ECF Office

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Post Reply
Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19079
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: ECF Office

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:32 am

Andrew Farthing wrote: In my view, the absence of a national chess federation would be as near to fatal to the long-term health of the game as makes no difference.
I don't think that would be disagreed outside of Yorkshire. The question is more subtle, it's about the value of a national federation that seems to exist mostly to spend money on existing.

Michele Clack
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:38 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Re: ECF Office

Post by Michele Clack » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:41 am

Matthew you have lost me completely. Could you explain what point/s you are trying to make please?
Are you saying that without an ECF there would be no friction amongst chessplayers and everyone would suddenly become very positive. Such that English chess would be better all round. If so on what do you base this hypothesis?
Are you also saying that the demise of the ECF is imminent in your opinion? If so it would be interesting to see all of your analysis in reaching this conclusion.

John Townsend
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: ECF Office

Post by John Townsend » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:46 am

I can't see how the E.C.F. is adding any value in the case of local chess, except that it currently handles grading, but that could be done in other ways, as we discussed the other day. On the other hand, it threatens to take a great deal out of local chess in terms of extra charges/fees.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19079
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: ECF Office

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:59 am

michele clack wrote: Are you also saying that the demise of the ECF is imminent in your opinion?
It's a hypothesis. An obvious cause of the ECF's demise is that it loses a legal action. Apart from that, it is giving up its major source of funding, namely payments from counties and leagues and trying to replace it by collecting from individuals, no matter how little they play. So if it fails to sign up the numbers it needs and attempts to collect £ 2 per head per game in respect of non-members turn out to be an illusion or a bad debt, then it doesn't have enough income. So it increases membership costs by 50% to 100% to try to plug the gap which causes events to go ungraded and individuals to decline to renew. So the ECF runs out of money. Actually though, it has a plan to raid the assets in the BCF's PIF, so if it can do this, imminent collapse will be avoided.

Matthew Turner
Posts: 3019
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: ECF Office

Post by Matthew Turner » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:06 am

Michele,
Of course not everyting would be blissfully wonderful if the ECF ceased to exist, but we would cease putting substantial resources to completely unproductive ends.
Andrew Farthing set out proposals for a membership scheme, some people supported his ideas and some people didn't, but everybody could understand them. Since then the system has got more and more complicated, nobody really understands what it is all about. When AGMs make decisions in the next month things will be clear as mud. Many AGMs are certain to make decisions that will negatively impact on the ECF's finances. I actually think it is very unlikely that the ECF will have a working membership system in place by September. So with no effective revenue raising process in place the ECF will disappear and people can get back to to playing and organising chess.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19079
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: ECF Office

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:15 am

Matthew Turner wrote: Many AGMs are certain to make decisions that will negatively impact on the ECF's finances.
They may have little choice in order to protect their own finances. Although denied by membership advocates, if you have players in a league which offers a limited number of graded games in a season, the ECF is going to be asking for a lot more money. The simple comparison is between 58p * number of games and £13 * number of players.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19079
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: ECF Office

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:49 am

Bob Clark wrote: On the other hand Leagues with mainly ecf members will be charged a lot less by the ecf.
Which is the point of course, that leagues with few members are going to be asked for more money to finance price cuts for those with lots of members. The effect on the ECF is that it's by no means certain that leagues being asked directly or indirectly for money will actually oblige. They could for example declare their league non-graded with only games between members being graded. That puts the onus on the ECF to directly convince individuals of the merits of joining the ECF.

Matthew Turner
Posts: 3019
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: ECF Office

Post by Matthew Turner » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:00 pm

Bob
Roger's point (which I don't necessarily agree with) is that the new ECF membership policy means that the players who were already members no longer need to pay game fee. You are cutting off a source of revenue from 'willing' payers. Given that the ECF needs to raise more money than before why cut off a revenue stream and won't 'less willing' payers now have to doubly stump up.

Sean Hewitt
Posts: 2190
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:18 pm
Contact:

Re: ECF Office

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:02 pm

The Stockport league AGM is in 10 days time. It is being proposed that

1) There is a limit of 3, 4 or 5 games (actual number to be voted on) per season by each non ECF member, charged at £2 per game to the club
2) League fees are reduced from £48 to £7 per team as the league will not have to pay game fee

There does not appear to have been any wailing in response to the agenda yet, although the deadline for amendments is not until Thursday. I'll let you know what happens.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19079
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: ECF Office

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:25 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: 1) There is a limit of 3, 4 or 5 games (actual number to be voted on) per season by each non ECF member, charged at £2 per game to the club
What happens when the 5 game limit is exceeded? Defaulted games? Your treasurer has to be able to inspect the league results, extract games played by non-members and bill clubs accordingly. You will or may get problems when the ECF bills you for a different amount.

