Council Papers are out

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Mike Gunn
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Mike Gunn » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:22 pm

Back in the day when you didn't need to join the ECF to play FIDE rated chess there were about 1,000 "Direct Members" of the ECF (the equivalent of today's Platinum membership). Although you got some benefits from this membership (free yearbook, reduced entry fee to tournaments and a free annual printout of the graded games you played are the ones I remember) you had to play in a tournament nearly every weekend for the membership to be cost effective - it was basically a way for players to make a voluntary financial contribution to the running of the ECF.

There was a move a year or so ago to take the "donation" part of the Platinum membership fee and direct it to the Chess Trust (as that would be tax efficient) but that was resisted by Platinum members at Council because (e.g. on my part) we would still like to see our money going towards supporting professional players playing at the Olympiad. There are now (I believe) just a couple of hundred Plainum members and I would like to see the ECF do a bit more to promote Platinum membership with an explanation of why it exists.

There is considerable scope for Council members to influence the direction of the ECF by proposing motions at Council. I have tried to promote this during my time as Chairman of Council and (while there are some exceptions) I think it represents an underused opportunity in general. While the Board have to listen to comments made by Council members twice a year it is only by voting on (and passing) motions that Council can have real influence.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:33 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:22 pm
There is considerable scope for Council members to influence the direction of the ECF by proposing motions at Council.
I get the impression that it's discouraged. For example trying to raise a non-financial matter at the April meeting isn't really allowed. As a consequence, decisions to reduce the length of the Championship Congress and the move to monthly rating went through without a Council meeting expressing a view one way or the other before the event.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:54 pm

"There is considerable scope for Council members to influence the direction of the ECF by proposing motions at Council."

Thanks Mike - you've given me my first laugh of the day.

TimWall
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by TimWall » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:08 pm

I originally posted here about the Development Officer appointment, but have decided to open a new thread on the subject instead.
Last edited by TimWall on Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mike Gunn
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Mike Gunn » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:10 pm

In recent years Council has amended the Board's financial proposals and rejected proposed changes to the County Championships so (while these decisions were reactive) Council does have some influence.

NickFaulks
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:36 pm

John Reyes wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:03 am
Just to let you know that Me and keith have sent a silver members info out
I would be interested to read that.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:27 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:33 pm
Mike Gunn wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:22 pm
There is considerable scope for Council members to influence the direction of the ECF by proposing motions at Council.
I get the impression that it's discouraged. For example trying to raise a non-financial matter at the April meeting isn't really allowed. As a consequence, decisions to reduce the length of the Championship Congress and the move to monthly rating went through without a Council meeting expressing a view one way or the other before the event.
That is not quite so. The discussion of finances is complicated and can be both long and somewhat contentious so there is a reasonable concern about the length of agenda. For that reason the Chairman's permission is required. However, that permission has often been given. The problem has lessened in recent years since the reduction in presentaion time given to the Board and now the expectation is that Council Members have read the papers in advance and if they haven't well then that's their fault.

John Reyes
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by John Reyes » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:58 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:36 pm
John Reyes wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:03 am
Just to let you know that Me and keith have sent a silver members info out
I would be interested to read that.
Dear ECF Silver member

I am writing to tell you about the ECF AGM, which takes place on Saturday 12th October, and to seek your input on how, as your representative, I should vote.

I just want to say a big thank you to Michael Farthing for all that he has done for ECF Silver members in the past, and I hope that Keith Jones will be as good as Michael.

There's not really much to discuss, but these are the candidates who are up for election the AGM -

Non-Executive Chairman of the Board – Julian Clissold is standing for re-election
Director of International Chess – Malcolm Pein is standing for re-election
Non-Executive Director – Stephen Woodhouse is standing for re-election
Chairman of Council – there are no candidates for re-election (Mike Gunn is retiring and will be missed)
FIDE Delegate – Malcolm Pein is standing for re-election
Chair of the Finance Committee – Nick Faulks is standing for election (Tim Herring is stepping down)
Member of the Governance Committee – Mike Gunn is standing for re-election.

If you have any questions please email dnr-silver-01@englishchess.org.uk & dnr-silver-02@englishchess.org.uk with the subject ECFAGM2019

Thanks
John Reyes and Keith Jones
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:33 pm

Angus French wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:02 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:09 pm
...Finance Chairman: Now Malcolm, you spent £20,000 on international teams?...
Ah, just to say that £45K was spent on sending two five-player teams to the 2018 Olympiad in Baku with £32K of that spent on fees made up of entry fees, travel fees, hotel fees and other fees including appearance fees. Sponsorship/donations amounted to £9.5K with funding for the rest coming from ECF funds. My guess is that circa £20K was spent on appearance fees. I'd be very happy for Malcolm to correct this figure and provide a *full* breakdown of the fees figure though he's so far not accepted invitations to do so or prevaricated. See here for more information (and also ECF management accounts here). There was also discussion at April's Finance Council meeting.
I like Angus French. I've now renewed my Bronze membership, so I can say that as one of his constituents. Malcolm Pein's success in extracting money from sponsors (sorry, commercial partners) seems to correlate directly with his success in extracting money from the ECF treasury. In fact, the sponsors seem to expect that to be the case. So, pace Andrew Zigmond, Malcolm is not bringing money into English chess so much as... taking it out.

