ECF Finance meeting 2018

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:30 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:58 pm
Jonathan Rogers wrote:
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.
I most certainly did not say that. I said that if you measured the value of the off-budget assistance given to players in the European Individuals by results, then the results achieved by Jones and McShane could be seen that way.
My apologies, that was careless of me.

I note with interest that you use the neutral language "then the results achieved by Jones and McShane could be seen that way". For indeed, pleased though we are by their results, the wider benefit to the membership remains nebulous, and the case for any financial support being by way of private sponsorship is again stronger.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:33 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:45 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:37 pm

What is actually the point of finishing 9th in an Olympiad? Is it prestige?
That's somewhat higher than the football team managed in recent events.

I think there was a thread once which compared the respective performances.There had been a longish run of Olympiad and European performances equivalent to not even qualifying or going out at the group stages.

Financing the national teams has a long history. It didn't use to involve tapping the membership as it was covered by sponsorship and grants from UK governments. That's in plural because the Welsh and Scottish devolved governments have also supported national chess teams.
I remember that back in the 1990s, John Nunn wrote to CHESS to correct a reader's misapprehension that BCF money was being spent on national teams, pointing out the existence of sponsorship and saying (reasonably enough) that unjustified criticism of the team did not help with retaining sponsors. But I don't remember him writing anything which would justify (effectively involuntary) sponsorship of the team by ordinary players.

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:48 am

Still, the Olympiad is the biggest event in chess after the world championship, the England team are the ECF's representatives there and I for one would like us to put out a strong side if at all possible. Of course people might take a policy decision to choose younger players for the purpose of giving them experience, and that might well be a good strategy, but in general I understand that professional players need paying and that if we want to have them representing us, we need to put our hand in our collective pocket.
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:10 am

I coud go along with that, but following a genuine public debate.

This would require us to decide how strong, in other words, is the "because we like to watch them for playing for England" argument? Who are the "we", I wonder; those who get most excited in the run up to the event tend (though Justin is doubtless an exception) to expect them to achieve medals and seem surprised when they finish 16th or whatever, having played only one or two of the top ten finishers, forgetting that this happens almost (Baku!) every year. And the outlook for the short term is grim: the same team is getting older. For those with realistic expectations, not to mention memories of better times, it is not such a joyous thing. So, do we want to spend so much of our own money on this, instead of insisting on private sponsorship?

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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:13 am

Also, arguments along the lines of "because we like watching them" tend to give a blank cheque to those who want to use club players' money. It is no mere oversight, I am sure, that the fees of Michael Adams are not made public knowledge, not even when it is ECF members (probably, mostly much less wealthy than him) paying the bill.

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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:28 am

I imagine that some might express surprise at my last post. Obviousy, it is nothing personal and I am pleased, relieved even, that such an exceptional player can make a good living from chess. So I will explain my point further, by way of analogy.

As a tax payer, I fund the salaries of a whole host of people. But I can at least find out how much these public figures are being paid. Moreover, there is such a thing as the Senior Salaries Review Board, an independent body which provides advice on appropriate salaries for senior public figures, in the hope that pay does not go through the roof for some people at the tax payer's expense.

What equivalent scrutiny processes are in place when deciding on fees to be given for players representing England, at ECF members' expense?
Last edited by Jonathan Rogers on Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:30 am

We don't normally get to know what individual players are paid, do we? I'm not 100% happy about that because I'm big on transparency, but if the normal arrangement is that players' fees at tournaments are private (and if, perhaps, players won't acceept any other arrangement) it's hard to see how we get round this.
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:34 am

well, of course their fees at private tournaments are private, there is a sponsor paying for them. Apples and oranges.

(Perhaps you are not as big on transparency as you thought!)

Incidentally, I am only saying that an independent process to ensure value for money is needed, not necessarily that ECF members know the exact figure.

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:37 am

Apples and oranges perhaps, but as I say, you have to have an arrangement the players are happy with. Sure, some kind of independent process might well be a good idea.
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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Chris Goodall » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:40 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:14 am
Chris Goodall wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:06 am
Presumably those payments to FIDE are the reason Gold membership is dearer than Silver, though?
Why not check the numbers? Then you wouldn't have to presume.
Hey, 12:14am, you managed a whole day without sulking at me.
Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:33 am
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:45 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:37 pm

What is actually the point of finishing 9th in an Olympiad? Is it prestige?
That's somewhat higher than the football team managed in recent events.

