10:31 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:25 pm
My other point remains valid; we know what bronze and silver members don't want their money spent on but we seem to be no nearer finding out what they might like it spent on. I daresay a fair few are worried about the long term future of their club or league.
How about that the ECF finances itself as a national body by sponsorship or otherwise without demanding a tax from league and Congress players? Even better that it raises enough to be able to offer a subsidy towards the costs of venues, prizes, training etc.

(edit) What's the position on mainstream physical sports? Are those good enough or serious enough to "get on the rating list" even at a local level expected to pay for the national organisation and international teams, or is it that the national organisation can raise enough from sponsorship, TV rights etc to be able to offer subsidies to those competing seriously at a local level? (/edit)

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Paul Cooksey » Wed May 15, 2019 10:47 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:27 pm
I might be many things Paul but don't ever have the temerity to suggest I'm an idiot.
That inference is Andrew's own. The preceding few pages include a lot of posts where Andrew makes statements and Justin, Michael and Roger respond with facts already in the public domain. It is a frustration to me that a discussion of ECF matters is being derailed in this way.

Anyway:
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:04 pm
It's already spoken for to finance the Office and International teams.
is a bit of an oversimplification in my view. I think the split is roughly 20% international teams/ 60% administration/ 20% other things.

Probably less true that it used to be to say that the administration is entirely the office, with some of the financial functions now outsourced. I thought Brian made an interesting point earlier that I wanted to respond to before we got distracted.
Brian Valentine wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 5:19 pm
My main criticism of the table produced at Council and repeated here is that the membership get substantial benefit from all the voluntary work put in. In seems to be a rather narrow interpretation of costs to exclude these. If anyone thinks Tim or the rest of us are being inefficient then evaluate the benefits rather than the perspiration, but don't ignore it.
The way that David Eustace justified the administration spend when I asked was it was a necessary cost to have an ECF, so there is a vehicle to support the volunteering Brian is talking about. Grading is a core function largely done by volunteers.But I remain unconvinced this is the minimum cost base.

This is not an argument against an office, but rather about what the ECF use it to do. For example I view answering questions about membership as a necessary evil, and time spent supporting the executive directors as positive. Of course I am asking the executive Directors to be accountable for the resources they use.

NickFaulks
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by NickFaulks » Thu May 16, 2019 1:36 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:25 pm
My other point remains valid; we know what bronze and silver members don't want their money spent on but we seem to be no nearer finding out what they might like it spent on.
This sentence summarises the unbridgeable gap between the two sides of this argument. Andrew's view, evidently shared by the current Board, is that their role is to squeeze as much money as possible out of English chess players, on the basis that if they don't pay up they will have to stop playing chess, and then think of ways to spend it. That is not the only way in which the ECF can be run.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu May 16, 2019 5:56 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:31 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:25 pm
My other point remains valid; we know what bronze and silver members don't want their money spent on but we seem to be no nearer finding out what they might like it spent on. I daresay a fair few are worried about the long term future of their club or league.
How about that the ECF finances itself as a national body by sponsorship or otherwise without demanding a tax from league and Congress players? Even better that it raises enough to be able to offer a subsidy towards the costs of venues, prizes, training etc.

(edit) What's the position on mainstream physical sports? Are those good enough or serious enough to "get on the rating list" even at a local level expected to pay for the national organisation and international teams, or is it that the national organisation can raise enough from sponsorship, TV rights etc to be able to offer subsidies to those competing seriously at a local level? (/edit)
Roger you miss out an essential contributor that you have always fought hard to defend from charges, namely the spectator, either through direct charge or through broadcasting rights.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by JustinHorton » Thu May 16, 2019 6:26 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:01 pm
I am not going to write at further length
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:25 pm
I will just make one further comment
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:27 pm
don't ever have the temerity to suggest I'm an idiot
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Mick Norris
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Mick Norris » Thu May 16, 2019 8:30 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:36 am
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:25 pm
My other point remains valid; we know what bronze and silver members don't want their money spent on but we seem to be no nearer finding out what they might like it spent on.
This sentence summarises the unbridgeable gap between the two sides of this argument. Andrew's view, evidently shared by the current Board, is that their role is to squeeze as much money as possible out of English chess players, on the basis that if they don't pay up they will have to stop playing chess, and then think of ways to spend it. That is not the only way in which the ECF can be run.
Yes, Bronze and Silver members may well want the ECF to not spend as much money, and thus not have to raise the membership fees at all, using the savings to boost reserves

Chess players are good at saying what they don't want, but less good at agreeing what they do want, though, so I would go for a more nuanced answer and say there will be a wide range of views
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Paul Cooksey » Thu May 16, 2019 7:05 pm

Justin is very funny when he is happening to someone else.

I hope Nick is wrong. I don't think the ECF Board really want to tax the members until the pips squeak. Not least because I don't want to end up paraphrasing Reagan in response to Kennedy. Although I do quite like "The most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the ECF and I'm here to help""

In passing chess players definitely have a range of views. But most very reluctant to criticise organisers in my experience. The narrative the ECF Board is under a barrage of abuse from members is hard to prove. But that organisers frequently fall out is very evident.

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Re: Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu May 16, 2019 10:08 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:36 am
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:25 pm
My other point remains valid; we know what bronze and silver members don't want their money spent on but we seem to be no nearer finding out what they might like it spent on.
This sentence summarises the unbridgeable gap between the two sides of this argument. Andrew's view, evidently shared by the current Board, is that their role is to squeeze as much money as possible out of English chess players, on the basis that if they don't pay up they will have to stop playing chess, and then think of ways to spend it. That is not the only way in which the ECF can be run.
Sorry Nick but I'm getting enough grief about things I've said without people putting words into my mouth. The position of the board is that a strong ECF, or indeed any ECF at all, has to be paid for. I think a strong national chess scene needs a strong national body so I agree with that argument. However if people have to pay into the ECF (including those I serve in several capacities) I want them to get value for their money.
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