Council Papers are out

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1743
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:15 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:48 pm
David Robertson wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:04 pm
The role requires a commitment to independent scrutiny. It's not a frigging chumocracy!
Fair point. I shall, if elected, try to suppress my normal uncritical attitude.
Nick Faulks and myself have clashed on this forum more than once but I can't see him taking an uncritical approach to the financial management of the ECF. Indeed my personal worry was that he might be too critical.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Paul Cooksey
Posts: 517
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:15 pm

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Paul Cooksey » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:26 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:25 am
There are unrelenting critics and there are also those who criticise isolated decisions sometimes with merit but the cumulative effect is perhaps missed by many people.
I have a bit of sympathy with the sentiment. But one mans accumulation of criticism is another mans polite enquiry why there are no election addresses

Personally I'm thinking through whether the position I gave the Berks AGM means I should vote against the strategy statement. Probably. If I do decide to vote against it, I will probably want to say why to influence other voters. I imagine that will be perceived as criticism. But what else can I reasonably do?

I think it would probably surprise those who have never been to an ECF council meeting how little time there is for debate in amongst the mechanics of delivering reports, voting and counting. But fortunately, having just reviewed the finance council meeting minutes, I see that I did not say anything at that meeting so I am probably in credit for this one.

J T Melsom
Posts: 595
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:43 pm

'I have a bit of sympathy with the sentiment. But one mans accumulation of criticism is another mans polite enquiry why there are no election addresses'

World's apart. A polite inquiry and suggestion/observation really isn't the same as criticism and nor is it in the same ball-park as suggesting an attempt to mislead council.

But I also have sympathy with your remarks about the conduct of business. My last meeting was not a constructive experience - one or two people were rather too fond of their own voices, often from sedentary positions, I was treated with disdain by one speaker when I raised a point on their report, and whilst Julian Clissold expected me to clearly state on more than one occasion who I was and my organisation, that requirement was not applied consistently to others. I expect you get a certain type of person at ECF meetings - whether it might be able to reform to appeal to others who would have something to offer but find the format off-putting is something for another day.

User avatar
Chris Goodall
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:40 pm
Contact:

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Chris Goodall » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:09 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:53 pm
David Robertson wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:04 pm
NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:33 am
If elected I would look forward to working closely with the Board, in particular the Finance Director, building on what I believe is already the good relationship I have with them
The role requires a commitment to independent scrutiny. It's not a frigging chumocracy!
Having a good relationship with someone isn't incompatible with examining his or her work objectively.
Finance Chairman: It says here we spent £7.50 providing decaffeinated coffee to arbiters at the British?
AE: Unfortunately yes, the arbiters were unhappy with the caffeinated coffee.
Finance Chairman: Did you invite multiple suppliers to bid for the decaffeinated coffee contract?
AE: It was felt by the organising committee that due to the time pressures involved, it was appropriate to entrust the procurement of the decaffeinated coffee to Trevor who has a Starbucks card.
Finance Chairman: You understand that a departure from the oversight framework on this scale will have to be noted in my report to Council?
AE: I can only apologise profusely, Mr Chairman.
Finance Chairman: Now Malcolm, you spent £20,000 on international teams?
MP: Yep
Finance Chairman: Any plans to tell us how you spent it?
MP: Nope
Finance Chairman: Because that would amount to wanting our national teams to fail?
MP: Yep
Finance Chairman: Okay well these accounts seem legit, although I have serious concerns about the coffee budget at the British
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Angus French
Posts: 1640
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Angus French » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:02 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:09 pm
...Finance Chairman: Now Malcolm, you spent £20,000 on international teams?...
Ah, just to say that £45K was spent on sending two five-player teams to the 2018 Olympiad in Baku with £32K of that spent on fees made up of entry fees, travel fees, hotel fees and other fees including appearance fees. Sponsorship/donations amounted to £9.5K with funding for the rest coming from ECF funds. My guess is that circa £20K was spent on appearance fees. I'd be very happy for Malcolm to correct this figure and provide a *full* breakdown of the fees figure though he's so far not accepted invitations to do so or prevaricated. See here for more information (and also ECF management accounts here). There was also discussion at April's Finance Council meeting.

