ECF Membership - The proposal

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Sean Hewitt

ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:17 pm

So we now have the first draft of the proposal

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-conte ... n-2011.doc

Whilst being embarrassing for those that have considered and rejected a proposal that had not actually been made this does seem, to me, to deal with all the objections that I have heard. No doubt there will need to be some tweaking but I hope that this is a broad formula that the majority can get behind.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:31 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:No doubt there will need to be some tweaking but I hope that this is a broad formula that the majority can get behind
Headlines

£ 19 extra to play in a Congress if you live in England and are not a club member.
£ 13 to play a single league game and retain your grade.

I don't think the ECF have been listening.

The basic objection to charged per head membership is that it creates a barrier. You force a choice, do you pay up or go elsewhere? Season ticket prices for a single journey remains the headline.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Adam Raoof » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:35 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:I don't think the ECF have been listening.
Of course they have been listening, which is why you have a choice - vote for Option 2!

Sean Hewitt

Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:38 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:I don't think the ECF have been listening.
Of course they have been listening, which is why you have a choice - vote for Option 2!
Adam - I'm not sure that I understand you. Has that vote not taken place already, with Option 1 defeating Option 2.

Aren't we now trying to agree the details of what Option 1 will look like.

David Sedgwick
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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:44 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:I don't think the ECF have been listening.
Of course they have been listening, which is why you have a choice - vote for Option 2!
Adam - I'm not sure that I understand you. Has that vote not taken place already, with Option 1 defeating Option 2.

Aren't we now trying to agree the details of what Option 1 will look like.
That was my recation as well. I can't find any options in the new document.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:49 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: Aren't we now trying to agree the details of what Option 1 will look like.
That's what I thought as well. It will be possible for Council to reject all the Board's proposals thereby retaining Game Fee. If they don't then county or league AGMs, or individual players, might do it for them by declining their invitations to become ECF members or require membership as a condition of playing.

Isn't a key feature of Option 1 that there is next to no element of pay by event? The one that was there, namely £ 6 per non-member per Congress has been removed. So membership models like the YHA or pricing models like Oyster cards are irrelevant as examples.

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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:51 pm

I'm unclear about what has happened to the suggestion to pay a 10% commission on all subscriptions.

That struck me as one of the less desirable features of the original proposal. If the ECF needs £16.20, it should charge £16.20, not charge £18 and give 10% of it straight back. The headline rate is important.

Turning to the latest proposals, the figures of £13, £19 and £25 still look a bit on the high side to me. I'd be distinctly happier with £12, £17 and £22, if that were achievable by scrapping the commission payment.

Mike Gunn
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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Mike Gunn » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:51 pm

But the point is: if option 1 (or if you prefer: the current proposal) isn't passed we are effectively back to option 2.

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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:56 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:Turning to the latest proposals, the figures of £13, £19 and £25 still look a bit on the high side to me. I'd be distinctly happier with £12, £17 and £22, if that were achievable by scrapping the commission payment.
I think the quoted prices have a potentially wide variance, depending on the take-up rate. I guess it could be conservative to start with, and then put the price up, or high with the intention of bringing it down with a high take-up rate.

£13 is roughly the same as basic is now, and £25 is roughly the same as full membership now. So I don't think it's that much difference from the current membership levels.

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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:59 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:But the point is: if option 1 (or if you prefer: the current proposal) isn't passed we are effectively back to option 2.
Actually, I don't think we are.

Council has mandated that the preferred funding option is a membership scheme. We need to come up with a membership scheme that gets us to 75% to change the Articles. If that requires more than one Council meeting to get to, then so be it.

If we get back to Option 2, then the majority of Council which is in favour of membership can jack the price of Game Fee up to 500p per halfresult from the current 58p. So the organisations in Council who are in favour of membership will have it if they want it.

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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:08 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:. So the organisations in Council who are in favour of membership will have it if they want it.
Are you quite sure about that? The local Yorkshire leagues are examples where local competitions seem to quite happily survive without the ECF.

Andrew Farthing
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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Andrew Farthing » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:17 pm

I want to stress that these are not the final proposals. They are intended to be the basis of a consultation. I'll listen to the feedback from this latest paper and formulate the final proposals in good time for the AGM.

Re the 10% commission (or discount, as it's sometimes called). I was deliberately undogmatic about this when I mentioned it in the paper. My current view is that if someone pays the ECF direct, it should be the amount without the 10%. If a local organisation does the work of collecting the memberships, I can see an argument for the 10% deduction in favour of the local organisation. That said, I understand that practice varies - some Membership Organisations (MOs) charge the 90% figure, so the individual members benefit directly; others use the funds to finance local activities. Since this could have a potentially significant effect on the finances of the local organisation, I preferred to leave scope for members to offer their views.

The figures quoted for the three membership levels are preliminary at this stage. They could be reduced if the 10% commission/discount was eliminated. They could also be reduced if we can synchronise the changes with a successful reorganisation (i.e. the charitable status plans), which would open up the possibilities of Gift Aid benefits and VAT reductions. As Alex says, take-up is also a factor. A very high take-up rate gives room for a price reduction or increased investment in English chess, whichever Council prefers.

The AGM won't be explicitly voting on "Option 1 vs Option 2" again. That was last time. If Council rejects the Membership Scheme proposals, this will leave no choice but to persist with the current arrangements, albeit at a higher price. Whether this would be the permanent solution or a period of transition to something else would depend, I suspect, on the AGM discussion and size of the votes for and against.

Under these circumstances, I imagine that there would be scope for MOs to shift to the tiered structure if they would prefer that to a flat rate of £18 for adults.

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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:20 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: Council has mandated that the preferred funding option is a membership scheme.
Can we be quite clear on this? Council have voted 55-45 in favour of schemes which abolish virtually all elements of paying by game or event. It's this principle (abolition of pay to play) which many club and county AGMs and players will find unacceptable. Another consequence of abolition of Game Fee, namely that Congresses pay nothing to the ECF but retain votes is also an unwelcome change.

So if the Board or Council try to establish a scheme which retains elements of pay to play, like for example Adam's Oyster card example, then the 45% minority might be able to live with it.

But they aren't doing this, as Andrew's letter and the recent Board reports make clear.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:42 pm

Andrew Farthing wrote: Under these circumstances, I imagine that there would be scope for MOs to shift to the tiered structure if they would prefer that to a flat rate of £18 for adults.
MOs don't pay £ 18. I think it becomes £ 13 from later this year. For at least some players, this gives them Gold benefits (access to FIDE rated events) at the Bronze price. What's more, there was still Game Fee to fall back on, so there's no ban on non-members either by price or policy. You might wonder why the whole country never signed up for this. At least one objection was the hit on the low volume player to the benefit of the high volume ones. The other was that the amounts involved wouldn't be in the £ 10 to £ 13 range, simply because it wouldn't have raised enough money.

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Re: ECF Membership - The proposal

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:57 pm

Something I noticed on the ECF homepage
The purpose of the letter is to invite members’ views
Of course a county or league AGM would express the view of the organisation which is itself a member of the ECF. The individuals attending such meetings are not necessarily members of the ECF even if the ECF wishes to compel them to become members. So why not invite views from non-members, in other words the chess playing public in general?

So the starting questions from the non-member might be : - Why do you want me to become an individual member of the ECF? Are you going to ban me from chess if I decline? Previously it was enough to play chess under the auspices of a body that was the ECF member, so why the change?

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