Public Statements

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
David Pardoe
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Re: Public Statements

Post by David Pardoe » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:37 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Andrew Bak wrote:I would perhaps prefer it if some of the discussions (the posts between Sean and Krishna on here being a prime example) were carried out via PMs and the forum was more constructive, but the nature of internet forums mean that silly arguments will break out sometimes.
I apologise if my taking to task someone who contributed to hounding a very good CEO both out of office and off the forum by implying that he was liar is a silly argument. The problem, as you rightly acknowledge, is that saying nothing can be taken as agreement with a position.
Sean,
It would appear that you are guilty of similar behaviour here, and certainly not slow to sling the mud when it suits you.
Some of your comments on this forum regarding our new President, Mr Roger Edwards, were not exactly complimentory, to put it mildly.
As regards the fate of CJ...it was an unfortunate saga to say the least. But it was noticable, if CJ did have the boards backing, that they made little attempt to show it following the Sheffield episode.
Things got out of hand, and much abuse was indeed hurled rather recklessly. But more should be said about various unanswered questions, even if only to re-assure the `membership` that questions have been asked.
I have to say that many might feel that the ECF are now becoming much better at `firing` than hiring..
We now have no CEO, nor M&M Director, a stand-in International Director, and nearly `lost` a President in the voting/election process, which, as some have remarked, seemed rather bazzar .
BRING BACK THE BCF

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:03 pm

David Pardoe wrote: But it was noticable, if CJ did have the boards backing, that they made little attempt to show it following the Sheffield episode.
The emerging issues of Sheffield accounting and CAS legal action cannot have helped. Both had CJ acting in a manner difficult for the rest of the Board to defend.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:41 pm

David Pardoe wrote:Some of your comments on this forum regarding our new President, Mr Roger Edwards, were not exactly complimentory, to put it mildly.
I've made no comment about Roger Edwards. I have said that the policies that he put forward in his manifesto were bonkers. I stand by that judgement and am thankful that council agreed with it and booted them into the long grass.
David Pardoe wrote: We now have no CEO, nor M&M Director, a stand-in International Director, and nearly `lost` a President in the voting/election process, which, as some have remarked, seemed rather bazzar .
Had Roger Edwards been defeated I know of at least three excellent candidates who would have been prepared to consider the position.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:02 pm

Sean,

Like many, I have been trying to work out just what has been going on recently.

Last December, you were entrusted to start negotiations between Alex and CJ, albeit of course that the latter wasn't interested. I daresay you realised then, if not soon after, that the ECF would be much better off without CJ, and perhaps you approved of Roger Edwards standing against him.

But then came Roger's manifesto.

Then - judging purely by comments made in the forum - you tried to dissuade him from his manifesto, and said so openly, and supported a motion to oppose its contents. Presumably you fell out heavily, since you were unsurprised that Alex and co voted against you as non-exec director. The other to vote against you also seems to be a friend of RE. You now say that there were as many as three "excellent" candidates for the Presidency just waiting for the impliedly second-rate Roger Edwards to fail.

Judging by the alumnus saga, RE is somewhat insecure, perhaps knowing his own limitations as well as other people's perceptions of them. He would need support to get by. But he barely has a board to rely upon, and you, perhaps the most able of the lot, have two votes on the Board - as non-executive director, and as international director pro tem - when it comes to the inevitable arguments.

Well, if that is all correct, that sounds like it will last about five minutes ...

John Philpott

Re: Public Statements

Post by John Philpott » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:06 am

Jonathan Rogers wrote
But he barely has a board to rely upon, and you, perhaps the most able of the lot, have two votes on the Board - as non-executive director, and as international director pro tem - when it comes to the inevitable arguments.
No - Sean only has one vote, and that is in his capacity as NED. He is not the pro-tem International Director: the International Director's position became vacant at the conclusion of the AGM and remains so, and Sean as I understand it has volunteered to cover urgent tasks that need to be performed within the International Directorate until such time as a new International Director is appointed by the Board. For this he deserves the Federation's thanks, but because of the distinction between Executives and Non-Executives such an arrangement should clearly be confined to the short term

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:52 am

Sean Hewitt wrote: Had Roger Edwards been defeated I know of at least three excellent candidates who would have been prepared to consider the position.
Roger Edwards HAS been elected, despite an extremely strong no campaign against him. I for one am prepared to give him a chance.
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:57 pm

