ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Sean Hewitt
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:41 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:Let's also not forget that 30% of Council didn't support it
Which, if my maths is correct, means that 70% did support it. According to my dictionary that's called democracy.
Roger de Coverly wrote:...the ECF is in the somewhat ridiculous position of being divided between institutional members who can get membership for free and individual members who are now expected to finance the Federation and have next to no voting rights.
The ECF is not now in this position at all. The ECF has always been in this position. Despite your protestations to the contrary, game fee is paid to the ECF by players. Institutional members merely acted as the tax collectors - whether that be by subscription, entry fee or whatever.

harrylamb
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by harrylamb » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:05 pm

The proposals to shackle Roger Edwards if elected seems wrong to me. In voting for a candidate one should consider the candidates policies and vote for or against him accordingly. I presume at the AGM the Presidential election comes before the proposal. In which case the ECF is in the rather silly position of voting on a candidate and his manifesto. Then if he is elected, being asked to vote against his policies.

The ECF will not give its members votes. Now it is trying to ban the policies of people who stand for election. No wonder we are short of candidates for board positions. Why should anyone stand for the board when the establishment tries veto their policies the very moment they are elected. My message to Roger is

Good luck Roger and do not give up your principles.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:30 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: Despite your protestations to the contrary, game fee is paid to the ECF by players. Institutional members merely acted as the tax collectors - whether that be by subscription, entry fee or whatever.
I totally disagree. Game Fee was a levy on organisations to pay for their membership of the ECF. When running an event, you have expenses such as room hire, arbiters, prizes and rating fees. You need to recover these from sponsorship, patronage, donations and entry fees. Fail to do so and the event makes a loss. You could run an event with no entry fee to the players and still have it graded. Quite clearly the Game Fee is the organisation's liability, alongside room hire, arbiter costs and prize money. Ask yourself who the ECF chases if an event doesn't pay. It's not the players.

Once upon a time, the BCF was trying to promote what was then the equivalent of Platinum membership, in other words money raising for the general benefit of the BCF. It was thought necessary to offer bells and whistles, in other words an annual grading print, a monthly printed Chess Moves, a free Year Book and diary plus the right to have games graded that were played outside the BCF. In addition the BCF wanted Congresses to offer discounts on entry fees to members. Congresses got a discount on their BCF membership costs to help them afford this. From this small start, the whole notion that Congresses should be given free membership and complimentary grading services was built.

The fact that £ 2 per head isn't a personal levy has enabled some league and counties to have a more relaxed approach to demands of membership and thereby retain some hopes of attracting new, casual and returning players.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:25 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote: Despite your protestations to the contrary, game fee is paid to the ECF by players. Institutional members merely acted as the tax collectors - whether that be by subscription, entry fee or whatever.
I totally disagree.
No! Really? :roll:

Dragoljub Sudar
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Dragoljub Sudar » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:35 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: However, the point is that that's not what Roger is suggesting. He is seeking to change the actual mechanics of the membership scheme. He is suggesting this before the scheme has even started, and in spite of what the ECF has gone through to deliver a scheme that, let's not forget, the majority of council found themselves able to support. For these reasons, Roger's proposal to re-examine the scheme at this stage is bonkers.
Regardless of who becomes the president and the CEO, I would expect the new board to perform some form of post implementaion review of both the scheme and the implementation, as only once the scheme has been put into practice can we determine how well the plans have worked out in practice.

For example, is it really necessary (or practical) to have a silver level rather than one 'domestic chess' level and one 'FIDE' level?
The board could seek reviews from organisers of September and October congresses to see whether there were problems. Leicester may well work well (entrants from my club have signed up directly as silver members) but Scarborough might see some problems as some players might assume they are bronze or silver members via their MOs but those requests may not have been processed yet, especially if the MOs don't submit their lists until mid or late October. Abolishing the silver level could simplify the administrative process.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Adam Raoof » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:58 pm

Dragoljub Sudar wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote: However, the point is that that's not what Roger is suggesting. He is seeking to change the actual mechanics of the membership scheme. He is suggesting this before the scheme has even started, and in spite of what the ECF has gone through to deliver a scheme that, let's not forget, the majority of council found themselves able to support. For these reasons, Roger's proposal to re-examine the scheme at this stage is bonkers.
Regardless of who becomes the president and the CEO, I would expect the new board to perform some form of post implementaion review of both the scheme and the implementation, as only once the scheme has been put into practice can we determine how well the plans have worked out in practice.

For example, is it really necessary (or practical) to have a silver level rather than one 'domestic chess' level and one 'FIDE' level?
The board could seek reviews from organisers of September and October congresses to see whether there were problems. Leicester may well work well (entrants from my club have signed up directly as silver members) but Scarborough might see some problems as some players might assume they are bronze or silver members via their MOs but those requests may not have been processed yet, especially if the MOs don't submit their lists until mid or late October. Abolishing the silver level could simplify the administrative process.
I agree. I think that we can really simplify the membership scheme both for players (less categories, one would do for me), and for organisers (integrated membership and grading database, we're working on it). We also need a specific scheme for Juniors, at a base level of about £5 perhaps, or £10 to cover any junior up to the age of 16, with a membership officer dedicated to getting more junior events graded, and more juniors to join up. We already have a magazine, but it really needs to refocus post-membership as the audience will probably widen enough to attract a sponsor or two.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:10 pm

Matthew Turner wrote: lists 102 supporters, but Papua New Guinea doesn't appear to be one of them.
According to New in Chess 2010#8 (letter from Rupert Jones), they abstained.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:53 pm

Adam Raoof wrote: I agree. I think that we can really simplify the membership scheme both for players (less categories, one would do for me)
This is where we were two years ago.

