Following on from my earlier comments on pages 36, & 37.....
I`ve read the latest Board minutes, and make the following comments..
It appears that the current problems arose mainly due to two factors..
1. AP and NS clearly were at loggerheads over FIDE matters and personalities. My perception is that these are probably more of a side show and distracted from the main work of the ECF Board. That's not to say that we must overlook our role in the FIDE arena, nor fail to play a full part.
2. General disagreement over APs handling of ECF Board business, with regard to the other Directors.
It would be disappointing if such matters occurred in future only for the Board to fall into disarray. David Robertson, and others did forecast a collision...
So, could a working arrangement be found to overcome these problems...?
Here`s my suggestions...
NS almost never appears at Board meetings, nor does he seem to take any real part in its business at those meetings, unless he`s been in contact via Skype, or some such.
Whatever, there appears to be little direct accountability to the Board, nor meaningful dialogue.
From the outside, he does give the appearance of being a `one man band`, and who knows, maybe that can work.
So, might it be possible to change NS reporting on FIDE matters so that he becomes duty bound to report regularly to ECF Council, from whom he then takes any feedback and acts on any instructions given. Maybe then the ECF could directly ensure its wishes were followed on behalf of the general membership and UK chess interests.
Also, for Council to nominate two members to join the Board in a Non Exec capacity, communicating any discussions to the Board regarding FIDE matters, discussing any relevant matters, and acting as intermediaries with Nigel Short. The two Council members that might be appointed could be Andrew Farthing and John Philpott, and maybe Roger Edwards, if he was willing to lend his considerable experience. The board would then only take actions on FIDE matters in consultation with Council.
Secondly, surely most of the other concerns could be resolved by some compromise whereby AP takes note of concerns raised and conducts business to ensure that other Directors are fully involved and properly notified of any business, where they should be directly involved, and no decisions taken without due consultation with the appropriate Board Directors.
As regards the conduct of business. It would appear that the Board are trying to crash through a very big workload, and maybe this needs to be `slowed` to enable all involved to fully participate and do justice to the tasks in hand. Certainly, no-one can doubt the energy with which AP has approached the task of President, nor the hard work he and other Directors have put in. But, we really don't want our Officers to be overworked. That leads to stress, mistakes, and probable demoralisation/disenchantment. Furthermore, we really do not want to see good work and positive efforts go to waste.
Talking of business...here`s a starter.. I see lots of talk about turning the ECF into a more Commercial focused body.
Yes, it needs to raise funds and attract sponsors, but lets remember that 99% of the Membership play chess purely for fun, and associated challenges & enjoyments.
In that context, the ECF in my eyes, is simply an umbrella group, which focuses on chess UK, helping to promote and support all the various chess bodies.
These bodies do not want, nor do they necessarily need to be branded and engulfed by the ECF flagship, binding them into any obligations that may not be desirable.
So, that means the ECF can say that it embodies huge numbers of chess enthusiasts, and has access to a potentially huge audience, but it cannot say that these bodies are a locked in part of any legal structure. We can therefore market the ECF as having assess to a huge chess audience, which sponsors could buy into.
What numbers are we talking about... 80,000 Basman juniors, 20,000 regular chess players, 100,000 casual chess players, 350,000 internet and other UK players.
This is a great potential market for sponsors to aim at, if marketing and promotions can be well directed.
On top of this, many chess bodies will want to do there own fund raising, and its very important that these bodies keep there independent identities in my view.
On another tack, it is also vital that chess bodies across the UK adopt a much more pro-active approach to `self help` initiatives.
Fischer generated a huge wave of chess interest in the 1970s, which will not likely be repeated, so we cant simply throw up our hands in despair and hope that some salvation will drift in on the next breeze. All our chess bodies can and should adopt a much more `can do` approach. Yes, I recognise that in today's busy world, where we`re all supposed to work 50 hours a day to keep the fat cats rolling in money, and somehow keep body, soul, and families in harmony, it is not easy to find time for other things. If only to escape this madhouse scenario, we must look outside the `box`.
As for the ECF, they need to think about how the ECF conducts itself in future, to ensure the current malaise does not repeat. A Chairman appointment might help.
Finally, someone asked `what miracle that ONOV might deliver.
Firstly, it might enable more players to get involved and have a say. This idea that the Membership should simply hand over money and keep there opinions to themselves is simply nonsense.
Yes, we`ll probably only see a small percentage who show interest initially. But thats a start, and once it gets going, then hopefully interest will grow as folk start to see that things are changing.
But, all important is the implementation of this system, in conjunction with Delegate voting.
It might be that initially, any matter where between 10 and 100 people take part say, (via on-line votes), automatically is granted a 30% proportionate vote. But thats something to be decided later.
Its all about the art of the `possible`.....
BRING BACK THE BCF