April Council meeting 2019

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Roger de Coverly
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April Council meeting 2019

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:49 am

Papers for this have appeared on the ECF website.

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/about/e ... and-board/

They aren't intending to discuss what many players would regard as the most pressing issue, namely the scrapping and rebuild of the grading system

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-cont ... Agenda.pdf

They are however proposing to scrap the county eligibility rules, but only for female players.
10.County Championships: Council is asked to consider, and if thought fit, approve the following resolution from Chris Fegan (Director of Women’s Chess):”That all teams in the ECF stage of the County Championship open section from the 2019/20 competition onwards must include at least one female player. That female player shall be deemed to satisfy the qualification requirements for playing in that team.”
With their extra votes, the Bronze and Silver member representatives are proposing a cap on the International expenditure that those they represent are paying for.

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-cont ... lution.pdf

This is opposed by the representative of the Gold members.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Stewart Reuben » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:19 pm

We propose that the contribution to International Chess from the ECF’s own funds is capped at£30,000 per annum for 2019/20 through to 2021/2022 (for three years) after which it should be subject to review.

It is grossly improper to tie the hands of the ECF AFTER 2019-2020. This part of that proposal MUST be opposed by everybody. They haven't even added in an allowance for inflation.
It would also mae it more difficult to raise business sponsorship and, even more difficult to obtain philanthropic support.

NickFaulks
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:24 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:19 pm
It would also mae it more difficult to raise business sponsorship and, even more difficult to obtain philanthropic support.
Really? I would be very sceptical of business sponsors or philanthropists who took that view.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:17 pm

Not that I have a direct vote but I'm worryingly in two minds about the proposal. While I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Silver representatives who are a party to this proposal; I do also see the hand of those who are pursuing their own agenda against the board.

However. As a club chairman and league secretary I have spent the past few years trying to encourage ECF membership on the grounds that we need a strong national body and that there will be a `return` for grassroots players. I have argued strongly against the argument that membership is just a tax to pay for international chess (not helped by the ignorant perception that grandmasters must be rolling in money). It is becoming harder each year to defend that position.

I would stress that I do NOT see this as the fault of the current board. The international director appears to have a clear strategy and business plan for his directorate. By contrast reinvestment in grassroots chess is hamstrung; partly by the lack of any real infrastructure but also the fact that if grassroots players were canvassed on what they wanted from the ECF all we would have is a series of indicative votes that would only tell us what the majority doesn't want, driven in part by long running feuds (where have I come across something similar).

But part of me thinks that in order to shore up trust between the ECF and the members who fund it international chess may have to suffer a period of austerity while grassroots chess becomes the focus.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:11 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:17 pm
I have argued strongly against the argument that membership is just a tax to pay for international chess
No, it's also a tax to pay for the staff at the ECF Office. No doubt you could apportion that notionally to each of the ECF's areas of operation, but it's not an exercise, that even if done has been published. You get hints every so often. The staff are under pressure of work during the membership renewal season and recently it appears they've pulled out of arranging the numerous mostly junior foreign trips in favour of having the arrangements made by Bridge Overseas/Guaranteed Events. Coordinating the entries to the British Championship Congress with its numerous separate tournaments is now also a task and implicitly a subsidy to that event.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:33 am

Going to monthly grading is all about supporting the 'ordinary' player. I think it will lead to about 10-15% increase in competitive chess in a few years.

Bridgeoverseas are also doing the ECF international senior activity.

The grassroots players need their heroes. These are strong players, be they juniors, adults, seniors, female who demonstrate their prowess mainly internationally.

The ECF should be providing value for money. NOT seeking to minimise expenditure.

Mick Norris
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:47 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:24 pm
Stewart Reuben wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:19 pm
It would also mae it more difficult to raise business sponsorship and, even more difficult to obtain philanthropic support.
Really? I would be very sceptical of business sponsors or philanthropists who took that view.
It's just bo**ocks isn't it? The reality is that if someone wants to sponsor, they'll either provide what they are asked for, or what they can afford/feel appropriate; once you've been elected on a platform of delivering funding for the international teams, then you need to deliver, not ask grassroots players for the money

If you believe grassroots players should fund it, then make the case why and try and win the argument

I'd like us to send strong international teams, but that's got to include Women, Seniors and Juniors, and the selection process needs to be fair and transparent, which it hasn't always been in the past
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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Michael Farthing
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:25 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:17 pm
Not that I have a direct vote but I'm worryingly in two minds about the proposal. While I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Silver representatives who are a party to this proposal; I do also see the hand of those who are pursuing their own agenda against the board.
Andrew, the fat woman has not yet sung!

Speaking personally, I added my name to the motion because (a) past feedback from silver members has shown a majority unhappy with the international spending being taken from membership fees (albeit not an overwhelming majoriy*) and (b) to support Angus in bringing an issue before Council than is worthy of being aired. The silver membership will be given the opportunity to comment directly on this proposaal before Council and if this shows that our perception of silver feeling is incorrect then my votes will go against this motion.

It should be understood, though it seems rarely to be so in either chess or the wider community, that bringing forward a motion and supporting a motion need not be the same thing.

However, to call a motion "improper" on the basis that it hamstrings the ECF when it is being put before the ECFs ultimate governing body does, in my view, lack clarity of thought. I have a great affection and respect for Stewart Rueben, stretching back to reading his column in "Chess" as a boy (I was the boy, not Stewart) but sadly over this we disagree.


