ECF Finance meeting 2018

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Angus French
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Angus French » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:22 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:07 pm
Angus French wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:28 pm
The proposal was made because I was surprised at the level of expenditure for the 2016 Olympiad in Baku - £58,879 for two five-player teams which is equivalent to almost £6,000 a player.
Weren't there also the expenses of trainers?

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/baku-olympiad-round-up/
Yes, though ultimately it's two five-person teams... One of the breakdowns I suggested was for coaching.

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Hok Yin Stephen Chiu » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:40 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:49 pm
Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:43 am
This proved contentious, despite a jovial remark that the effective increase for current bronze members was £4 – roughly a pint of beer – I was reminded by a member of the Board that if the £1 price increase in Item 6 caused anguish, then this would be 4 times the anguish…
Sorites paradox. When does a collection of grains of sand become a heap? When does a collection of small increases in membership become an extortionate fee?

How does an IT project get to be a year late? (One day at a time).

I spend much more on stuff that I've been told costs "less than a cup of coffee" than I spend on coffee.

If it was a small amount, it wouldn't be missed by the people requesting it.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:17 am
My point is that if you want new players, you don't impose individual membership requirements at all. That's an avenue the ECF blocked off with the consequence that it's just ticking over at replacement level, if that.
I get it, Roger. I've been saying the same thing since membership started. Talking about the social policy benefits of membership is like talking about the social policy benefits of the poll tax. We do whatever brings in the most revenue, and then look around for ways to justify it post hoc.

This is directed at Andrew Z, too: you have to pull the levers you can pull, no matter how big their effect on the output is. We care about global warming even though it's 1 or 2 degrees on a planet that's already heated to about 300.
benedgell wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:06 am
At the last Chess Academy weekend there was 20% female students. The aim is to get this to 25%.
The statistician in me would like to know whether that's 25% of total attendees or of total capacity. Reaching 25% of total attendees is easy, just turn away 25% of the boys you currently have.
The proposal was a change to the membership system which would amount to a £4 increase (or a Silver discount, all depending on perspective), the proposal was NOT let's add £4 every year, and go £20, £24, £28... ad infinitium...

@Roger @Chris Perhaps make your proposals at the next meeting? I for one will never be an opponent for hearing out alternatives ways of doing things better.

On the matter of the ECF Academy, it was a shame I was not there for the part of the debate, but certainly from Warwick University, I was asked to ask for details about the ECF Academy, Olympaid, and other aspects of the spending, which was perceived not value for money. However, being late and also forgetting to raise my questions to the relevant Directors at the break, I missed two opportunities sadly... Anyhow, I do agree on the point about artificial targets, sometimes the quest of target chasing makes us lose sight of what is important.

It's laudable to aim for 25% of the Academy to be female, BUT, the Academy from what I understand is catered for the most elite Juniors. If we want gender parity, we need to focus on the entry-level at the grassroots. I certainly have not heard about the ECF Academy in the past, it was brought to my attention by individuals from Warwick University with knowledge on these things, who expressed the opinion that perhaps more funding should be going into coaching more juniors across the country of all strengths, instead of focusing funding on the elite on an invite-only basis (since, the top chess players often receive coaching from eminent chess masters already). [Free feel to correct me, if my knowledge on these things is not quite spot on]

I.e. the University of Warwick Committee never had quotas, yet 40% of the Committee is female, since our focus was more on making sure the Society was welcoming regardless of gender. So whilst, it is paramount to aim for gender parity, we need to not aim for low-hanging fruit of easy-to-achieve statistics, and address the underlying issues head on.

Regarding breakdowns on the large sums mentioned by Angus, I absolutely agree that these figures require scrutiny.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:49 pm

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:40 pm
I certainly have not heard about the ECF Academy in the past, it was brought to my attention by individuals from Warwick University with knowledge on these things, who expressed the opinion that perhaps more funding should be going into coaching more juniors across the country of all strengths, instead of focusing funding on the elite on an invite-only basis (since, the top chess players often receive coaching from eminent chess masters already).
At least one of the intentions of the Academy is to give a pathway for players to become world top 100. It's getting on for ten years since David Howell and Gawain Jones broke into the Olympiad team and within range of or inside the world top 100. There haven't been any younger players since then looking anywhere near good enough with even GM titles becoming infrequent.

