What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Mark Howitt
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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Mark Howitt » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:54 pm

Yes it seems to me that the office staff do not provide that much value and exist partly to justify the small grant the Labour Government in its amazing kindness deems to bestoe. Perhaps yet another case of Labour providing employment for 'public service' workers?

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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by John Upham » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:00 pm

The ECF web site declares :
Last update: Monday January 5, 2009 9:16
:oops:

and
Please note that the ECF Office will be closed from 24 December to 4 January inclusive.
Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year.
Impressive stuff!
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

Andrew Wainwright
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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Andrew Wainwright » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:23 am

Hello All

As this is my first post on this forum I feel that I may be jumping in at the deep end here of a long standing debate that is far beyond my remit as a humble club player and captain. None the less here I go.........

If Chess in this country is to progress and develop then we all agree it needs a strong governing body. With the current state of infighting amongst the ECF and the dedicate volunteers who help to run the organisation this is clearly not what we currently have in place.

However, infighting amongst chess players seems common place at all levels of the game from the ECF, through its constituent units (i.e. NCCU and ECF past issues) and right down to my local league (Bradford & District Chess Association).

As a club player I feel that I genuinely get little if anything from the ECF, even the website is poorly updated (as pointed out in some of your recent posts on this thread). If there are 4 people working in the ECF office I can only imagine what they are getting up to. If they worked for my company they would be out of the door!

As a male in my mid twenties who has played the game since school and now runs a local club with two teams in our local league I am probably a prime example of the type of person who should be championing the ECF and helping to promote its work and encouraging my club players to sign up to membership with the ECF. Yet none of my club members (to the best of my knowledge) are members even though many play in ECF rated tournaments and congresses.

ECF Officials- If you can not encourage the likes of myself to support your organisation then truly what future do you promise for chess in this country? What is needed here is leadership, transparency and dare I say it some good old common sense! (Pardon my bluntness, I am after all a Yorkshire Man).

Although I may have added little to this debate I am certain that there are many club players out there who will echo my sentiments and if nothing else I feel better for helping to give them a voice, please listen and look to the future rather than argue about the past.

Mark Howitt
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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Mark Howitt » Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:13 am

Yep- bang on.

I would bet that less than 10% of people are on YCA list are ECF members too- would be keen to know exact figures.

Chess needs to change or die in this country.

Matthew Turner
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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:21 am

Andrew,
I think you are asking slightly the wrong question, What does the ECF do for me? After all if you joined the Lawn Tennis Association or the Crown Green Bowls Association I doubt they would do anything for you either. The question really is what does the ECF do? (that is worthy of my support) Well they run the British Championships, send juniors to World and European Championships, produce a grading list, send teams to Olympiads and European Championships, organise the County Championships. OK, so at least there is something. However, now we get onto the real question, What does the ECF Office (with four paid staff) do?
Let's start from the premise that the Office didn't exist what would change? For all the things listed above there is actually very little Office involvement. The British would continue to be organised by Stewart Reuben, or whoever, the best juniors would still go to the major championships, Richard Haddrell would still do his grading calculations.
Therefore, effectively your ECF membership fees just go into a big pot to pay Office Salaries with little, or no, or negative! benefit to chess. If you wish your memberships fees to benefit chess I suggest you go to chessscotland.co.uk

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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Gary Cook » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:51 pm

Nice to see that as of this evening the ECF website is still saying that the ECF office is closed until 5th Jan, wishing us a Merry Christmas (though of course not using those words) and advertising the British Rapidplay championships from 29-30 Nov' 08.
Gary

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Charles W. Wood
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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Charles W. Wood » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:10 am

Matthew Turner wrote:Charles W Wood wrote
"3. This ones harder, I wanted Andrew from day one but as I was working on so much I couldn't get hold of him direct. I was also Marketing Dept and him Junior & Education part of the ECF, so I was a bit cagey about inviting him on board (That is definitely my fault as I didn't understand ECF politics and assumed it would work like a normal organisation). So I turned to the board."

This is complete jibberish. If you were in charge of the CfS project and wanted to involve Andrew Martin from day one then it is simple enough to ring him up, send a message to him on here or any of the other myriad of ways of making contact. You didn't because you saw Andrew as a rival and wished to use the CfS project to sell your stuff and make money - let's be honest about it.
Honest: OK, I set my whole company up as a "Company Limited by Guarantee" then made all wages details available to public funding bodies as a Not For Profit organisation. And offered the whole "Part vocational" Renaissance Academy Certification Programme for free to the ECF (and even able to rename it to ECF) to Martin Regan in the infamous telephone call. hmmm AND a massive part of your claim was I saw Andrew as a rival 12 Months before I even looked at London as a Market. I think I put my heart on my sleeve. Money is not my motivation, junior development across an equal field is. Ask yourself this one question how many academys' have as many coaches as we do and not one of then work in an Independent School for mega bucks. Matthew you are invited to my house at a point we can both agree so you can see the wages I earn, anytime.
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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Charles W. Wood » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:28 am

Martin Regan wrote:Peter, Matthew, John, et al

This will be my last post on this matter as it is clear that as soon as a point is made that requires answering, it morphs into another point entirely. I will try to answer the main questions.