John Philpott wrote:Jonathan Rogers wrote
But he barely has a board to rely upon, and you, perhaps the most able of the lot, have two votes on the Board - as non-executive director, and as international director pro tem - when it comes to the inevitable arguments.
No - Sean only has one vote, and that is in his capacity as NED. He is not the pro-tem International Director: the International Director's position became vacant at the conclusion of the AGM and remains so, and Sean as I understand it has volunteered to cover urgent tasks that need to be performed within the International Directorate until such time as a new International Director is appointed by the Board. For this he deserves the Federation's thanks, but because of the distinction between Executives and Non-Executives such an arrangement should clearly be confined to the short term
Correction noted. In case it was not obvious I am very happy that Sean is doing all that he is. It just seems to me that the prospect of even this depleted board working harmoniously seems negligible. Sean, like most, seems not to especially want RE as President and RE and friends appear not to want Sean because of it. They disagree about important matters and there is no CEO in place. That was my real point, ie, it does not look like a very stable situation.

Angus French
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Angus French » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:12 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:It just seems to me that the prospect of even this depleted board working harmoniously seems negligible. Sean, like most, seems not to especially want RE as President and RE and friends appear not to want Sean because of it. They disagree about important matters and there is no CEO in place. That was my real point, ie, it does not look like a very stable situation.
I think that Sean, as a Non-Executive Director, has a particular responsibility for ensuring that the Board works as best it can.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:40 pm

@Jonathan - Broadly correct. What happened was taht I tried to negotaite a compromise between Alex and CJ but that did not come to pass. I came to the conclusion that the federation was better off without CJ. I thought that CJ would lose to none of the above, but thought it better that a suitable candidate was found. I and others worked to that end and we found such a candidate, but not before Roger E got himself nominated. Then came a tactical decision. We decided not to make the Presidential election a three horse race as we thought doing so would make it likely that CJ would win. Instead, we would support Roger. But then came the manifesto. We felt this seriously damaged Roger, and would make the re-election of CJ more likely. So I emailed Roger with our fears and tried to get him to drop them. He did not want to do that. So we had the idea of the toothless tiger motion. We thought that, if this were passed, Roger was more likely to get elected. So we got that on the agenda, and I told Roger of the motion. We didn't fall out (he didn't respond to me) but I was not surprised at the votes at the AGM because that seems to be how things work in council.

Roger's redeeming feature was that he was not CJ. However, I and others did not think that he was the best available candidate for President. As we felt sure that CJ was likely to resign before the election (and I and others told CJ directly that we thought he was likely to lose and should withdraw from the election) we provisionally nominated another candidate for President, in case we were right and CJ did resign. He didn't step down by the nomination deadline, so our nomination did not go forward.

I have 1 vote on the board as NED. I am covering the International role at the moment, and am happy to do so until a permanant successor is found. I am also talking to potential candidates in that regard to try to ensure that is sooner rather than later.

@Andrew Z - I'm not aware of an extremely strong no campaign against Roger. I am aware of an extremely strong no vote against him though and, as Mick Norris observed, he was not able to achieve even 50% of the available votes.

@Angus - I agree. At least the success of the toothless tiger motion gives the board a steer (as indeed it's defeat would also have done). I think I also have a responsibility to ensure the board does all it can to fill the three vacancies with quality people as quickly as it can.

David Pardoe
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Re: Public Statements

Post by David Pardoe » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:53 pm