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Hok Yin Stephen Chiu » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:22 pm

Edit: Comment misread.
Last edited by Hok Yin Stephen Chiu on Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:56 am, edited 4 times in total.

Mike Truran
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Mike Truran » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:33 pm

£72,000? I don’t think so.

Please have another look at the numbers.

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Hok Yin Stephen Chiu » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:45 pm

Edit: Figure misread.
Last edited by Hok Yin Stephen Chiu on Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:56 am, edited 4 times in total.

NickFaulks
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:55 pm

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:45 pm
If so, please direct me to the correct figures?
Try looking at the income.

Mike Truran
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Mike Truran » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:56 pm

That is the link.

Please net off the income line.

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Hok Yin Stephen Chiu » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:00 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:55 pm
Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:45 pm
If so, please direct me to the correct figures?
Try looking at the income.
Okay - I may have zoomed in too much, and my laptop was playing up.

So the ECF Academy brings in £53,000 of income and costs £72,000 of expenditure? Would that now be correct? [Edit: just re-read your comment, I was being a numpty, and the answer to my own question is yes]

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:56 pm

The ECF is not poor; on the contrary, it has big reserves and they need to be put to work.
Malcolm Pein Chess Editorial May 2018

Fact or fiction, agree or disagree?

NickFaulks
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:23 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:56 pm
Malcolm Pein Chess Editorial May 2018
Anything of interest? For instance, any guide to what he might have said at Finance Council had he been there?
Last edited by NickFaulks on Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Graham Borrowdale
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:27 pm

The question of whether and under what circumstances financial reserves should be used is one which most not-for-profit organisations face from time to time. I think the general view is that major investment would be such a purpose, whereas using reserves to cover a planned operating deficit is not advisable. I have not seen the Chess May editorial, so I don't know whether it makes specific proposals.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:12 am

Graham Borrowdale wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:27 pm
I think the general view is that major investment would be such a purpose, whereas using reserves to cover a planned operating deficit is not advisable.
Don't sell the family silver to pay the bills, as Harold Macmillan would have said.
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!

Mick Norris
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:44 am

benedgell wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:06 am
From some of the early items:

There were a couple of minor changes to the minutes from the AGM.

There was some criticism of the lack of advanced notice of the removal of 3yr membership.

The accounts are subject to review, but the figures are better then expected.

There was discussion as to whether or not the Olympiad is more costly then the Euro Team Champs.

The budget is anticipating growth in membership (Yorkshire & juniors were specifically mentioned). The budget is anticipating an increase of members by 500 for each of the next 3yrs.

The Chess Library is valued at £130k. Once proper insurance is sorted (hopefully this week) it'll be open for members to visit.

The motion I mentioned in the previous post passed, 19 for, 6 against.

£5k is ringfenced for Women's Chess.

There was discussion as to why the budget for arbiters at the British is higher then the budget for players.

At the last Chess Academy weekend there was 20% female students. The aim is to get this to 25%.

The top junior players are being put in to an accelerator programme, financially supported by the Chess Trust. It is guaranteed for the 1st year, then will be reviewed before commitments are made for future years.

There was discussion about the work of the Finance Committee.

There was discussion of the removal of £1 discount for online membership review.

There was discussion of two elements of the junior membership: Bronze and Silver junior being the same price, and the pay to play fee for FIDE rated games for juniors being less then the difference between junior Silver and Gold. For the latter, the pay to play fee only allows tge junior to play in that one event, whilst a Junior Gold member can play in as many Fide- rated events as they wish over the course of the season.
Thanks for this Ben; thanks as always to you and all those who gave up their time to attend
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: ECF Finance meeting 2018

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:10 am

"It's laudable to aim for 25% of the Academy to be female, BUT, the Academy from what I understand is catered for the most elite Juniors. If we want gender parity, we need to focus on the entry-level at the grassroots."

I would have thought if the Academy aims for the best juniors, it should take the best juniors irrespective of whether the players are male, female, transgender etc. At "entry-level", you just want loads of players. Anyone can play better with a bit of advice, even if they are not likely to become GMs.

I agree with Angus that some sort of breakdown of costs should be published. It doesn't need to be player A got £X and B got £Y. If we want the best team, we should be paying the players properly.

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