Holloid

Of course I checked the trading record as soon as the offer was made. The accounts at that time gave no cause for alarm.

The board discussed the offer at great length – but even if the sets were produced (a big if ) the main challenge was logistical: storage and distribution. That was the reason I asked GW to lead the project as he already had contacts with the DoE and the Dept of Culture. It was hoped the Government, via the LEAs, might be able to help.

The public announcement of the project was made without reference to the board. It was understandable but unfortunate, as the publicity benefits to both Holloid and CW’s “Academy” began to accrue before the ECF had actually gained anything tangible.

Charles W Wood

First approached me shortly after my election. He was looking for some kind of partnership with the ECF. I passed him on to Claire Summerscale, the junior director.

Much later, when it became clear that we were not in a position to solve the logistics, CS passed his name to Peter Wilson as someone who might be able to lend a hand. Within a week or so PW had named him manager of the entire project. The board received the news via email – there was no discussion. This is perfectly allowable in the ECF.

The board asked that CW be given both a contract and a detailed job description. I asked PW to liaise with David Anderton. This did not happen.

It became clear very quickly that CW’s academy was seeking to monopolise the provision of teaching materials. At the time the board had felt it was too early – given we had no sets and no means to distribute them – to develop materials. It was always self-evident to me and CS that if the scheme was up and running the CoE would be a core part of whatever went into schools. Also, that AM who was developing our own academies would have to be involved.

At the time GW was vigorously seeking the removal of CS from positions that involved supervision of the Office – there had been a huge falling out. Meetings between GW CW and civil servants started to take place without any reference to the junior director. Both CS and I argued that she must become involved in such meetings, but there was considerable resistance – shorthand for we were simply ignored.

Academy materials.

There were none.

By this time the publicity meant that the ECF was being pushed into the position where the scheme simply had to go ahead. CS began to start developing ideas for an ECF package for schools, CW resisted, insisting that his own materials were sufficient. And that the LEAs would simply not accept the CoE material.

CS rang up a number of LEAs and found this to be wrong.

As neither CS nor I had seen the academy materials, despite numerous requests - we decided that they could not be relied upon to form any part of the schools package. I spoke to CW and said unless CS and AM saw and approved them they were not having ECF approval.

Andrew Martin
AM spotted that the CfS website had gone up and contained a suggestion that money was to be charged for the packages that went into schools. He asked the simple and obvious question – who was to get this money? I could not answer as most of the board had not been aware that a website even existed. I asked PW as a matter of urgency to clarify. He contacted Holloid.

CW then responded (and showed to my satisfaction) that it had been a genuine mistake, but brought AM’s postings on this forum to the board’s attention and told us that he had cost us a sponsor. There was no evidence – but I offered to speak to them.

Further correspondence ensued during which CW said the donor was now so upset that they were considering ditching the ECF and going it alone with the “Academy” who they trusted. Though, of course, CW was fighting to keep them on our side. He also said that the donor was happy with his academy’s materials.

I spoke immediately to David Anderton and then called CW to have the conversation I have already outlined in another post.
.
Having said all this. I do not think anyone should seek to blame Charles. He was appointed without a brief, without supervision and simply left to get on with it. However, his version of events is not credible. Simply read some of the early threads on this site.

I do think it shows how dysfunctional a company board can be when its own rules essentially allow each director to act without reference to the rest of the board and leave its managers out on a limb .

But what do I know?

Hope this helps.
Quite a lot of this is kind of correct from Martin's point of view from the side lines, but as CEO during this shouldn't he have been in charge not letting Peter Wilson run things. He is right on one thing a "Dysfuntional Board" but lucky after an April Finance meeting where they managed to get everything the board wanted like the Office moving north and Martin Regans company printing the ECF year book (for free, lets see if that happens) they resigned.

Do I have faith in what happens next? CfS is in the hands of Chris M and the collective board, so....... well all I can go on is what you guys say, Chris M has not been slated on here, Cyril J, Stewart R, Perter P all are good men. Lets see what happens.