I think there was a thread once which compared the respective performances.There had been a longish run of Olympiad and European performances equivalent to not even qualifying or going out at the group stages.

Financing the national teams has a long history. It didn't use to involve tapping the membership as it was covered by sponsorship and grants from UK governments. That's in plural because the Welsh and Scottish devolved governments have also supported national chess teams.
I remember that back in the 1990s, John Nunn wrote to CHESS to correct a reader's misapprehension that BCF money was being spent on national teams, pointing out the existence of sponsorship and saying (reasonably enough) that unjustified criticism of the team did not help with retaining sponsors. But I don't remember him writing anything which would justify (effectively involuntary) sponsorship of the team by ordinary players.
Indeed, justifying the national teams' budgets by pointing at sponsors is the exception that proves the rule: if there weren't sponsors, it wouldn't be justified. John Nunn's article is an argument against channeling money from the grassroots to the élite.
JustinHorton wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:48 am
Still, the Olympiad is the biggest event in chess after the world championship, the England team are the ECF's representatives there and I for one would like us to put out a strong side if at all possible. Of course people might take a policy decision to choose younger players for the purpose of giving them experience, and that might well be a good strategy, but in general I understand that professional players need paying and that if we want to have them representing us, we need to put our hand in our collective pocket.
Three points, firstly if "professional players need paying", well, there are more professional players in England than can fit on an Olympiad team! The ECF, quite rightly, doesn't guarantee a yearly income for every G.M. Joe who decides to call him/herself a professional player. If the market doesn't demand your services, you're not a professional, and life goes on.

Secondly, when you say "our collective pocket", we don't have a collective pocket, this isn't 1920s Russia. The people who care about the Olympiad team have pockets, and the people who don't care about the Olympiad team have pockets. Clearly the carers' pockets aren't actually deep enough to fund the Olympiad team, or else you wouldn't be shaking down the non-carers to make up the shortfall. So when you say "if WE want to have them representing US" - WE don't want that, you want that.

Thirdly, we fund the men more than the women. Why is that? It's clearly easier to win the women's tournament, because the top teams' grades are lower. So why concentrate on the more difficult tournament? Is it intentional, or is it because when groups of men decide to intervene in a free market the results tend by magic to be better for men than for women?
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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:54 am

Chris Goodall wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:40 am
when you say "our collective pocket", we don't have a collective pocket
We do, in fact. We pay our subs and we have budgets and we have officials who decide how they shall be spent.
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NickFaulks
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:05 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:40 am
NickFaulks wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:14 am
Chris Goodall wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:06 am
Presumably those payments to FIDE are the reason Gold membership is dearer than Silver, though?
Why not check the numbers? Then you wouldn't have to presume.
Hey, 12:14am, you managed a whole day without sulking at me.
I suppose my comment was a bit sharp, although I do no understand your description. I just get irritated when people, not just in this federation, suggest that FIDE levies huge fees. This is quite untrue, as is easy to check.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Chris Goodall » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:43 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:54 am
Chris Goodall wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:40 am
when you say "our collective pocket", we don't have a collective pocket
We do, in fact. We pay our subs and we have budgets and we have officials who decide how they shall be spent.
Exactly - we wouldn't need that whole mechanism for extracting money from the casual players and funnelling it to the national teams, if the casual players cared enough to fund it directly like they do the national football team. That's how it works in sport - if you're not getting the fans through the gates, you have to cut your wage bill accordingly. These ain't hospitals and schools we're funding here. Of course, certain chess fans like free stuff, and so will object strenuously and verbosely to the idea that élite chess should be funded by the people who want to watch élite chess.
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Mike Truran » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:04 pm

The ECF's contribution to the European Team and the Olympiad works out, if my maths is correct, at a little less than £2 per member per annum. That doesn't seem like an excessive amount to me. The budget assumes that anything over and above the core run rate for junior and international chess is funded by outside sources.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Chris Goodall » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:12 pm

Mike Truran wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:04 pm
The ECF's contribution to the European Team and the Olympiad works out, if my maths is correct, at a little less than £2 per member per annum. That doesn't seem like an excessive amount to me.
Great, then they wouldn't miss it if we took it away, would they?
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