Nick Grey
Posts: 1289
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:03 pm

Nick, you are brave. Best wishes. Nick

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1743
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:58 am

Angus French wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:02 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:09 pm
...Finance Chairman: Now Malcolm, you spent £20,000 on international teams?...
Ah, just to say that £45K was spent on sending two five-player teams to the 2018 Olympiad in Baku with £32K of that spent on fees made up of entry fees, travel fees, hotel fees and other fees including appearance fees. Sponsorship/donations amounted to £9.5K with funding for the rest coming from ECF funds. My guess is that circa £20K was spent on appearance fees. I'd be very happy for Malcolm to correct this figure and provide a *full* breakdown of the fees figure though he's so far not accepted invitations to do so or prevaricated. See here for more information (and also ECF management accounts here). There was also discussion at April's Finance Council meeting.
I've read Angus' bronze members report. While not wishing to repeat the exchanges we had around the finance council meeting I'd like to highlight a few points.

It is the case that when Malcolm Pein stood for International Director he set himself a performance indicator of financing the international teams solely through sponsorship and that this has not happened (that said, having reread the 2015 election statement the offer to resign referred specifically to 2016 and not beyond). The question is, if not Malcolm Pein then who else? The simple fact is that when investment for English chess is achieved it is normally done so by Malcolm and it would be foolish to oust him or demand his resignation unless there was a credible alternative.

The frustration of `ordinary members` at being taxed to pay for international teams is genuine and something I have to field when defending ECF fees at local level. At the same time I do think it is incumbent on our national body to send the strongest possible team and that professional players (of which we have ridiculously few) are within their rights to name the fee for their services. Also a corporate sponsor will look at the bigger picture and I sometimes wonder if council sees this aspect.

One suggestion I'm reluctant to make (largely because I'm sure the ECF have considered it) is whether the England teams could be crowd funded in the absence of sponsorship. 2000 supporters paying £10 each would offset the appearance fee cost and even 500 would eat into it. It also might be a model attractive to smaller sponsors who could chuck in £100 in return for an acknowledgement.

The oblique criticism of Stephen Woodhouse is unfair; some ECF board members will have higher profiles than others and from what I can see he regularly attends meetings and did a lot of work to streamline the ECf by removing moribund committees.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

John Reyes
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:51 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by John Reyes » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:03 am

Just to let you know that Me and keith have sent a silver members info out

I personally want to say Thanks you to Michael Farthing for all what he has done to the silver members and thanks you for working with me :)
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

John Reyes
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:51 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by John Reyes » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:18 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:58 am
Angus French wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:02 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:09 pm
...Finance Chairman: Now Malcolm, you spent £20,000 on international teams?...
Ah, just to say that £45K was spent on sending two five-player teams to the 2018 Olympiad in Baku with £32K of that spent on fees made up of entry fees, travel fees, hotel fees and other fees including appearance fees. Sponsorship/donations amounted to £9.5K with funding for the rest coming from ECF funds. My guess is that circa £20K was spent on appearance fees. I'd be very happy for Malcolm to correct this figure and provide a *full* breakdown of the fees figure though he's so far not accepted invitations to do so or prevaricated. See here for more information (and also ECF management accounts here). There was also discussion at April's Finance Council meeting.
I've read Angus' bronze members report. While not wishing to repeat the exchanges we had around the finance council meeting I'd like to highlight a few points.

It is the case that when Malcolm Pein stood for International Director he set himself a performance indicator of financing the international teams solely through sponsorship and that this has not happened (that said, having reread the 2015 election statement the offer to resign referred specifically to 2016 and not beyond). The question is, if not Malcolm Pein then who else? The simple fact is that when investment for English chess is achieved it is normally done so by Malcolm and it would be foolish to oust him or demand his resignation unless there was a credible alternative.

The frustration of `ordinary members` at being taxed to pay for international teams is genuine and something I have to field when defending ECF fees at local level. At the same time I do think it is incumbent on our national body to send the strongest possible team and that professional players (of which we have ridiculously few) are within their rights to name the fee for their services. Also a corporate sponsor will look at the bigger picture and I sometimes wonder if council sees this aspect.