N.B.: the CEO is in charge of contracts not individual ECF Directors, but I wouldn't need to tell you all that.

sorry I was away my motherboard blew and I am only allowed to access non Official Sites (Due to the Renaissance Academy Computer Usage Policy) on my personal PC. Most Associations will have them by now.
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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Matthew Turner » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:46 pm

Charles,
I am really not bothered about how much you earn. I am also not concerned if you had used the Chess for Schools project to make yourself £10, £100, £1,000, £10,000 or £100,000 - frankly if you had got it working sucessfully you would have deserved the latter. If you were in charge of the project then it was your prerogative as to who you consulted, and worked, with. I think it would have been sensible to speak to Andrew Martin, who after all was in charge of coaching (you didn't have to take any notice of him). If you felt that your materials were better than others available, including what Andy might produce, then fine. However, you cannot seriously continue to say that 'You wanted Andrew Martin from day one, but couldn't get hold of him direct' because that is nonsense.

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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Charles W. Wood » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:19 am

Matthew Turner wrote:Charles,
I am really not bothered about how much you earn. I am also not concerned if you had used the Chess for Schools project to make yourself £10, £100, £1,000, £10,000 or £100,000 - frankly if you had got it working sucessfully you would have deserved the latter. If you were in charge of the project then it was your prerogative as to who you consulted, and worked, with. I think it would have been sensible to speak to Andrew Martin, who after all was in charge of coaching (you didn't have to take any notice of him). If you felt that your materials were better than others available, including what Andy might produce, then fine. However, you cannot seriously continue to say that 'You wanted Andrew Martin from day one, but couldn't get hold of him direct' because that is nonsense.
You did accuse me of "you wished to use the CfS project to sell your stuff and make money" and I have worn my heart on my sleeve about that. I spent a lot on this project and have not received a penny from either the ECF or any sponsors. The ECF accounts will show this, and both David Anderton and Chris Majer have been to my house and taken a full and detailed hand over from me, this in its self is no evidence of monetary gain but I did sign a contract which does state I can not make any monetary gain and the ECF now has all the contacts I had.

As for the contact between me and Andrew, I can see what your saying now. Your presuming that everyone in England has the same experience of the ECF as you do, that is not the case. I am a member of the Bradford & District Chess Association (Just like Andrew Wainwright above) 95% (a guess) of members in Bradford DCA don't even know who the CEO of the ECF is (and I didn't on the 17th December 2007) and I had just come from a corporation that if I'd have requested a member of staff to assist me in my managerial duties from a department run by a different Director to my own, then I would have been given a stiff dressing down or even a warning as this would be seen as a cost infringement (or a possible cost infringement), in business there would have a process where a proposal would need to prove Return On Investment before cross departmental collaborations could take place. I came straight from that world into this chess world. I did have my head buried in the CfS project far too much to start trying to understand that in the chess world the Ltd on the end of a companies name still meant the organisation was just a glorified Chess Association which did its books properly.

I have said before this was a mistake on my part and I was hoping that the board could help, not knowing then of the crack in the Board. If I was doing it now, I would have said no to the whole thing.

As for seeing Andrew as a rival, well thats just pain daft, I work WITH many coaches across England and beyond. Even with coaches who are true rivals. But there is a "BUT" there, I do refuse to work under a coach in a boss employee environment unless its as a guest coach at an event or school. Even with the Renaissance Academy having branches in London we are in a very different market to the Andrew Martin Academy, and I assure you at some point through 2009/2010 I will be working with Andrew in London on a project.

I hope that clears things up for you.
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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Matthew Turner » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:51 am

Charles,
OK, so you didn't speak to Andy Martin, but presumably for a project of this size you would speak to other experts on junior chess. I think I would be getting in touch with Richard James, Mike Basman, Peter Purland and Tony Corfe for starters. Which junior chess experts did you make contact with?

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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Charles W. Wood » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:04 am

Matthew Turner wrote:Charles,
OK, so you didn't speak to Andy Martin, but presumably for a project of this size you would speak to other experts on junior chess. I think I would be getting in touch with Richard James, Mike Basman, Peter Purland and Tony Corfe for starters. Which junior chess experts did you make contact with?
I spoke to quite a lot of coaching people about direction on Certification Programmes, but that was before, during and after the CfS project. Nick Nixon, Paul Blackman, Peter Cloudsdale to name just a few locally, more importantly from the CfS point of view, people and organisations like the DfCSF, Bradford College, Bradford University, NVQ, Childrens University, Duke of Edinbugh (The Award), Princes Trust, SuperLeague, Extended Schools etc to name but a few organisations that specialize in Education or have built a programme in line with government policy. The Chess world has/is yet to build one that falls into all the accepted areas needed for a project this big. The closest was of course your Fathers (Peter Turner) Cert of Excellence but that did need bringing up to date. So I started from scratch before CfS was on my desk. The Renaissance Academy's Certification Programme is constantly being bought up to date as the goal posts keep being moved by the government, but thats part of the game.

