CAS case clarification required

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Alex McFarlane
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CAS case clarification required

Post by Alex McFarlane » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:52 pm

“The ECF Board first discussed this matter at a meeting on 26th February 2011, at the instigation of its President. Following this, I consulted with the ECF’s legal adviser, David Anderton, on the potential risks and how these could be managed. In due course, the Board decided by a majority e-mail vote on 4th March to authorise the initiation of legal action.”
Andrew Farthing on the ECForum

However the CAS report clearly states that part of the action taken by Georgia and the ECF was initiated on February 24th. (See Sec III para18). Indeed the initial required fee was paid to ensure the case proceeded.

I have asked a Non-Exec Director to investigate this apparent discrepancy. I did so on Tuesday. I have also asked two Directors if they were aware of this when making their decision. I have not received a reply giving an answer. I have not even been informed if a full investigation is taking place. The two Directors concerned have informed me that they have passed my concerns on to the rest of the Board.

It is possible that Andrew in his statement above meant that the authorisation to initiate the legal action started by CJ De Mooi was given retrospectively. However, if that is the case then why was this not made clear in Andrew’s statement? I certainly assumed, as have others that I spoke to, that no action took place prior to 4th March. It also seems totally irresponsible to initiate such action prior to obtaining legal advice.

An obvious question which I would like answered is “Did the President have the authority to initiate such a case without the prior consent of the Board?” I cannot see how this is possible but am willing to be corrected.

If the President has exceeded his authority is his position tenable?

I believe that I have given the Board sufficient time to make a statement on this matter before I went public. I think it is regrettable that they have chosen not to do so.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:43 am

Alex McFarlane wrote: However the CAS report clearly states that part of the action taken by Georgia and the ECF was initiated on February 24th. (See Sec III para18). Indeed the initial required fee was paid to ensure the case proceeded.
The ECF was a signatory to the letter of protest by the European Chess Union against the appointment of additional Vice-Presidents. That and the legal opinions underpinning is documented in the published reports of ECF Board meetings in late 2010. FIDE rejected the protest. At some time in January or February 2011, the other signatories didn't pursue the issue, leaving the Georgian and English federations isolated. Speculative of course, but it appears that sources close to the 13th world champion offered to finance a continued action in CAS.

Again speculation, but the sequence of events seems to suggest the ECF or those speaking for the ECF internationally, agreed to go to CAS with external financial support before the wider ECF Board had been consulted.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by Alex McFarlane » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:01 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:Again speculation, but the sequence of events seems to suggest the ECF or those speaking for the ECF internationally, agreed to go to CAS with external financial support before the wider ECF Board had been consulted.
I still have not heard anything so have asked John Phillpot to clarify the situation. Wouldn't it be ironic if the ECF, in attempting to prevent FIDE from breaking its statutes, did in fact break its own in the process. If the timescale reported by Andrew Farthing is correct, and I believe it to be so, someone may have been a very naughty boy.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:09 am

Alex McFarlane wrote:
I believe that I have given the Board sufficient time to make a statement on this matter before I went public. I think it is regrettable that they have chosen not to do so.
This is very bad if this can actually be proved but would explain some of the secrecy in even revealing the matter
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Carl Hibbard

Alex McFarlane
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by Alex McFarlane » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:20 am

Carl Hibbard wrote:This is very bad if this can actually be proved
The lawyers representing the ECF would have attacked the report if it contained any error of fact such as dates. Andrew Farthing states the phone vote as being competed on 4 March with him as the only vote against. My sources confirm this although there were some Directors who did not vote and perhaps one who voted late.

I do not know who initiated the CAS action but it would appear to be one or other of only two people. When CJ De Mooi raised the matter with the Board on 26 Feb did he inform the rest of the Board that legal action had already been initiated?
Surely one of the Board members who use this forum is willing to answer that question.

Ernie Lazenby

Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:52 am

If proven it's another nail in the coffin of our ghost President who's time must surely be up. If one were to be generous to him it could be said he had no relevant experience to occupy the position and thus did what he did in good faith; that said as soon as board members became aware of what he had done, be that so, they should have reigned him in.
If one is not kind his behaviour could be described as that of a loose cannon doing what he wants with no one trying to stop him. It is apparent that one other was as complicit. Who really knows?

The efforts of Andrew to try and improve the ECF with the membership scheme ought really be the start of a complete overhaul of our Federation because it's plainly not fit for purpose under the current proceedures. I repeat in any other organisation an EGM would have been held long before now however I accept in our pitiful organisation no purpose would be served.