The fundamental problem with the single value approach is twofold
(1) at what level do you pitch it to raise the required funds to finance the office?
and more fundamentally
(2) would you insist that full membership applies even for a single game or Congress, even for visitors to England?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:00 pm

Adam Raoof wrote: We already have a magazine, but it really needs to refocus post-membership as the audience will probably widen enough to attract a sponsor or two.
I doubt the value of an electronic magazine. The delete button is not very far away, so sending out several thousand copies doesn't mean it will be read. Apart from the odd essay by the CEO, the content has almost always previously appeared on the ECF or other websites.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:37 pm

John Philpott wrote: Council rejects these ideas for the following reasons respectively:

A. The membership scheme has been introduced after extensive discussion, taking into account significant differing opinions, and the priority now is to implement the scheme successfully.

B. There are now, and will be in the future, worthwhile activities which the ECF undertakes but which are unable to be self-financing and therefore which require financial support.

C. The provision of Grading Services underpins the entire financing of the ECF. In order to maintain this it is necessary to ensure that all graded events apply the membership rules as laid down in order to be included in the grading list.

Accordingly, Council instructs the Board not to pursue these ideas.
To my mind this proposal is quite ridiculous. Roger Edwards has set out his initial thoughts on several issues and, if he is elected, it would take him time to formulate detailed proposals and submit them for Council consideration. What his address does give is an indication of what ideas he will pursue and if people don't like this ideas they should simply vote for CJ de Mooi or none of the above.

My own thought is that there are still a lot of practical problems with the membership scheme and it's only sensible that the board should review it regularly so that all the kinks can be ironed out.

Having `Grading services underpin the entire financing of the ECF` seems dangerously limited. I would like the ECF re-engage with the English chess community but pushing its own events like the Club and Counties championship and restore their prestige.
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Neil Graham
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Neil Graham » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:14 am

Neil Graham wrote:
Neil Graham wrote:I refer to a thread many months ago when John Philpott supplied useful statistics; elections will be uncontested as no-one wants the jobs in the first place. There are plenty of people who will indulge in mud-slinging and shouting "Clique" however I'm guessing now that the ECF will have great difficulty filling the posts let alone holding elections.

Of the actual Directorships (excluding Chairman and non-execs), to date three out of six are not standing for election to date. Add to that the disquiet expressed about the Marketing Director and President who have both come in for a deal of criticism on here and elsewhere. Looks to me like a meltdown. Of course the Board may have candidates in place; if so I'd like to hear who they might be.
I've looked the figures up now - in the last five years of the BCF there were two contested elections for 50 directorships; in the first four years of the ECF ten elections for 42 posts - but this interest rapidly died away; in the last two years just one contested election out of twenty possible. So roughly there is a 1 in 9 chance of having a contested election; in the other 8 cases the nominee is returned unopposed.
So this time there are no elections at all for Directorships; indeed two remain without any candidates at all (including the Chief Executive).

There are two elections for President and FIDE delegate; without being disrepectful neither is what one might describe as a working position.

Paul McKeown
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:08 am

Mick Norris wrote:Roger's election address can be found here:
http://www.englishchess.org.uk/?page_id=897
Urgh, an MS Word file. Could someone ask the ECF's web people to ensure that they publish PDFs rather than proprietary formats, please?

Richard Bates
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Richard Bates » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:17 am

We have had a year (longer?) of people conjecturing on the effects of various models of membership scheme and none, based on their own opinions, prejudices and anecdotes. One would have hoped that now a scheme is finally up and running, that some of the debate would actually move on as we actually get to see some real factual data. It appears that this may be a forlorn hope if various new directors are just going to charge in and attempt to rehash all the old arguments based on their own pre-conceived ideas.

It should be remembered that the ECF is still in financial difficulties and whilst arguments about effects on participation etc are important (and related), the most fundamentally important factor at the moment is what is the ongoing effect on the ECF finances. And that is what should be being closely monitored with any tweaks proposed based on improving this.

David Sedgwick
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:42 am

Paul McKeown wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:Roger's election address can be found here:
http://www.englishchess.org.uk/?page_id=897
Urgh, an MS Word file. Could someone ask the ECF's web people to ensure that they publish PDFs rather than proprietary formats, please?
Please see the discussion on Page 7 of this thread.

Much to my disappointment, the pdfites have won, at least for the moment. Documents submitted more recently have been converted to pdf and I think you'll find that Roger's election address will be similarly converted to in due course.

I've taken the precaution of downloading the Word version while it's still extant.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:43 am

Neil Graham wrote: So this time there are no elections at all for Directorships; indeed two remain without any candidates at all (including the Chief Executive).

There are two elections for President and FIDE delegate; without being disrepectful neither is what one might describe as a working position.
To be fair, the current President and FIDE delegate are the two most controversial incumbents seeking re-election. That makes it less surprising that they should be challenged.

Roger Edwards could do a lot worse than find a `running mate` who is willing to work alongside him as CEO. That said, am I right in thinking that if no CEO comes forward the board will appoint one? In that case there would be a logic in securing his own election first.
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