It's only a historical accident that the Olympiad team are allowed to shake down the rank and file at Forest Hall Chess Club for increased funds, whereas the 4NCL, UKCC and London's PRO Chess League team can't. There's no logic to that. There's only the egos of a tiny number of "fans" who don't buy tickets or merchandise, and who already care as much about chess as they're ever going to.

If you had to design a competition that attracted exactly zero non-players along to their local club, you would probably take the best 5 players from each country, not including the Norwegian guy that everyone's heard of, and tell them to go play a series of 7-hour games in a conference centre in one of the less accessible parts of Eastern Europe (bonus points if you can hold it in honest-to-God Siberia), and after a series of matches against seemingly random opponents, Russia, China or the USA are declared the winners. And to make it even more forgettable, you would find the only newsworthy event in the calendar of chess politics, and schedule that for the same time and place as the tournament.

England finished 5th in Batumi. Yay! Show me a player who turned up to a chess club for the first time because England finished 5th, who wouldn't have done so if they'd finished 50th. I will pay their membership fee myself.

There are not ridiculously few professional players in England. Given that our national team generates ticket receipts of £0, there are ridiculously many.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:08 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:33 pm

I like Angus French. I've now renewed my Bronze membership, so I can say that as one of his constituents. Malcolm Pein's success in extracting money from sponsors (sorry, commercial partners) seems to correlate directly with his success in extracting money from the ECF treasury. In fact, the sponsors seem to expect that to be the case. So, pace Andrew Zigmond, Malcolm is not bringing money into English chess so much as... taking it out.
Sorry Chris, not rising to the bait. You have your opinion, I have mine. We're not going to agree and I have other things to do with my time.

I'll look forward to the reports of the meeting when they emerge.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
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Chris Goodall
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:22 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:08 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:33 pm

I like Angus French. I've now renewed my Bronze membership, so I can say that as one of his constituents. Malcolm Pein's success in extracting money from sponsors (sorry, commercial partners) seems to correlate directly with his success in extracting money from the ECF treasury. In fact, the sponsors seem to expect that to be the case. So, pace Andrew Zigmond, Malcolm is not bringing money into English chess so much as... taking it out.
Sorry Chris, not rising to the bait. You have your opinion, I have mine. We're not going to agree and I have other things to do with my time.

I'll look forward to the reports of the meeting when they emerge.
I know you do. It's exactly what separates us from the professionals.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Paul Cooksey » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:10 pm

The expectation of the silver and gold members reps it would be a quiet meeting broadly true in my opinion. The only ECF meeting I have been to that wrapped up substantially early. Perhaps if Mike or Malcolm had been able to attend the discussion would have been different.

I might bang on about strategy at some point, but I was encouraged to hear no plans for membership rate increases beyond those already proposed

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:55 am

Interestingly there has been limited coverage of the meeting on this forum. I have now received a report from elsewhere. As Paul Cooksey says above it was a relatively quiet meeting, however a few points do need highlighting.

All individuals seeking election/ re-election did so with a handful receiving votes against; 9 against Malcolm Pein (both roles), 9 against Nick Faulks and 6 against Stephen Woodhouse. I think it should also be in the public domain that one of the bronze membership representatives did not attend and instructed no proxy, so a good number of the rank and file were disenfranchised. This should not be taken as a criticism of the representative concerned as I strongly suspect extenuating circumstances but hopefully action will be taken to avoid a repetition.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:30 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:55 am
it was a relatively quiet meeting
Did no-one raise a couple of apparent recent anomalies? These being the curious case of the late and reversing finishing order in the Grand Prix and the strangeness of the timing and language surrounding the appointment of the Development Officer?

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:33 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:30 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:55 am
it was a relatively quiet meeting
Did no-one raise a couple of apparent recent anomalies? These being the curious case of the late and reversing finishing order in the Grand Prix and the strangeness of the timing and language surrounding the appointment of the Development Officer?
Obviously those who were at the meeting can speak for themselves but the detailed report I've received doesn't mention the first point. The latter was also unmentioned other than a suggestion that a review of the matter was in hand.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

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