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JustinHorton
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:30 am

Alex McFarlane wrote: Andrew Farthing states the phone vote as being competed on 4 March with him as the only vote against.
I am slightly confused here as I thought Lawrence Cooper was the only vote against.
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LawrenceCooper
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by LawrenceCooper » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:36 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Alex McFarlane wrote: Andrew Farthing states the phone vote as being competed on 4 March with him as the only vote against.
I am slightly confused here as I thought Lawrence Cooper was the only vote against.
I didn't vote against. What I took offence to was Stewart Reuben alleging I was the instigator of the action when I had no more to do with it than any other board member asked to vote yes or no. Whilst I would rather voting on confidential matters remain private, as he chose to make the matter public on here I have already stated that my vote was in favour on the condition we had a cast iron guarantee in writing that we would not be liable to any financial risk.

David Gilbert
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by David Gilbert » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:38 am

The blood feud goes on.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by Alex McFarlane » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:50 am

The blood feud goes on
David, unless you mean my sacking, it is hardly a blood feud until 'someone' falls on their sword.

Sean Hewitt tried for mediation. This was rejected by the Board. Another tried to set up a meeting between David W, Lara and myself with CJ and Adam Raoof. He too failed. Indeed Adam Raoof put conditions on the meeting but has subsequently said that the meeting would not have achieved anything. A totally negative attitude.
I think we have tried to negotiate a peace agreement. Having said that, I think the latest revelation is a totally different matter which certainly might have gone unnoticed but for the previous situation.

Keep up the good work promoting the British. As a favour to Lara I will be there as an arbiter but not the Chief Arbiter.

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JustinHorton
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:52 am

LawrenceCooper wrote:I didn't vote against. What I took offence to was Stewart Reuben alleging I was the instigator of the action when I had no more to do with it than any other board member asked to vote yes or no. Whilst I would rather voting on confidential matters remain private, as he chose to make the matter public on here I have already stated that my vote was in favour on the condition we had a cast iron guarantee in writing that we would not be liable to any financial risk.
Ah, I see I have missed this. Thanks for correcting my misapprehension.

On the clarification front, and because these issues will presumably come up:

a. am I right in understanding that the President is alleged to have committed the ECF to legal action without first seeking advice or consent from the ECF Board?*

b. is he obliged constitutionally to seek such advice or consent?

c. if the answer to b is "no" or "it is not clear", is the suggestion that it was nevertheless reckless or otherwise bad practice?

d. were other ECF Board* members aware that the case had already been initiated before their phone/email** vote?

e. has this been deliberately kept from ECF members?


[* originally, and wrongly, "Council", now corrected.]
[** which? both? Obviously this detail is not important!]
Last edited by JustinHorton on Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Alex McFarlane
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by Alex McFarlane » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:01 am

JustinHorton wrote: a. am I right in understanding that the President is alleged to have committed the ECF to legal action without first seeking advice or consent from ECF Council?

b. is he obliged constitutionally to seek such advice or consent?

c. if the answer to b is "no" or "it is not clear", is the suggestion that it was nevertheless reckless or otherwise bad practice?

d. were other ECF Council members aware that the case had already been initiated before their phone/email* vote?

e. has this been deliverately kept from ECF members?
I'm not alleging (a) I am trying to find out if that is the case or if someone else did. Ditto (b).
Again with (c) I'm trying to establish who started the legal action without seeking advice from the ECF legal adviser.
(d) yes
(e) or has it been kept from Board members. I think both are worth establishing.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:04 am

Alex McFarlane wrote:I think the latest revelation is a totally different matter which certainly might have gone unnoticed but for the previous situation.
It seems obvious enough what happened. This is early 2011 when the President did more or less what he wanted in the name of the ECF. The unusual approach to the financing of player conditions at the British is another example.

We don't know exactly what motion the Board voted on, but the sequence of events appears to indicate that if it was a vote to not withdraw from CAS action, rather than to initiate it in the first place. The material published by CAS suggests more than one submission of the case was made, so the ECF director's vote could have been before the second, even if it was after the first.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:14 am

JustinHorton wrote:ECF Council?
Do you mean Council or Board? The distinction is important as the Board are the 10 or so Directors who nominally are in charge of the ECF on a day to day basis and gave approval to the action. Council is a body which only meets twice a year and is comprised of representatives of chess organisations. This has the ultimate power in the ECF, given that it has the right to elect or not elect directors.

As far as Council is concerned, it wasn't informed of the issue at the April 2011 meeting. Nor was it informed of the ECF's involvement at the October 2011 meeting. Unofficially the delegates would have learnt about the case when Kirsan revealed it as part of the report of a FIDE Board meeting and the matter was reported in this forum and on various blogs. Officially they learnt about it at the April 2012 meeting and expressed disapproval.

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JustinHorton
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Re: CAS case clarification required

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:17 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
JustinHorton wrote:ECF Council?
Do you mean Council or Board?
I mean Board. It is past noon here, and yet I am barely awake.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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