ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Carl Portman
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ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by Carl Portman » Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:01 pm

I appreciate that this is not an ECF Forum (I do not think it has one!) but finally with the posting of the full investigation report on the ECF web site today I am able to make a comment. I know that many of you have been awaiting this (as have I, believe me) and I thank you for your consideration.
I have no desire to add to the comments and conclusions made in the report. It is self-evident. However, although the complaint by Tim Wall is made against the CEO, the integrity of several other people, including myself has been bought into question. I therefore reserve my own right to comment.

Although I have entitled this post 'ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT it has not been ratified or agreed by the ECF, it is just me making my own comment. I take sole responsibility for that but I have waited long enough.

Look at page 10, where you will see my response about the date of my CREDO document – which is the main issue regarding myself. This is the only ‘error’ I made in the process and is something I could have explained to the complainant had he just spoken to me instead of posting on Social Media for the world to see first. Only he knows why he chose that course of action. I absolutely can see now why that date would be confusing (duh!) but it was all done with the very best of intentions and is entirely my responsibility.

So, to be clear. I wrote my credo BEFORE the interview but dated it for the day of the interview. I explained to the panel at the interview that this was the case and that I was not being so arrogant as to expect I would get the job, but that the document as of that day was ready to go. Had I just left the date as the one when I wrote the CREDO it would never have been an issue. I learned a lesson there, fair enough. There is no story here. Let me be clear. I was not told that I would get the job before-hand. There were no secret deals, no discussions. It was not a fait accompli. I was the successful candidate and Mr Wall wasn’t. It’s really as simple as that.

I am not surprised that the investigative team found no wrong-doing because there wasn’t any. I speak with express regard to the DO issue in the document. With specific regard to Mr Wall’s many other points and accusations in his complaint, I had no involvement and am unable to comment.
I currently remain in post and I want to promote chess. I can only do this – the ECF can only do this – with the help of the membership and willing people ‘out there’ who do all the things they do from running associations, clubs and events to doing much more. The ECF gets some bad press – sometimes it is fair enough. But it needs your support. It’s hard for anyone to do a job being constantly undermined or unappreciated. There are some very decent and hard-working people working for the ECF at all levels and they deserve support.

What should have been a very enjoyable beginning for me in the DO role has been jaundiced by malicious behaviour in my view but be assured, I remain undeterred. The higher they build the wall, the taller I become. (Oops, that was a quotation. I know at least one person here thinks I ‘waffle’ and use quotations too often. Bad news, it’s my style and I shall continue so to do. If you don’t like it, don’t read it).

To those who have supported me, thank you. To those on this Forum who gave me the benefit of the doubt and waited patiently for me to speak, thank you. It says a lot about you. I was unable to comment whilst the investigation was ongoing and most of you got that – except for one or two who contacted me personally (you know who you are) and became angry that I would not – could not – give them the answers they sought.

To the comment about ‘I am beginning to form a view about Carl Portman’ I say this. Excuse the language folks but to quote from the movie Deadpool ‘opinions are like assholes – everybody’s got one’. I don’t mind, opinions are absolutely fine with me but let’s get on with the job of promoting chess. I actually enjoy the fact that this forum has strong and vigorous views and varied subject matter. Getting involved is what it is all about. I learn most from those I disagree with but please let's give people the benefit of doubt where we can.

I will not be entertaining a stream of exchanges here. I have simply been courteous enough (I hope) to use this forum to make a statement, because I respect the fact that this is an important forum, very actively used by many people who I respect and know.

Read the document. Pages 1-14 are the essence of the report. It’s not MY report, so draw your own conclusions. I am past spending more time on this. Meanwhile I am working on several chess issues for 2020. Please contact me via the ECF if you want to discuss chess in your area or any ideas for recruiting new members.

Gens una sumus (except for those that choose not to be)

Carl Portman
ECF Development Officer

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:54 pm

Carl Portman wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:01 pm
I appreciate that this is not an ECF Forum (I do not think it has one!)
Probably just as well not to reopen that particular can of worms

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Carl Portman
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by Carl Portman » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:15 am

Jonathan,

I never like to let the past dictate the future. I have no idea what the 'can of worms' might be but I am genuinely interested (and probably naïve) to learn what the issue was. It is a fact that so many people think that this is an organ of the ECF - the name is very similar. Indeed a colleague said to me only last night that he assumed this was the ECF Forum. Not so. I am all ears Jonathan if you want to briefly articulate what the can of worms was as I don't have a clue! We don't have to name names, just give me an idea. If you don't want to, I respect that but clearly I am a bit 'green' on this issue.

