ECF Finance meeting 2018

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:37 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:35 pm
I get the impression that there's quite a bit of work the office do in maintaining and supporting the British Championship Congress.
See, that would be useful information to have, wouldn't it? But apparently collecting it is too much of a burden, and no-one is prepared to estimate it without collecting it. It's the definition of amateurism.
NickFaulks wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:41 pm
The other major recipient of membership fees is the national team, whose forecast annual receipt has risen to £43k. This will come as a disappointment, but probably not a surprise, to those who thought they had been assured that this was precisely what would not happen under the new regime. Nobody believes election promises, do they?
National teams.

I find that an outrageous sum. This is exactly what I mean about the net flow of money from the grassroots to a so-called professional elite that in reality is just a bottomless pit into which we're shovelling banknotes. How much money does the men's national team bring IN that's actually available for spending on chess, as opposed to spending it on the national team?

What is actually the point of finishing 9th in an Olympiad? Is it prestige? (Trick question - Westerners don't award prestige to chess players.)

My suggestion to cut the men's national team loose and spend the money getting the women's national team to 9th in the world, is 100% serious. Imagine being one of the few countries in the world (possibly Georgia is another) to actually take seriously the idea that chess is a gender-blind game. The publicity would be amazing. Nigel Short would be furious, which would be another sign that we were doing something right.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for the ancient kingdom of Bernicia (or Northumberland and Durham, if you prefer).
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:46 pm

I don't fully understand Nick's reference to getting our money's worth from the national team last year. They may have done a bit better than usual but we still looked at sea on board two, drew with various relatively indistinguished sides and were never challenging for medals.

The Gold Member reps did not, as I recall, allude to the increase in their budget in their report to members, but the old arguments certainly do remain. What exactly is gained, in any real or tangible terms, by club players who are probably mostly less wealthy than Michael Adams contributing to pay his fees (to say nothing of Luke McShane)? Even some of the private donors who used to contribute to the war chest have started asking themselves that over the years (with the result that it is now taken from those who do not really have a say, at least if they are deemed to be represented by Council).

Before you ask - yes of course I would like to follow a team led by Michael Adams, but it strikes me as a cause for genuinely voluntary sponsorship. I suppose I could be persuaded otherwise, but it seems unlikely to happen, because an open debate on the point does seem to be avoided by everyone as far as possible; and that also suggests that there is no good answer to the "what exactly is gained, in any real or tangible terms?" question. Certainly an increase in contributions cannot be justified if no answer to the question remains forthcoming.

Paul Dargan
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Paul Dargan » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:41 pm

Yep same discussion eveyr year - why do we feel the need to pay our top players to turn-out for us? What would their expected earnings really be if they weren't playing for us in the Olympiad? and if it's really £4-5k a week, then from the ~£200k they make a year they shouldnt need subbing for this.

Of course we know they don't make that and in some cases the income is really important for them - so I understand why they and the ECF are reluctant to move away from the current model - but that doesn't mean it is the right thing to do, nor should we perpetuate the expectation that this will be the norm going forward unless a sponsor appears...

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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:41 pm

Paul Dargan wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:41 pm
Yep same discussion eveyr year - why do we feel the need to pay our top players to turn-out for us? What would their expected earnings really be if they weren't playing for us in the Olympiad? and if it's really £4-5k a week, then from the ~£200k they make a year they shouldnt need subbing for this.

Of course we know they don't make that and in some cases the income is really important for them - so I understand why they and the ECF are reluctant to move away from the current model - but that doesn't mean it is the right thing to do, nor should we perpetuate the expectation that this will be the norm going forward unless a sponsor appears...
The income is really important to people who want to fantasise that they're professional board game players, that's the problem. If they didn't do that, it wouldn't be really important. I could quit my job and tell the ECF that it's now really important that they pay me for playing chess. They would tell me to get stuffed. What's the opposite of shamateurism? Where you insist you're a professional despite all evidence to the contrary?

I don't believe that the bank balances of a handful of players are uppermost in the ECF's minds though (fortunately). I think the real reason the ECF are reluctant to move away from the current model is that, if they were taking £43k a year from the members and not spending it on the national teams, they'd have no idea what else to spend it on. It would put them into a state of complete panic. Throwing it into a black hole stops any arguments.
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Mike Truran
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:19 pm

It is entirely within the gift of Council to strike a line through the spend on international teams at the forthcoming Council meeting if that is Council's will. Your comment that we would be "put into a state of complete panic" about finding other ways of spending the money is just insulting. A number of us on the Board have senior business roles in the real world, and I think we can be trusted to find sensible alternative uses for the money should that be Council's will. Finding a deserving home for such a paltry sum would be very easy.

To be fair, you're not even an ECF member anyway. So given that you don't actually contribute anything financially to the ECF, I don't really understand why you're so exercised about how the ECF allocates its spending.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:26 pm

Mike Truran wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:19 pm
A number of us on the Board have senior business roles in the real world, and I think we can be trusted to find sensible alternative uses for the money should that be Council's will. Finding a deserving home for such a paltry sum would be very easy.
Okay, what would you spend it on then?
Mike Truran wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:19 pm
To be fair, you're not even an ECF member anyway. So given that you don't actually contribute anything financially to the ECF, I don't really understand why you're so exercised about how the ECF allocates its spending.
So tell me why, if I want to subscribe to an organisation that will use my money to promote chess, that organisation should be the ECF rather than the 4NCL or the UK Chess Challenge? The organisers of, respectively, the main adult tournament and the main kids' tournament? Why is it only the ECF that charges people for playing chess, and not the other two?
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for the ancient kingdom of Bernicia (or Northumberland and Durham, if you prefer).
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

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Michael Farthing
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Michael Farthing » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:48 pm

Oh I'm looking forward to a good scrap now between the Chief Executive of the ECF and the 4NCL supremo. Who will win? Shall we open a book on it?

