ECF Directors

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Chris Majer
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ECF Directors

Post by Chris Majer » Fri May 02, 2008 9:22 pm

By now you should have seen the announcement on the ECF website regarding the proposal to invite me to assume the role of Chief Executive and to invite applications for the other three vacant directorates. My intention in offering my assistance as Chief Executive is to keep the ECF running until October. I do not intend to offer myself for re-election, instead I hope that the breathing space thus obtained will give the ECF the time to find the right person to take us forward. As an immediate priority, I will work with the existing and ex-Board members to fill the gaps and to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities. Thereafter I can concentrate on ensuring that all the key ECF projects remain on track. The ECF has faced its fair share of crises before, and once we have a full team in place we can again move forward.


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Charles W. Wood
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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Charles W. Wood » Sat May 03, 2008 11:39 am

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Please note: The 'right people' to help the ECF move forward resigned this week! Regretfull that they did not stick it out but faced with the obvious what choice was there.

You are to be congratulated for stepping in until October. One can only hope that business can be kept ticking over until October. A week is a long time in politics well 5 months is a very long time by comparison.

I and others are bound to ask are the 'right people' those who will fall in line with the minority who hold the real power. Will we end up with a CEO akin to Alistair Darling who knows the real chancellor is Gordon Brown. ....... Hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil thats what cliques do in respect of each other.
So you think the only 4 people on the planet that can be described as the "Right people" resign last week and everyone else are puppets that follow Gerry. Hmmm are you in a home being looked after, do you need a nap, is it time for your medicine. You say in one thread that you are not anti this or pro that, and you don't folow camps. Then you troll this thread and put that complete rubbish on here showing us all your blind loyalty.

I can feel a third way coming, so here it goes if you are NOT in the Gerry camp or in the Martin camp (or any camp for that matter) but you have ideas and/or an opinion about the ECF's future, please get in touch. October is going to be interesting.

Well done Chris for filling the gap. :D
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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Charles W. Wood » Sat May 03, 2008 12:23 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Charles read what I said. I did not fall into Martins 'camp' as he will tell you we have exchanged some strong views. Likewise I have for decades sang the praises of Gerry when he was organising events in the north , a top organiser,arbiter and chess enthusiast and I would have a 'conversation' with anyone that says he did not do a top job in those fields.

I have known him a lot longer than you Charles(I am 61 years) and have followed his chess activites since the late 1960's. He was a dynamo on two legs and there is not doubt that I and many other chess players in the north east would not have had some splendid evenings/weekends of chess if it had not been for him. There is a time however when everyone reaches a sell by date ; in the CCA Gerry is highly regarded by a lot of people but that did not stop them voting him out of the Chair by a very large majority in 2006. The following year he resigned as president.

Gerry is not however a business man whereas Martin Regan most certainly is and the ECF is a business, like it or not thats the reality. The Chief Exectuitve Officer needs to be someone with business acumin and prepared to do whatever is needed to turn the ECF around. If that means treading on toes and sweeping away the old guard whose loyalty to the President is to be applauded ,albeit in my opinion misplaced, then so be it thats what has to happen.

Charles you and some others are posting messages on this forum in a way that is obviously designed to divert people away from the fundemental issues resulting in the resignations and alluded to in Martin regans resignation message.

BTW asking if I live in a home and take medication is the language of those who have lost the argument. Please treat me with the same respect as I have treated you, I have not in any post been personal. Difference of opinion fine even if its strong but leave out the personal stuff.
In my opinion you insulted every single person in the ECF by pointing out that there are only 4 "Good People" and evryone else are Gerry followers. I don't think I have ever blindly followed any and I know many people have read your post the same way. Respect is earned. Insulting everyone first takes it away.

I kinda like Martin too because of his business skills.

As for ditracting from the subject, your the one running round screaming that the world is going to end, I have put a huge post on here outlining options, points of view. Giving balanced reasoning to leveled debate. While you keep trying to make the debate on whether people are Gerry or Martin camped, when the big issue is how do we move forward and work together. I don't care about the camps and feel quite strongly that all camped people should not even apply fr the board. Thanks in no small part to you.
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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Administrator » Sat May 03, 2008 1:41 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:we will just have to disagree. Just keep the exchanges to substance not personalties please. BTW can you please explain your comment regarding me taking my medicine- whats that about?
I did take it in a more sarcastic tone to be honest but with your strong comments Ernie some strong replies are also possible

But please Charles (and everyone) keep to the point
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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Charles W. Wood » Sat May 03, 2008 2:49 pm

Administrator wrote:
Ernie Lazenby wrote:we will just have to disagree. Just keep the exchanges to substance not personalties please. BTW can you please explain your comment regarding me taking my medicine- whats that about?
I did take it in a more sarcastic tone to be honest but with your strong comments Ernie some strong replies are also possible

But please Charles (and everyone) keep to the point
Sorry about delaying the reply I was outtesting some Autistic Children on the Bronze Award. Some good passes so I very very happy.