*As a bit of a political plug for my national political viewpoint the feedback majority seems to be more than 52-48 :-)

Alex Holowczak
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:15 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:11 pm
it appears they've pulled out of arranging the numerous mostly junior foreign trips in favour of having the arrangements made by Bridge Overseas/Guaranteed Events.
They didn't "[pull] out of arranging the numerous mostly foreign junior trips".

Speaking with respect to junior events, there was general agreement from everyone that the payments should not go through the Office, because:
- The ECF isn't a travel agent, and so it shouldn't be acting as one by arranging hotels, flights, transfers and so on.
- Attendees benefit from ATOL/TTA protection that the ECF doesn't.
- Working out which payments were for what and whom were non-trivial, given the vast array of junior events and the similarity of names of all of the tournaments. This meant it was harder for the book-keepers to produce annual accounts.
- You may not know that the Office Manager is on long-term sick leave, so the Office has something like 1.4 people working in the Office rather than the 2.4 normally have.

John Reyes
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by John Reyes » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:42 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:17 pm
Not that I have a direct vote but I'm worryingly in two minds about the proposal. While I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Silver representatives who are a party to this proposal; I do also see the hand of those who are pursuing their own agenda against the board.
Me and Michael are very happy with this comments and all we wanted to do is raised this with the silver member people

[/quote]
However. As a club chairman and league secretary I have spent the past few years trying to encourage ECF membership on the grounds that we need a strong national body and that there will be a `return` for grassroots players. I have argued strongly against the argument that membership is just a tax to pay for international chess (not helped by the ignorant perception that grandmasters must be rolling in money). It is becoming harder each year to defend that position.

I would stress that I do NOT see this as the fault of the current board. The international director appears to have a clear strategy and business plan for his directorate. By contrast reinvestment in grassroots chess is hamstrung; partly by the lack of any real infrastructure but also the fact that if grassroots players were canvassed on what they wanted from the ECF all we would have is a series of indicative votes that would only tell us what the majority doesn't want, driven in part by long running feuds (where have I come across something similar).

But part of me thinks that in order to shore up trust between the ECF and the members who fund it international chess may have to suffer a period of austerity while grassroots chess becomes the focus.
[/quote]

the members are asking where the money is being spend and it is not only that , the question we want to see where the money is going to and how much is going to each team!!

every year the International Team, let say is pay around £xxxxx. we want to see the breakdown at the meeting, not to be told that the a 3rd party has told us that we can't know!!

it is a AGM and the members do have a right on breakdown
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

John Reyes
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by John Reyes » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:04 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:19 pm
We propose that the contribution to International Chess from the ECF’s own funds is capped at£30,000 per annum for 2019/20 through to 2021/2022 (for three years) after which it should be subject to review.

It is grossly improper to tie the hands of the ECF AFTER 2019-2020. This part of that proposal MUST be opposed by everybody. They haven't even added in an allowance for inflation.
It would also mae it more difficult to raise business sponsorship and, even more difficult to obtain philanthropic support.
what about the View of free Speech, the members have asked where is the money is going and I know in the past Malcolm, has not told us some figures due to the sponsorship of juniper etc!!

as a chess player, I am happy to support the budget, but I also want to know where the money is being spent and angus does have a point!!
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

Paul Cooksey
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Paul Cooksey » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:06 pm

I still have not decided what I think about the proposal

I would prefer the ECF to fund its growth from donations and exceptional income rather than membership fee increases. I think that is in line with the strategy published.

I did give some thought last year what financial resolution I would propose if I though it had support. it would be to require the board to submit a budget based on membership fee increases in line with inflation every year. Council could then choose. But given the board had sufficient votes to get an extremely loose proposal through Council at the AGM it did not seem worth pursuing.

I expect the proposal made would directly influence membership fees. International is the hardest Directorate to fund from other income. But every executive Director is using a percentage of the big admin budget. To me, International spend is clearer than anything else, both in terms of the money spent and the strategy of the Director. So I am not sure I want to challenge only this Director to set a budget.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:26 pm

John Reyes wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:04 pm

what about the View of free Speech, the members have asked where is the money is going and I know in the past Malcolm, has not told us some figures due to the sponsorship of juniper etc!!

as a chess player, I am happy to support the budget, but I also want to know where the money is being spent and angus does have a point!!
I disagree with that. If the money has come from a third party sponsor then exact details of how that money was used should be confidential. As it is not ECF members' money the argument that they have a right to know where that money is going is no longer applicable. Of course if it is money from membership income then the International Director must answer questions and be held to account.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

NickFaulks
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:52 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:26 pm
If the money has come from a third party sponsor then exact details of how that money was used should be confidential. As it is not ECF members' money the argument that they have a right to know where that money is going is no longer applicable. Of course if it is money from membership income then the International Director must answer questions and be held to account.
The problem with that argument is that money is fungible, so it is not always possible to say whose contribution pays for what. Of course, when a sponsor pays all the bills, as in the recent World Teams, then everyone will be delighted and no questions are likely to be asked.

Nick Grey
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:35 pm

Having received our member's voting intentions and excellent analysis last night I let them know I agreed with it and received a thank you.

I think that some of the postings here suggest a basic finance flaw - even the setting of a councils budget meeting or closing of accounts meeting takes less then four hours.

it was nice to play a game off chess on Monday night.

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