15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

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TimWall
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15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by TimWall » Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:45 am

As a coach in Turkey on the just-finished World Schools Individual Championship, I am extremely concerned about the extra currency transfer fee charged by the ECF.
Instead of charging 1:1.15 in its GBP to EUR conversion, the ECF fixed a rate of 1:1 - in effect a 15% markup.
This was justified by the Junior Director as necessary to take account of currency fluctuations amid the Brexit confusion, and to pay for a Team Analysis Room at the hotel venue, Adalya Elite Lara Resort in Antalya.
Suffice it to say, there were no significant currency fluctuations. There was also no England Team Room.
Now we are being told that this is OK, because the surplus - I estimate it to be in the region of £7,000-£8,000 for 27 England players - that the ECF is making from these fees is going to go into a Bursary Fund. Where presumably parents on future trips would have to plead financial hardship to get help.
One parent described this to me as 'a total rip off.'
This markup came on top of other inflated charges connected with the event, such as a 'hotel/airport transfer' fee of 100 Euros per person. (in fact, the airport transfers were really unreliable and most people ended up getting a simple taxi for 75 Turkish lira (about £10) each way.)
These exorbitant transfer fees should be reimbursed to all parents immediately, in my own and several parents' opinion.

NickFaulks
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:54 am

TimWall wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:45 am
This markup came on top of other inflated charges connected with the event, such as a 'hotel/airport transfer' fee of 100 Euros per person. (in fact, the airport transfers were really unreliable and most people ended up getting a simple taxi for 75 Turkish lira (about £10) each way.)
This has long been a feature of FIDE events. I believe that the new administration is making an effort to hack through these ripoffs, but there is much to do.

TimWall
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by TimWall » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:58 am

Nick, please don't try to make this all about FIDE. In the ECF's invoice to parents (presented via Bridge Overseas) even that 100 euros for the ripoff hotel-airport transfer magically became £100.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:33 am

TimWall wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:45 am

This markup came on top of other inflated charges connected with the event
It's a fact of life and has been for many years that organisers of mass international events under the auspices of FIDE treat these as profit centres and fund raisers. So entrants are required to pay peak season hotel rates for off season accommodation dates and have to stay in "official" hotels etc. That's why there are now so many of them and why there's sometimes bitter rows about who gets the award.

The ECF struggles for finance to pay for its international activities. It too should look for a mark up on sending players to international events where their expectation is no higher than a 50% score.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:48 am

The issue of over-charging parents has been raised previously on this forum - see, for example, viewtopic.php?f=7&t=9859 - although, elsewhere, the ECF hasn't been seen as the prime culprit. But, if parents feel (reasonably, in my view) they're being ripped off, the sight of organisers scurrying around to put the blame elsewhere isn't going to placate them.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:00 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:48 am
But, if parents feel (reasonably, in my view) they're being ripped off
In the previous thread, it's mentioned that playing for England as a junior in a world or European chess event is seen by parents as CV enhancing. Assuming that to be correct, is that reflected glory in part down to the success of England teams and players at adult level? If so, then shouldn't some financial contribution be made to the continuation of such success?

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:16 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:00 pm
Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:48 am
But, if parents feel (reasonably, in my view) they're being ripped off
In the previous thread, it's mentioned that playing for England as a junior in a world or European chess event is seen by parents as CV enhancing. Assuming that to be correct, is that reflected glory in part down to the success of England teams and players at adult level? If so, then shouldn't some financial contribution be made to the continuation of such success?
I think my answer to Roger's first question would be "No - or, at best, only to a very limited extent" whereupon there's no need to answer his second.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:22 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:16 pm
whereupon there's no need to answer his second.
Despite the denials, it's clear enough that amateur club players are being asked to finance ECF international activity. Why shouldn't parents looking for CV enhancing experiences for their children make a contribution as well?

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:15 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:22 pm
Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:16 pm
whereupon there's no need to answer his second.
Despite the denials, it's clear enough that amateur club players are being asked to finance ECF international activity. Why shouldn't parents looking for CV enhancing experiences for their children make a contribution as well?
They already are, through their children's 'gold' membership of ECF, in exactly the same way as those "amateur club members" who are 'gold' members. Surely it's not unreasonable to ask why parents should be expected to pay more - particularly if that means hundreds of pounds?

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JustinHorton
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:21 pm

My guess is that it would surprise parents of chess-playing children to learn that they were making no contribution to their children's costs.
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David Robertson
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by David Robertson » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:30 pm

Never mind the mark-up, ask instead why any ENG attended.