Mod is right it was a cheap stab saying that you need something to calm you down a little, it was out of order so I truly apologise.

But the point I was trying to make is on the Abi (Liaison Officer Resigning) Thread. We have a massive change we need to get through and the choices are hard and needed. I'd love to know which options you go for and which variations?
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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Charles W. Wood » Sat May 03, 2008 3:19 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Apology accepted we move on.
Ernie

OK, Thank you. Will you now go check out the post and see what you think, add and take away as you see fit. It would be interesting to see if we who fought can now come up with a plan going forward. In others words I'd like to see how you would go forward and to see if I can be open minded enough to see your point of view. :D
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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Charles W. Wood » Sat May 03, 2008 7:18 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:I am sorry Charles but I dont think I can offer anything on the basis I honestly believe, like the recently retired CEO , that there will always be a stumbling block to real radical changes . I believe that the ECF must have one member one vote.

I respect your ideas but the real problems, the ones some people deny exist, and the ones Martin Regan wanted to address are simply not going to be solved under the current system.

The board/council system with block votes is there to be used to an individuals advantage and its impossible to deterime who people are actually representing.

I applaud anyone that offers detailed suggestions but regretfully under the present system I fear that they will remain suggestions.

At some stage we may have a radical change in the way the ECF is structered ; maybe then I would be minded to offer some practical suggestions as what the ECF can do for the grass root chess players. My prime concern is the CCA and to make sure the members get the best deal possible for their money and if that means the ECF gets less from us then so be it I wont loose any sleep.

Regretfully we will have to go our different ways Charles. I do recognise your enthusiasm.
I do agree that Martin did what I believe to be the most interesting addressment of the most difficult issue to come to the ECF for years. As I have said I have no problem with either Gerry or Martin but until this last week I did realise that "Camps" existed, its the biggest thing I hate in what should be an excepted democracy. Meaning if the masses vote for it then thats excepted by all. But that would require the one thing we do agree on, OMOV. We need OMOV to make a platform that stops the "Camps" system supported by block voting.

I know in Bradford 50% want to have a payment go to the ECF, of that they are split 50/50 over game fee and/or membership. I'm sure many other people are have very similar splits. OMOV would give the masses a chance the help rebuild the NEW ECF.

As a suggestion I would put forward something like what I have put forward and have a meeting in each of the Unions or counties to get as many votes as possible for both members and non members, after all this is a chess issue not just a member issue.
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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Neil Graham » Sat May 03, 2008 10:22 pm

I have spent the best part of the last seven days reading all the contributions to the various threads since the resignation of Martin Regan and other directors last weekend. Many of the comments have been thought provoking whilst others have shown ignorance of the way the Federation works and a few have been recklessly cynical. The Atticus website has also covered the breakdown in the Federation in some detail.

Having been a BCF Board member as delegate for the MCCU for 15 years or so and following that as a BCF Director for seven years, this is as bad a crisis as I can recall.

During that time the chances of a contested election were about nil. The situation is, I guess, about the same now. All the ECF Directors are voluntary and unpaid - the preponderance of retired people as Directors reflects the fact that trying to hold down full time employment as well as being an active ECF Director is virtually impossible. Before people start sounding off about who is right or wrong for the job, they might like to consider whether they'd do the job themselves. There have never been queues of people waiting to be ECF (or BCF) Directors. Gerry Walsh has come in for a deal of criticism on this forum. Gerry has been in office as either Chairman or President for the past nine years without a challenge at Council. There are plenty of people who are ready to stand up and criticise any or all of the ECF's Officers. Indeed I raised concerns on this forum about the running of the Counties Championship. However there are very few people who will take on the challenge of being an ECF Director.