That type of rule is an example of where a league will adopt rules which restrict participation. It's not necessarily wrong, but it goes against the ethos if previously the organisation did what it could to encourage the maximum number of participants. Clubs might react to the £ 2 charge by imposing more stringent internal rules.

It's a very logical consequence of the ECF's scheme that universal membership restricts participation and one of the reasons why the ECF's scheme was opposed by 30% of Council.
Sean Hewitt wrote: 2) League fees are reduced from £48 to £7 per team as the league will not have to pay game fee
So clubs will save £ 41 per team, enough to pay for three and bit memberships. The club AGM will have to decide whether to include ECF membership in the sub, but isn't the cost of taking part in the league going to increase for most players? Again not necessarily wrong, but not a prominent message in the voices advocating the ECF's scheme.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19079
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: ECF Office

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:46 pm

Bob Clark wrote: A league with lots of members means that all these members have already paid their money to the ECF
Lets try the two extremes. Assume a league of twelve teams with six boards per team playing a single round competition.

You need a minimum of 12*6 = 72 players to take part and these will play 11*6 *12 = 792 games.

Under the existing Game Fee rules, both pay the same ie 792 * 0.58 = £ 459.36.

In the league with 100% prior membership (ie members now), the Game Fee cost reduces to zero. Under the new scheme the league with no current members faces a minimum bill of 12 * 72 = £ 864

So the ECF says good bye to income of £ 919.28 from the two leagues and hello to income of £ 864, all from the previously non-member league. Obviously if there are more than 72 players in the league, it gets proportionately more. So the previously non-member league is being expected directly or indirectly to find at least £ 400 more whilst the league of "Gold" members saves £ 460.

I don't know if it will make it to the agenda, but locally the proposition that existing members should be asked to forgo their implicit Game Fee rebate in the interests of enabling the League to continue to offer participation without strings attached has some support. As the analysis suggests, you may need around 50% Gold membership to make the numbers balance. Instead of two independent leagues, just think of them as division one and two of the same league where the top division consists almost entirely of 4NCL and other international players.

Ian Thompson
Posts: 2582
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: ECF Office

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:08 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:isn't the cost of taking part in the league going to increase for most players?
For Surrey Border League players, no. My calculations are:

Last year the players paid more than £3697 (*) to the ECF (membership fees + league games fees).

Next year they will pay:

a) £3268 if everyone maintains their current member/non-member status and non-members pay £2 game fee per game.
b) £2834 if everyone chooses the cheapest option for them (i.e. they become a member if they play more than 6 games per year).

If everyone chooses the cheapest option for them, 226 players will be better off, 1 will see no change and 22 will be worse off.

(*) This figure is too low, but it's impossible for me to determine by how much. Members will have paid game fees in leagues other than the Surrey Border League, but been exempt on congress games. The grading database doesn't give me this information.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19079
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: ECF Office

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:27 pm

Ian Thompson wrote: Last year the players paid more than £3697 (*) to the ECF (membership fees + league games fees).

Next year they will pay:

a) £3268 if everyone maintains their current member/non-member status and non-members pay £2 game fee per game.
b) £2834 if everyone chooses the cheapest option for them (i.e. they become a member if they play more than 6 games per year).
.
I'm guessing that you are including in the £ 3697 multiple instances of £ 27 per head for all the local 4NCL players. These will obviously be potential gainers from the removal of League Game Fee. The "pay more" applies to those who only take part in the one local league who generally speaking are being expected to join the ECF for the first time at a cost which exceeds what the local league can pass back to clubs by way of entry fee rebates.

But it's an interesting analysis. If in aggregate the Border league players get reduced costs, where are the increased costs? MO players will have to pay more to take part in Congresses and international events and we've already seen a near revolt on costs by Junior organisations. Rural areas with just the one local league and a handful of Direct Members would be another.

Paul Cooksey

Re: ECF Office

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:56 pm

Ian's analysis is interesting, but I really feel the last couple of pages would have been better in the "How the ECF is Funded" thread.

I might start a separate thread on ECF expenditure. Or I might just give up. It is at times like this that setting up a no comments blog is appealing.

Mike Truran
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: ECF Office

Post by Mike Truran » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:06 pm

Paul

I suggest the latter, on the basis that just about every thread concerning the ECF is regularly hijacked by the usual suspect in order to bang on relentlessly about his particular hobbyhorse.

Post Reply