Sean,
I`m not sure that saying that publically was a good idea.
A much more straight forward approach would have been to let the candidates fight a straight fight.
Its not the ECF`s role to try to engineer results, thats for the electorate to decide...we`re talking here about democracy (which we always seem determined to bend to suit our purpose in the west. Then we go to the middle east and try to con them into thinking we have something better than them.
Secondly...there is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with Rogers statements/views...call them what you want. But dont call them policies.
As long as there are proper processes in place to ensure that any major initiatives/changes go through a proper review and approval process, which includes the `electorate`/Membership (via necessary consultation), there should be nothing to fear from officers potentially trying to turning themselves into dictators.
I am quite sure that Roger would not dream of trying to railroad through any changes that were not generally approved. Incidentally, since the `Bronze club` are getting a cheap deal on chess, and form a big majority, they should be able to block almost anything they dont like. This is dangerous and potentially bad, because such a `low cost agenda` vested interest group can seriously de-stablise things by having so much power. This group then goes round maskerading as the `popular majority`, when in fact they are just a self interest group, representing the `league & counties community`. This is another reason we need a OMOV system...but one which integrates with and balances the current `delegate system`.
This group, plus the `grudge & bitterness club` who ambushed Adam, embarked on a personal abuse campaign at the AGM, are not doing anyone any favours....and we find ourselves with no M & M Director. Incidentally, I dont recall the M & M posts generating much debate about the candidate(s) before the election....so we appear to have needlessly placed ourselves in a position where we have no-one in post for that position.
And no-one seems to have got stuck into the matter of finding suitable candidiates for the posts of CEO and International Director (prior to the elections)....but lets hope this is soon resolved.
This election process needs looking into, because, at the moment it seems more likely to discourage candidates from coming forward than encouraging them.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:08 pm

David Pardoe wrote: Incidentally, I dont recall the M & M posts generating much debate about the candidate(s) before the election
That was the point really. It was up to Adam to start a debate by setting out some ideas as to what he sought to achieve and how he would go about achieving them. Council, as we know, have an exaggerated sense of their own importance, but they had a right to know what a new Director's plans would be, if only so they could report back to their local bodies as to what to expect. The sideways move looked to have been a preplanned succession by the retiring ECF Board, but even so, some publicity as to the underlying intentions would not have gone amiss.

Even the limited posts on the forum didn't clarify his intentions. I read them as advocating a single level membership of around £ 25, but others read that he would maintain the status quo. He was saying both without distinguishing the official ECF line from his personal views.

John Cox
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Re: Public Statements

Post by John Cox » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:54 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
That was the point really. It was up to Adam to start a debate by setting out some ideas as to what he sought to achieve and how he would go about achieving them. Council, as we know, have an exaggerated sense of their own importance, but they had a right to know what a new Director's plans would be, if only so they could report back to their local bodies as to what to expect. The sideways move looked to have been a preplanned succession by the retiring ECF Board, but even so, some publicity as to the underlying intentions would not have gone amiss.
.
This strikes me as fundamentally wrong-headed. The Council had just finished mandating the Board, quite rightly, not to 'review' the membership scheme. So the scheme stays. The question of the remit of the post should be set by those who create it, not the candidate. A wild guess would be that the object of the Membership and Marketing Director should be to increase the membership by means of marketing, and assuming that's right then the only question is whether the candidate has the energy and track record to demonstrate he is likely to be able to make some progress in that direction. There's no question of 'setting out ideas on what he sought to achieve' or a 'debate'.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:50 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: @Andrew Z - I'm not aware of an extremely strong no campaign against Roger. I am aware of an extremely strong no vote against him though and, as Mick Norris observed, he was not able to achieve even 50% of the available votes.
Several people whose opinion should be respected including yourself, Malcolm Pein, Martin Regan and Steve Giddins questioned Roger Edwards' fitness for the job. Maybe `no campaign` was too strong a word but the opinion his candidacy should be rejected was put forward very strongly.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:10 am

John Cox wrote:There's no question of 'setting out ideas on what he sought to achieve' or a 'debate'.
In which case, he should have remained silent about £ 25 per head and one level of compulsory membership.

It's not the way it works, ECF directors have pet schemes and sometimes are competent enough to force them through. The junior agenda of one player per age group was a pet scheme of a previous Junior Director who wasn't prevented from this by the Board as a whole, or even Council.

There is a point here about who sets ECF policy. I don't see that a body which only meets twice a year and is in any event a supposedly representative body reflecting a broad range of interests can be expected to give detail directions to the Board. Should it not be the other way round? The Board develop proposals, hopefully sensible ones, and put them to the Council for ratification.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Public Statements

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:16 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote: Maybe `no campaign` was too strong a word but the opinion his candidacy should be rejected was put forward very strongly.
I don't think "no campaign" was too strong, there did seem to be a lot of disparate opposition. Rather more than was ever overtly opposed to Malcolm or Adam. There was opposition to Tim Woolgar, but this seemed mostly to be opposition to the chess boxing premise and the hype surrounding it.

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