On another totally unconnected matter, Charles has been talking about chess in Yorkshire. Yorkshire is totally devolved from the ECF; it's constituent Leagues pay nothing to the Federation and because of year-by-year increase to Game Fee it is extremely unlikely that those Leagues will ever affiliate.

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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Carl Hibbard » Sat May 03, 2008 10:29 pm

Is it time then to consider paying people a full salary for their services?

This gives them time to better focus on the job in hand without being distracted?

:roll: worth a thought?
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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Nigel Wright » Sat May 03, 2008 11:25 pm

Hmmm, me thinks Carl is after some dosh too... :wink:
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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Carl Hibbard » Sun May 04, 2008 6:08 am

Nigel Wright wrote:Hmmm, me thinks Carl is after some dosh too... :wink:
Always :oops:

I was thinking more the board generally in order to move things forward in a more professional manner

It needs OMOV first though...
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Re: ECF Directors

Post by John Philpott » Sun May 04, 2008 9:11 am

Neil Graham's comment about the chances of a contested election during his time on the Board being approximately nil was a tad exaggerated. There have been occasional contests to relieve the monotony - I can remember among others Alan Martin v Bruce Birchall for President, Stewart Reuben v Nigel Johnson for Chairman and a four way contest for Junior Director. Even Gerry Walsh has not been immune from challenge, as he had to survive a challenge from Brian Driscoll in 2006. Nevertheless Neil's general point is well made. I regard contested elections as (generally speaking) a sign of health and there have been too few of these over the years.

However, this is not a problem confined to the ECF. If I consider the other chess organisations with which I have a close involvement - Wanstead & Woodford Chess Club, Insurance Chess Club, Friends of Chess, Essex Chess Association and the SCCU - I very much suspect that between these there will have been fewer contested elections than we have seen with the BCF/ECF. The majority of chess players want to play and leave others to do the organising, hence there is an ongoing problem of ensuring that all posts, whether elected or appointed, are filled and endless recycling of the "usual suspects" to ensure that activities are maintained. If this is indeed the situation at the grass roots level (and it may of course be that matters are different in other parts of the country) it is not altogether surprising that it is mirrored in the national body.

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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun May 04, 2008 9:25 am

I was thinking more the board generally in order to move things forward in a more professional manner

It doesn't have to be a bad idea but it has been partly tried before.

Many years ago there was an official called "General Secretary". The responsibilities of this post were similar to those of todays CEO. The post holder was expected to be a chess player. Historically this was an amateur unpaid post. In the seventies the BCF obtained some government funding. One of the stipulations was that a permanent office should be set up and therefore the General Secretary turned professional. I can recall at least two incumbents. One was Paul Buswell now of Hastings. The other was Graham Lee now of Oakham school. Graham didn't last long as he found the rest of the BCF difficult to work with. (Do times change?) After Graham, the ECF appointed non-players just as the office manager with no input to "chess" policy. First Grete White and now Cynthia Gurney.

This is from memory rather than research so apologies to Paul and Graham if the details are slightly incorrect.

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Re: ECF Directors

Post by Charles W. Wood » Sun May 04, 2008 2:14 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:I was thinking more the board generally in order to move things forward in a more professional manner

It doesn't have to be a bad idea but it has been partly tried before.

Many years ago there was an official called "General Secretary". The responsibilities of this post were similar to those of todays CEO. The post holder was expected to be a chess player. Historically this was an amateur unpaid post. In the seventies the BCF obtained some government funding. One of the stipulations was that a permanent office should be set up and therefore the General Secretary turned professional. I can recall at least two incumbents. One was Paul Buswell now of Hastings. The other was Graham Lee now of Oakham school. Graham didn't last long as he found the rest of the BCF difficult to work with. (Do times change?) After Graham, the ECF appointed non-players just as the office manager with no input to "chess" policy. First Grete White and now Cynthia Gurney.

This is from memory rather than research so apologies to Paul and Graham if the details are slightly incorrect.
I believe this should be a goal of the structure. After Dai's comments it does show that fresh thinking and even a job for someone who doesn't come from the chess world (maybe) to inject some fresh ideas and maybe some structure from other sporting areas such as Rugby or Football.

