ECF finance meeting

A message from Brian Valentine who represents us at ECF meetings ( I have tried to add the appropriate links):-

I will be attending this meeting on 28th April. I would welcome indications from your club or members,on how I should vote on the various proposals.

Not all papers are available yet, especially the accounts, budgets or fees. However there are proposals on the county championships, combining bronze and silver membership and spending £6k on women’s chess that might give rise to opinions.

I’ll write again if something substantial appears.

You should note that the ECF has published recommendations on data protection on the website that clubs and the association should follow.

Please comment direct to Brian as per recent mail but it might be interesting to discuss things below – I will kick off with my ecf-philic views.


6 Replies to “ECF finance meeting”

  1. Re ‘Bronze members subsidising Silver members ……’ the sums are so insignificant here that I support the NCCU proposal which aims to simplify the system. Currently I think Bronze members would be asked to pay £17 p.a. anyway, but if the proposal is passed they would be asked to unite with the Silver members and pay £20 p.a.. We are talking less than a pint of beer over a whole year! In fact I would go further and have one membership fee to unite Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. I guess £25 would cover it, so we would be up to a three pints of beer increase for current Bronze members. In most other sports it is automatic that club membership fees incorporate the fees for the national body. There has to be a structure and every club player should expect to support it.

    I am not sure what else the ECF can do to raise the profile of the game – you are right, it is a low participation activity, but most initiatives are going to come from local activists, e.g. Ravi resurrecting the Bedford Junior Club. Are we expecting a grant for this from the ECF? The profile was raised recently in ‘The Times’ when Ray Keene had an exclusive interview with Caruana published with photograph in the news pages. That was nothing to do with the ECF. No, the job of the ECF is to maintain the grading system, organise representative teams and the British, County and Club Championships. It also maintains a structure for coaches and arbiters. Obviously the Publicity Officer should watch for opportunities, but these are going to be infrequent. Although average club members may think there is no tangible benefit from ECF membership (would they want to be ungraded, though?) they should willingly see their fee as an important contribution to chess as an organised national activity. Think not what the ECF can do for you, but what you can do for the ECF!

    1. I think there are countless things the ECF could be doing but they don’t so they probably won’t – it’s a culture thing. I’d happily pay a proper fee (£100 or whatever) for the federation I envisage but its a fairly moot point.

  2. I like your ECF-philic, Spike. Shouldn’t it be ECF-phobic? What else exactly should the ECF be doing for the average club player, anyway? Grading is probably the most important thing for most players. Very few would want to lose that. Generally, however, it is vital to have a national body, at least to organise the British Championships and County Championships, to select representative teams and to have a voice at FIDE. No doubt useful things are also being done for leading juniors in the national squad set-up. If the ECF ceased to exist it would have to be reinvented. Currently club players are being asked to contribute a tiny amount each year. I do not begrudge this support for the ECF, even if I get little personal benefit.

    I am not saying that the ECF is managed well in all departments, but it has very few salaried staff and relies mainly on volunteers. You get what you pay for.

    1. I think my philic was a bit ironic and I’m playing devil’s advocate to some extent to (attempt to?) generate debate. Clearly a governing body is necessary, and grading and national championships need organising. I have personally benefitted from junior coaching (although it seems a lifetime ago!) so I’m not really a complete phobe.

      However, and it is a big however, I believe that chess’s main issue is that it is a very low participation pastime. Consequently, although elite coaching and competition drags everyone up a bit, a better approach, in my very humble opinion, would be to increase the base by raising chess’s profile generally in the media and in schools, and supporting local clubs who do a great job with little encouragement.

      When town’s like Luton struggle to maintain a chess club, you’ve got to think something’s going wrong somewhere!

      1. … but anyway the point was whether average club members would be happy subsidising silver members and I suggest that, unless they were getting something extra, they wouldn’t be.

  3. The ecf does so little for the average club member that losing the bronze membership would seem very divisive from my perspective. This isn’t necessarily a criticism (it is really!) but I suggest they would either have to do more for the club player or leave a very basic (please just calculate my grade) membership.

    With regard to data protection, we could use a simple membership form off the website that has a disclaimer tick box – I don’t see that sharing email addresses or even mobile no’s is a concern for our club.

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