Counties Chess

Annual Meeting 2012

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Page published 23 June 2012

ECF Delegate's Report

Andrew Leadbetter

I had thought I was a representative but it seems you think I’m a delegate. I still feel that if I make a report about the 2 ECF Council meetings, you will know as much about it as I, as the decisions are all on the websites, and  many of you attended the same meetings – indeed if you did you’ll know more as I had to count the votes while discussion continued.

However you did ask me to vote in favour of the membership scheme at both meetings, and I did.  At the finance meeting I tried to get the game fee set at £1 instead of £2 by proposing getting rid of the 85% rule for all events.  This backfired, but it does provide more incentive to league clubs to sign all their players up as they will save money if they play 7 games a season.

The minutes said some of you want a delegate’s view of the meetings. I felt the most important parts of both meetings were discussions on the membership scheme in order to secure the financial security of the ECF.  In both meetings discussion took place towards the end of the long meetings.   There was ,of course a lot of special pleading for particular interests.   The comments that stuck in my mind were from a rep from Yorkshire who let on that they were against the membership scheme despite joining the Northern scheme.  It seems his league pulled out the next year as too few club members wanted to join.   At the April meeting, nearly all the objections to the scheme came from members of MOs who objected to having to pay more under the new arrangements.  No-one spoke up for the game fee areas who are in danger of finding the game fee nearly trebling.

My fears about the new arrangements are

  1. that some leagues will decide not to have their games graded and so the ECF will lose revenue.
  2. the system depends upon people paying on line.  The system has not been trialled, and as with any computer system there can be expensive mistakes (just think of all the government schemes that did not work).
  3. the ECF will move over to be a normal company with only individual members able to vote, rather than organisations. This is worrying for all of us here, as votes go on game fees (and virtual game fees) paid. The plan is to get rid of game fees so how will organisations be able to get multiple votes? This will be the end of the ECF as a federation. It will not be long before the Board decide to forget the Unions and take entries for the County Championships direct running them like the club tournaments. Then the Unions will be moribund. As the ECF is a company we have to accept proxies to the Chair of the meeting and this will eventually be like every other company having short AGMs with the Board getting its own way on every vote.
  4. The ECF wants to reduce to 1 meeting a year. The main reason for the Finance council was to set the game fee and the budget.
  5. Membership rates will doubtless increase by more than game fee used to as it will have to go up by £1 stages rather than by 1-4p a year.   A membership rate is more of a commercial nature and won’t need most organisations to agree, only members who will decide whether or not to pay.

At the Finance meeting so much time was taken up by bringing up problems at the 2011 British with regard to the president which had also been discussed at the October meeting, that the chair forgot to convene the BCF meeting, where there were answers that the counties wanted about the PIF.