If it was in my hands this would be the process. The board is fill on a temperary basis, a call for an EGM after the board has been filled to establish OMOV. In October the new board is voted in on a mandate to do a full Non Member and ECF Member referendum to see were the WHOLE of the English chess world want the ECF to go as an organisation with a choice list similar (but better laid out like):

1. An ECF financed by membership only (Variations could include: ELO instead of Clarke System; Clarke System only; a central publication for all members, an email contact mag; British Championship Events, No Britsh Championship Events; an England Team both adult and junior; no England teams; just an adult professional team; just a England junior team; Olympiad events; no Olympiad events; Fund management; No fund magagement; a sponsorship fund; no sponsorship fund; control of child protection policy; control of Arbiter standards; an accredited coaching register; no control of child protection policy; no control of Arbiter standards; no accredited coaching register; congress support; no congress support; liaison with outer FIDE; no liaison with FIDE; liaison with other Home countries; no liaison with home countries; drive for contructive recognition for chess; no drive for contructive recognition for chess; liaison with other games and sports; no liaison with other games and sports; legal representation for our players abroard; no legal representation for our players abroard, etc, etc, etc, etc your voting choice on each subject, each changes the cost over time)

2. An ECF financed by Game Fee only (Variations could include: ELO instead of Clarke System; Clarke System only; a central publication for all members, an email contact mag; British Championship Events, No Britsh Championship Events; an England Team both adult and junior; no England teams; just an adult professional team; just a England junior team; Olympiad events; no Olympiad events; Fund management; No fund magagement; a sponsorship fund; no sponsorship fund; control of child protection policy; control of Arbiter standards; an accredited coaching register; no control of child protection policy; no control of Arbiter standards; no accredited coaching register; congress support; no congress support; liaison with outer FIDE; no liaison with FIDE; liaison with other Home countries; no liaison with home countries; drive for contructive recognition for chess; no drive for contructive recognition for chess; liaison with other games and sports; no liaison with other games and sports; legal representation for our players abroard; no legal representation for our players abroard, etc, etc, etc, etc your voting choice on each subject, each changes the cost over time)

3. An ECF run by a mix of both membership and game fee (Variations could include: ELO instead of Clarke System; Clarke System only; a central publication for all members, an email contact mag; British Championship Events, No Britsh Championship Events; an England Team both adult and junior; no England teams; just an adult professional team; just a England junior team; Olympiad events; no Olympiad events; Fund management; No fund magagement; a sponsorship fund; no sponsorship fund; control of child protection policy; control of Arbiter standards; an accredited coaching register; no control of child protection policy; no control of Arbiter standards; no accredited coaching register; congress support; no congress support; liaison with outer FIDE; no liaison with FIDE; liaison with other Home countries; no liaison with home countries; drive for contructive recognition for chess; no drive for contructive recognition for chess; liaison with other games and sports; no liaison with other games and sports; legal representation for our players abroard; no legal representation for our players abroard, etc, etc, etc, etc your voting choice on each subject, each changes the cost over time.

4. (I know I said 3 but minds open people) a forth way, different to the above. But the choices are the same: ELO instead of Clarke System; Clarke System only; a central publication for all members, an email contact mag; British Championship Events, No Britsh Championship Events; an England Team both adult and junior; no England teams; just an adult professional team; just a England junior team; Olympiad events; no Olympiad events; Fund management; No fund magagement; a sponsorship fund; no sponsorship fund; control of child protection policy; control of Arbiter standards; an accredited coaching register; no control of child protection policy; no control of Arbiter standards; no accredited coaching register; congress support; no congress support; liaison with outer FIDE; no liaison with FIDE; liaison with other Home countries; no liaison with home countries; drive for contructive recognition for chess; no drive for contructive recognition for chess; liaison with other games and sports; no liaison with other games and sports; legal representation for our players abroard; no legal representation for our players abroard, etc.

With every county charged will polling each person who has played chess over the last 12 months (or maybe a little more), then get a full idea of how the ECF is to be structured with a full mandate from the Chess World but with full invovlement from across the country should be enough to increase finance as this would have involved everyone.

That ten moves the ECF to be able to evaluate its finances to see if outside board members can be brought into the fold to help with a comprehnsive restructuring process that will bring a standardisation to all events and leagues (possibly) and a way to help make the link between the ECF and Congresses, and other events, stronger and have the involvement from one central body so we can have each event bein g part of the ECF rather than a seperate event.

BUT Thats just me and I run three organisations (All Ltd in some way) and feel that outside involvement is paramount as this gives a clearer view of what needs to be done without comparing with other chess organisations, with the balence of some who does understand the chess organisations.

The further down this process you go the less you can say how things would happen.
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