On 14th April I shall be going to London for the ECF Finance Council.
The agenda and resolutions have been published here: english chess
Plans are evolving to divide the ECF in two, by creating a
(tax-efficient) charity to support amateur chess, and a separate body
for professional chess. Aspirations for “One-Man-One-Vote” have again
The ECF forum has revealed many of the back stories: ecforum
There are continuing echoes of tee-shirt-gate, now supplemented by
demands that CJ should account for how he handled sponsorship funds,
and what exactly he contributed.
The ECF has criticised its own financial procedures and controls.
It has now been confirmed that the ECF is sueing FIDE, and that ECF
directors concealed this suit from us.
Andrew Farthing, the Executive Director, has been so distracted by
fire-fighting these issues that he has decided to step down in October.
All this reassures us that the ECF remains an essentially amateur
venture, displaying more good intentions than competence, while beset
by idle critics.
But the main issue of the meeting will be to set the ECF fees to be
applied from next September. Details of these fees are published here:
I expect to cast the YCA votes against the Game-Fee rates, but if
other Council members vote as they did in April, these rates will
certainly be adopted.
To maintain its current budget, the ECF wants to collect at least £12
from every chess player. For individuals who do not become members,
the ECF seeks to raise the same sum by charging game-fees to events.
This is why the game-fee will rise from £0.58 to £2, and congress fees
will rise to £6 per non-member.
As ECF membership is low in Yorkshire, these game-fees will hit our
events very hard. As the amount payable cannot be calculated until
after the event, setting budgets will become hazardous. In Yorkshire,
eight leagues ignore the ECF and its fees. The congresses and the two
leagues who do pay will now have to decide whether to find the
increase, or to withdraw. The YCA Committee has recommended against
paying the proposed rates, and our policy will be set at the AGM in June. (see summary of ECM below – ed)
The YCA has 3 votes at the ECF Council (out of 229 total; the number
depends on fees paid). If you support or oppose agenda items, please
email me your views. I cannot promise a reply (I shall be
travelling), but I do promise to represent your wishes.
22 Whin Road, York YO24 1JZ
Summary of the YCA Executive Committee Meeting (ECM)
Jon Griffith, the YCA Deputy President and Chief Grader, was tasked by the committee to find out as many facts on behalf of Yorkshire and summarise it as best that he can. This was circulated around club secretaries and committee members before our December meeting. I have opened a discussion topic on the forum for any more concerns or questions you may have individually and we will try our best to answer the questions as we can.
The result of the December meeting was to propose a position for the YCA and advise all our members and the ECF of this. I copy the extract below. We await the outcome of the ECF Finance Meeting which will influence our voting decisions at the Yorkshire AGM in June.
2) Adoption of a position in response to the ECF proposals
The following positions were put forward at the Executive Committee Meeting and the recommendations made on each will be put forward to the YCA’s AGM of 2012:
“The YCA are opposed to the ECF’s plan to move to a compulsory membership scheme in its proposed format due to the financial burden this will place on organisation and because we believe the ECF’s target of 85% membership is unrealistic. In the event of the ECF’s proposal being ratified the YCA League will be run as a non-ECF registered event.”
This position was noted at the ECM and supported by a substantial majority of attendees.
“The YCA will continue to support the ECF and to encourage individual membership on a voluntary basis., but we reject the excessive transitional game-fee measures. We intend to continue to run an MO scheme if able to do so and are willing to make payments to the ECF at a level which is appropriate to our means. We will therefore submit YCA League games to the ECF in order that the games played by ECF members may be graded, but we are not willing to pay the grading fees for non-ECF members.”
This position was unanimously endorsed at the ECM.
“The YCA accepts the ECF’s proposals and will seek appropriate means to raise the funds required to cover the shortfall which will result from the increase in game fees.”