Our youngsters performed poorly for the most part, presumably miles out of their depth. Again! No other kindred European nations bothered to send players. So 'World Schools Champs' is about as accurate as 'World Series baseball'. Better they call it for what it is: Turkish Schools Champs with added guests. Just nonsense. Waste of time, money, effort - with zero value-added except for a few days in the sunshine for participants and parents.

And who gets to go? Which ENG get to have "played for England in WSC" on their CV? Is it the best of our best? Or is it whoever has parents ready to pony up the cash. I couldn't be troubled to wade through every age-group, so I selected one at random. Our player in the u-13 Open performed to seed - ie. badly. So where does the lad rank among ENG u-13s? Answer: he ranks 91st. That's right, there are ninety ENG-rated players ahead of him on the list.

So I ask: what's going on here? Is this junior international exposure yielding measurable value-added? Or is it simply a wasteful vanity project where any benefits are captured by individuals independent of the chess? If the latter, let the individuals pay. Pay all of it

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:43 pm

I think this was a very harsh post. The European Schools and World Schools are regarded as developmental championships and did have up to this point a more relaxed selection criteria. The new regime is arriving though, as can be evidenced by the recent listing of qualifiers for the 'Major' Championships, i.e. the World Cadets, World Youth and European Youth Championships. If anything it's gone too far the other way as there are now next to no northern junior players who have met the qualification criteria. (And the lad you were picking on was from the North of England, was in fact playing in his first England event a full year above his natural age group, and knowing his strong character and genuine love for chess will I'm sure develop each year and turn into a really handy Open level player. You have done him a massive disservice with your comments.)

I was going to put this in a separate post, but what will it take for the organisers of very large northern congresses such as Blackpool and Scarborough, to make their Major sections FIDE rated? At present there is a huge north/south divide where the south gets ready access to FIDE events and the north does not. I would add, as Tim Wall has been very actively posting today, that his Northumbria Masters is an absolutely brilliant concept, and is now easily - by a county mile - the best FIDE event the north has going for it, especially as it now has 'Challenger' sections for good junior players to aim for, who aren't quite Yichen Han type level as yet.

Ian Thompson
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Ian Thompson » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:12 pm

David Robertson wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:30 pm
Our youngsters performed poorly for the most part, presumably miles out of their depth.
Something does seem to have gone badly wrong with the qualification criteria, which say they've been set at a level where a player meeting them would expect to be in the top quarter of the field.

Of those players with a rating, 3 were seeded in the top quarter of the field and 14 were not.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:21 pm

David Robertson wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:30 pm
Never mind the mark-up, ask instead why any ENG attended.

Our youngsters performed poorly for the most part, presumably miles out of their depth. Again! No other kindred European nations bothered to send players. So 'World Schools Champs' is about as accurate as 'World Series baseball'. Better they call it for what it is: Turkish Schools Champs with added guests. Just nonsense. Waste of time, money, effort - with zero value-added except for a few days in the sunshine for participants and parents.

And who gets to go? Which ENG get to have "played for England in WSC" on their CV? Is it the best of our best? Or is it whoever has parents ready to pony up the cash. I couldn't be troubled to wade through every age-group, so I selected one at random. Our player in the u-13 Open performed to seed - ie. badly. So where does the lad rank among ENG u-13s? Answer: he ranks 91st. That's right, there are ninety ENG-rated players ahead of him on the list.

So I ask: what's going on here? Is this junior international exposure yielding measurable value-added? Or is it simply a wasteful vanity project where any benefits are captured by individuals independent of the chess? If the latter, let the individuals pay. Pay all of it
I suggest that the qualification criteria, selection process and tournament performances are a different subject - certainly a worthwhile discussion but not really relevant to the fees issue. As for David's sign-off, "Let the individuals pay. Pay all of it", they already are. And almost £300 per head besides. That's the point.

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David Shepherd
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by David Shepherd » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:09 pm

From the regulations "9.4 Each player, official and accompanying person shall pay 100 EUR registration fee for the event to the bank account listed below. Registration fee must be transferred till 17.03.2019 registration deadline. The Registration Fee includes airport transfers from/to official hotels, accreditation, organizational expenses and coffee, tea, water, cookies at tournament halls. " The 100 Euro's was not just for the transfer - in my experience the entry fees plus transfer/registration fees don't tend to be that unreasonable (I think 140 euro total in this case - http://wscc2019.tsf.org.tr/images/stori ... s_3_OS.pdf)it is normally the mark-up on the hotels that is used to fund the event.

Given that the ECF must pay some expenses in Euro's would it not make sense to open a Euro bank account if they do not already have one?

From the original post it seems that there is at least some problem in the way this has been handled/perceived. For the ECF to charge an admin fee may well be sensible and reasonable, to charge a totally unreasonable exchange rate isn't (or at least won't be perceived to be).

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