ECF Council Finance meeting 12 April 2014
There were around 50 attendees at the meeting in London. I’ve managed to avoid a number of these meetings in the past but this seemed an interesting one to go on and Yorkshire needed to be represented.
Mike Gunn was coaxed out of retirement to chair this potentially difficult meeting but in the end it seemed to go without too much of a hitch and indeed finished on time. Thanks to him for managing it so well.
The most controversial issue on the agenda, was whether or not to give Andrew Paulson the proxy for the ECF’s ECU vote.This was brought forward straight after the matters arising.
Although the Board had put the motion forward the floor seemed to consider this a token gesture by them to get Mr Paulson to resign. If you remember the interview we had with Andrew we asked him specifically if he was wanting to use his place as President of the ECF to further his FIDE ambitions. By giving him the vote at the ECU this would be at the expense of Nigel Short who was elected our FIDE delegate and should cast the vote for the ECF. I don’t feel two wrongs make a right so I voted against the motion and to retain Nigel as our voice on the ECU.
Nigel spoke against the motion and seemed to have support from a number of other members present. Andrew Paulson spoke last and seemed resigned to losing the vote. The final result was 79 in favour, 153 against, and 30 abstentions. So Nigel Short will cast the ECF’s vote at the ECU elections.
There was a bit of confusion about the ECF Awards.These haven’t been advertised as yet but Stewart Reuben stated there wasn’t a committee in place and that it might be best to wait until the end of the season to form one. Bill Metcalfe, the NCCU President, volunteered to help if he could.
The ECF accounts they showed the ECF had a surplus for the year of £11k, but that was taking into account a legacy of £12k, without which the ECF would probably be somewhere between break- even and a small deficit. David Eustace was rightly praised and thanked for his work in preparing the accounts.
For the 2014/15 budget a surplus of £21k is predicted. This is partly because the previous Office Manager resigned and John Philpott was doing a lot of the work voluntarily. This will be a 1 year bonus because the plan is to appoint a new Office Manager.
An extra £4k was put in the international budget to allow for the fact that there are 2 international competitions in the financial year.
The next item was the proposal to take £5,500 out of the expected surplus for 13/14 to ensure that the ECF can put out the strongest teams possible for the Olympiad. There was discussion about the women’s team, and how the funding is split between them and the open team.
The motion was passed by a large margin in a hand vote- 28 in favour with 8 against.
The membership fees will be the same next year. A number of people spoke highly of the membership scheme. Nigel Short was one such positive voice and he got one of the biggest laughs at the meeting when he re-introduced himself as the ECU Delegate.
There was discussion about the board’s proposal to increase game fee by 25p. The Finance Director admitted it was hoped to phase out game fee by increasing it steadily over time. The card vote which took place kept the status quo at £2 per player per game.
There was a discussion on the ECF’s work on charitable status. This could be beneficial to raising funds for all sorts of chess projects in this country. Wisely, the Board didn’t agree to transfer any sums to create a fund yet but instead proposed to enter a period of consultation.
Under Any Other Business Keith Arkell’s European Seniors’ Championship success was praised and also proposed a vote of thanks to Sean Hewitt for his work as Non- Exec Director. Angus French revealed that he has applied for the now- vacant NED role.
Finally a young lady by the name of Ulrika I think, was one of two people in line for a chance of the marketing Director post. She did really well sticking the meeting out to the not so bitter end.