Brian Valentine
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Brian Valentine » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:55 pm

[/quote]
So tell me why, if I want to subscribe to an organisation that will use my money to promote chess, that organisation should be the ECF rather than the 4NCL or the UK Chess Challenge? The organisers of, respectively, the main adult tournament and the main kids' tournament? Why is it only the ECF that charges people for playing chess, and not the other two?
[/quote]

I don't know anything about the UK Chess Challenge, but the 4NCL charges each team an entry fee. My amateur team covers that with a subscription broadly equivalent to ECF bronze membership for just 11 games maximum.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Carl Hibbard » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:05 pm

Nobody is going to disagree with Malcom are they?
Cheers
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:12 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:26 pm
So tell me why, if I want to subscribe to an organisation that will use my money to promote chess, that organisation should be the ECF rather than the 4NCL or the UK Chess Challenge? The organisers of, respectively, the main adult tournament and the main kids' tournament? Why is it only the ECF that charges people for playing chess, and not the other two?
Both events, to a differing degree, expect the ECF to provide the following services that immediately spring to mind:
- Advertising their events on the ECF calendar
- ECF-grading of their events
- Registering their events with FIDE for rating, and processing the resulting FIDE-rating files
- Dealing with the administration of title norms achieved by players, arbiters and organisers
- Invoice them for any non-membership surcharges that may have accrued

The UK Chess Challenge and 4NCL are prepared to require the players who play in their events to have membership at the relevant level (or pay the appropriate surcharge), because in their belief the above tasks contribute positively to the success of their events. They understand that many of these tasks require resources - both human and financial.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:40 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:12 pm
The UK Chess Challenge and 4NCL are prepared to require the players who play in their events to have membership at the relevant level (or pay the appropriate surcharge), because in their belief the above tasks contribute positively to the success of their events. They understand that many of these tasks require resources - both human and financial.
Paying money to a mafia boss can contribute positively to the success of your restaurant, in that the mafia won't then burn it down. That doesn't mean the mafia provides you with an essential service. Not burning it down is something you could do perfectly well by yourself if you were given the opportunity.

How many title norms even get achieved by British players, arbiters and organisers in a typical month? I've got a store room at work from which I send out little computerised widgets every week, and I'm sure a title norm weighs less than a little computerised widget, so can I volunteer to send them to FIDE in my spare time? I'll keep a list of them on a website, for transparency. On this forum, if you like.
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Mike Truran
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:43 pm

You're just so angry. I don't understand why, given that (as I said earlier) you don't even pay anything towards the ECF.

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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:24 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:40 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:12 pm
The UK Chess Challenge and 4NCL are prepared to require the players who play in their events to have membership at the relevant level (or pay the appropriate surcharge), because in their belief the above tasks contribute positively to the success of their events. They understand that many of these tasks require resources - both human and financial.
Paying money to a mafia boss can contribute positively to the success of your restaurant, in that the mafia won't then burn it down. That doesn't mean the mafia provides you with an essential service. Not burning it down is something you could do perfectly well by yourself if you were given the opportunity.

How many title norms even get achieved by British players, arbiters and organisers in a typical month? I've got a store room at work from which I send out little computerised widgets every week, and I'm sure a title norm weighs less than a little computerised widget, so can I volunteer to send them to FIDE in my spare time? I'll keep a list of them on a website, for transparency. On this forum, if you like.
The jobs you have listed are done by the International Rating Officer. In addition to the tasks you've listed, you would also need to take on the other IRO responsibilities:
- Receiving forms and registering tournaments for rating (about 40 per month, which you have to register one-by-one)
- Processing rating files (about 40 per month)
- Liaise with organisers if the rating file fails to process for some reason (should be very rare)
- Inform the Manager of Arbiters if tournaments are registered without FIDE licenced arbiters; so you need to check these registrations
- Upload PGNs for the tournaments that supply them (a couple per month, maybe)
- Creating FIDE IDs for new players (about 40 last month, although I suspect this was above average)
- Tracking FRS for requests from FIDE for FIDE IDs to be generated for players registering for CiS or FOA

To answer your specific question, arbiter norms tend to happen either not at all or in a glut. You might go months without one, then get 2 or 3 all at once. I'm not sure how many player norms we tend to get, but Alan Merry got a GM norm last week, so they do occur. Organiser norms are once in a blue moon.

There may be other things I haven't thought of.

Still interested?
Last edited by Alex Holowczak on Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:30 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:05 pm
Nobody is going to disagree with Malcom are they?
Basically.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:36 pm

Mike Truran wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:43 pm
You're just so angry. I don't understand why, given that (as I said earlier) you don't even pay anything towards the ECF.
Because if I was an ECF member, you'd be telling me that I obviously appreciated the ECF's services or I wouldn't be paying for them. You'd be using me as part of an argument that membership income remained steady despite your decision to throw it into a black hole, so therefore throwing it into a black hole must be a good idea.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for the ancient kingdom of Bernicia (or Northumberland and Durham, if you prefer).
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