Cheers,

Carl

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Michael Farthing
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:29 am

The EC Forum started life with the blessing of the ECF but following some disagreement was .. er well, disowned. However, that was not the can of worms. During the Phil Ehr years the ECF started its own forum as it regarded this one as - I've genuinely forgotten the word, senior moment - anyway "not nice by a very long way". In particular, that its light moderation permitted hostile posts that put off potential sponsorship of the ECF. It was widely assumed that the new forum was designed explicitly to send this one out of business and there were a lot of hot words. The Ehr regime lost the following ECF elections and the new Board closed the ECF forum (which had never been widely supported and had its own internal controversies) and effectively peace was made between this forum and the ECF.

PS Senior moment over - the word was "toxic".

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:35 am

Yes, a long history (someone should write it...).

For a flavour, see:

Real Names (from 2007)
Censorship on new English Chess Forum (from 2014)

Has it really been five years? :shock:

ben.graff
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by ben.graff » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:57 am

Getting back on topic... The report could not be clearer in its findings. Those who took the time to do such a thorough piece of work deserve our thanks. Carl’s own statement is also really helpful. What’s left to say? Perhaps only to wish Carl the best of luck. I know he will do a terrific job.

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Carl Portman
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by Carl Portman » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:49 am

Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:29 am
The EC Forum started life with the blessing of the ECF but following some disagreement was .. er well, disowned. However, that was not the can of worms. During the Phil Ehr years the ECF started its own forum as it regarded this one as - I've genuinely forgotten the word, senior moment - anyway "not nice by a very long way". In particular, that its light moderation permitted hostile posts that put off potential sponsorship of the ECF. It was widely assumed that the new forum was designed explicitly to send this one out of business and there were a lot of hot words. The Ehr regime lost the following ECF elections and the new Board closed the ECF forum (which had never been widely supported and had its own internal controversies) and effectively peace was made between this forum and the ECF.

PS Senior moment over - the word was "toxic".
Thank you for explaining that Michael - that was very helpful to give me some context.

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Carl Portman
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by Carl Portman » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:54 am

ben.graff wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:57 am
Getting back on topic... The report could not be clearer in its findings. Those who took the time to do such a thorough piece of work deserve our thanks. Carl’s own statement is also really helpful. What’s left to say? Perhaps only to wish Carl the best of luck. I know he will do a terrific job.
Thank you Ben. Haters are gonna hate from behind their keyboards. the ONLY person that knows the truth about my involvement in the job process...is ME! I can sleep well at night. One day, some people might actually like to talk to me about chess in 2020.

Angus French
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by Angus French » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:39 am

Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:29 am
The EC Forum started life with the blessing of the ECF...
For what it's worth, this isn't accurate. The Board agreed there should be a facility through which Directors would make announcements and respond to queries but no proposal for a forum was ever put to or agreed by the Board.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by Michael Farthing » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:02 pm

Angus French wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:39 am
Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:29 am
The EC Forum started life with the blessing of the ECF...
For what it's worth, this isn't accurate. The Board agreed there should be a facility through which Directors would make announcements and respond to queries but no proposal for a forum was ever put to or agreed by the Board.
As I understand it the forum was originally hosted under the ECF domain and certainly the then ECF Chief Executive contributed to it. Strikes me that constitutes having the ECF's blessing.

David Sedgwick
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:19 pm

Angus French wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:39 am
Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:29 am
The EC Forum started life with the blessing of the ECF...
For what it's worth, this isn't accurate. The Board agreed there should be a facility through which Directors would make announcements and respond to queries but no proposal for a forum was ever put to or agreed by the Board.
Angus, please see Chris Majer's statement at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=21&p=38#p38

Angus French
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Re: ECF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER STATEMENT

Post by Angus French » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:57 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:19 pm
Angus French wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:39 am
Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:29 am
The EC Forum started life with the blessing of the ECF...
For what it's worth, this isn't accurate. The Board agreed there should be a facility through which Directors would make announcements and respond to queries but no proposal for a forum was ever put to or agreed by the Board.
Angus, please see Chris Majer's statement at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=21&p=38#p38
Er, yes. Thanks for pointing that out.

Apologies to Michael.

I read Michael's post, went away and then misconstrued it. My comment was on the EC*F* Forum, not on this forum which was the one referred to.

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