Not to forget though this was only a sideline project for the Renaissance Academy from my main job of sorting logistics for CfS.
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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Peter Turner » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:48 am

Charles W. Wood wrote:
I spoke to quite a lot of coaching people about direction on Certification Programmes, but that was before, during and after the CfS project. Nick Nixon, Paul Blackman, Peter Cloudsdale to name just a few locally, more importantly from the CfS point of view, people and organisations like the DfCSF, Bradford College, Bradford University, NVQ, Childrens University, Duke of Edinbugh (The Award), Princes Trust, SuperLeague, Extended Schools etc to name but a few organisations that specialize in Education or have built a programme in line with government policy. The Chess world has/is yet to build one that falls into all the accepted areas needed for a project this big. The closest was of course your Fathers (Peter Turner) Cert of Excellence but that did need bringing up to date. So I started from scratch before CfS was on my desk. The Renaissance Academy's Certification Programme is constantly being bought up to date as the goal posts keep being moved by the government, but thats part of the game.

Not to forget though this was only a sideline project for the Renaissance Academy from my main job of sorting logistics for CfS.
In regard to 'updating' the Certificate of Excellence - We started with Bronze & Silver levels, added Gold a few years ago and recently introduced Platinum & Diamond. There is extensive support material available for all levels, the CofE has produced over £30,000 profit for BCF/ECF. Did you actually mean 'dumbing down' rather than updating. You will remember that I offered to send you everything I had on the CofE but you never replied when I asked for your postal address so that I could send the material. I'm quite happy for you to send me ALL your 'stuff' so I can assess its worth. I think this is a case of the difference between ACTION & WORDS!! The CofE services a particular market, the work being done by Andrew Martin, John Upham, Richard James and others with the online Certificate of Merit is certainly required for the mass market which will hopefully be created by a successful Chess Sets for Schools Project. There is no serious conflict between the two.

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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Charles W. Wood » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:04 am

Peter Turner wrote:
Charles W. Wood wrote:
I spoke to quite a lot of coaching people about direction on Certification Programmes, but that was before, during and after the CfS project. Nick Nixon, Paul Blackman, Peter Cloudsdale to name just a few locally, more importantly from the CfS point of view, people and organisations like the DfCSF, Bradford College, Bradford University, NVQ, Childrens University, Duke of Edinbugh (The Award), Princes Trust, SuperLeague, Extended Schools etc to name but a few organisations that specialize in Education or have built a programme in line with government policy. The Chess world has/is yet to build one that falls into all the accepted areas needed for a project this big. The closest was of course your Fathers (Peter Turner) Cert of Excellence but that did need bringing up to date. So I started from scratch before CfS was on my desk. The Renaissance Academy's Certification Programme is constantly being bought up to date as the goal posts keep being moved by the government, but thats part of the game.

Not to forget though this was only a sideline project for the Renaissance Academy from my main job of sorting logistics for CfS.
In regard to 'updating' the Certificate of Excellence - We started with Bronze & Silver levels, added Gold a few years ago and recently introduced Platinum & Diamond. There is extensive support material available for all levels, the CofE has produced over £30,000 profit for BCF/ECF. Did you actually mean 'dumbing down' rather than updating. You will remember that I offered to send you everything I had on the CofE but you never replied when I asked for your postal address so that I could send the material. I'm quite happy for you to send me ALL your 'stuff' so I can assess its worth. I think this is a case of the difference between ACTION & WORDS!! The CofE services a particular market, the work been done by Andrew Martin, John Upham, Richard James and others with the online Certificate of Merit is certainly required for the mass market which will hopefully be created by a successful Chess Sets for Schools Project. There is no serious conflict between the two.
LOL I think you may be right on the dumbing down bit, it does feel like putting a square peg into a round hole sometimes. CofE is a good product and you are correct it does service a specific market and has made the BCF/ECF a good margin. I wasn't taking a swipe at the CofE quite the opposite, it was/is the best in its area at the moment and best of all tried and tested. The Cert of Merit does have its place as well.

Sadly on the communication front I did the worst thing you can do, took your email address wrong, it happens when you try do putting that much information together in one phone call. It doesn't help that it was me putting down the information. :oops: By the time I had realised my stupid mistake Andrew was on board and I didn't need to worry about it.

As for the Renaissance Academy Cert Programme its already selling quite well overseas, and is hopefully on the final leg on becoming an NVQ. The RA Cert Programme will not be available in England for the foreseeable future unless under Unitary Authority Contract. Thank you for the offer though, its much appreciated.
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Re: What did Martin Regan Do?????????????

Post by Peter Turner » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:25 am

Morning Charles

Mmmmm ....... so you are not offering to send me your 'stuff'!! My email address is in the public domain - its on the ECF site. Pleased your package is selling overseas - hope it does not, by inference/association, appear to be endorsed/recommended by ECF!!

Regards

Peter T

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