One suggestion I'm reluctant to make (largely because I'm sure the ECF have considered it) is whether the England teams could be crowd funded in the absence of sponsorship. 2000 supporters paying £10 each would offset the appearance fee cost and even 500 would eat into it. It also might be a model attractive to smaller sponsors who could chuck in £100 in return for an acknowledgement.

The oblique criticism of Stephen Woodhouse is unfair; some ECF board members will have higher profiles than others and from what I can see he regularly attends meetings and did a lot of work to streamline the ECf by removing moribund committees.
I like the idea of Crowdfunding but you do have a good point about people standing for roles

i think that Malcolm has done a lot for International chess with the england team, but the `ordinary members` need to know that as i believe chess will become cool again like darts etc
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3653
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:28 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:58 am
One suggestion I'm reluctant to make (largely because I'm sure the ECF have considered it) is whether the England teams could be crowd funded in the absence of sponsorship. 2000 supporters paying £10 each would offset the appearance fee cost and even 500 would eat into it. It also might be a model attractive to smaller sponsors who could chuck in £100 in return for an acknowledgement.
Similar efforts have met with only limited success. The crowdfunding effort for the forthcoming Hastings Congress raised about £2000. Fortunately the Congress has found a new sponsor.

Platinum membership is largely designed for the same purpose. Perhaps that should be better promoted.

Simon Brown
Posts: 727
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:38 pm
Location: Sevenoaks, Kent, if not in Costa Calida, Spain

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Simon Brown » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:34 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:28 am

Platinum membership is largely designed for the same purpose. Perhaps that should be better promoted.
Hi David

Is it promoted at all? Your post was the first I had heard of it, though I admit I'm an infrequent visitor to the ECF website these days.

Paul Cooksey
Posts: 517
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:15 pm

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Paul Cooksey » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:48 am

I got the impression a donation to the chess trust might now be the preferred option. I did not get a reply when I asked a few years ago and downgraded to gold in high dudgeon...

Angus French
Posts: 1640
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Angus French » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:00 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:48 am
I got the impression a donation to the chess trust might now be the preferred option. I did not get a reply when I asked a few years ago and downgraded to gold in high dudgeon...
Ah, the Chess Trust is a charity and isn't able to fund professional chess.

Angus French
Posts: 1640
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Angus French » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:12 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:58 am
It is the case that when Malcolm Pein stood for International Director he set himself a performance indicator of financing the international teams solely through sponsorship and that this has not happened (that said, having reread the 2015 election statement the offer to resign referred specifically to 2016 and not beyond). The question is, if not Malcolm Pein then who else? The simple fact is that when investment for English chess is achieved it is normally done so by Malcolm and it would be foolish to oust him or demand his resignation unless there was a credible alternative.
This omits the key point that increases in expenditure on international chess from the ECF's own funds have rather exceeded what has been raised in sponsorship, donations etc.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:58 am
The oblique criticism of Stephen Woodhouse is unfair; some ECF board members will have higher profiles than others and from what I can see he regularly attends meetings and did a lot of work to streamline the ECf by removing moribund committees.
What oblique criticism? My concern, which I stated directly, is that there appears, at least to me, to be an absence of scrutiny and scrutiny is what I expect the Non-execs to do... Stephen might have submitted an election address but hasn't.
Which were the "moribund committees" that Stephen helped remove?

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1743
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:20 pm

Angus French wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:12 pm

What oblique criticism? My concern, which I stated directly, is that there appears, at least to me, to be an absence of scrutiny and scrutiny is what I expect the Non-execs to do... Stephen might have submitted an election address but hasn't.
Removing moribund committees? What committees were those?
The paragraphs on Malcolm Pein and Stephen Woodhouse appear to have the subtext `I'm not proposing to vote against these nominations but in view of the below you may want to mandate me to do so`. But I don't insist upon it.

Regarding committees cf the board minutes Friday 20th July 2018. My use of the word `moribund` was a coincidence rather than a direct quotation.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Post Reply