Yorkshire Chess News





ECF Finance Council 27th April, Part 2


Subsequent to the first report on matters coming up at the ECF AGM 2024, mainly concerning the proposals regarding Direct Membership fees, further papers have today been received which include the accounts, the Finance Director’s report and the Finance Committee’s chairman’s report.


The accounts are no longer supported by the recently traditional Excel workbook which drilled down to the detail which people wanted to know, but at least they are of standard format with year-on-year comparisons and comparisons of actual outcomes against budget – not like the dysfunctional rubbish presented to the 2023 YCA AGM!


The main things which may be of interest are Board proposals on

a)  Game Fee (charge to ECF-rated leagues per player who is not an ECF members),

b)  Pay-to-Play fee (charged to ECF-rated congresses for players members who were not ECF members), and

c)  strategy being adopted regarding the grant from the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.


Game Fee for adults is proposed to be increased from £18 to £20 which simply reflects the change in the Bronze Membership fee, while for juniors it is proposed to increase from £6 to £12.


Pay-to-Play for adults is proposed to increase from £9 to £15 which reflects the change from the Bronze Membership fee to the new hybrid Silver-cum-Gold fee, while Pay-to-Play for juniors is proposed to increase from £2.50 to £3.


The new Direct Membership fees, Game fees and Play-to-Play fees come into effect from 1st July 2024.  In view of “rolling membership” scheme now in operation, increases in Direct Membership fees are unlikely to affect very many people until August or September, as most people will be geared up to the winter league season in that regard.


The new game fees presumably won’t become payable until April or so, 2025.


The new Pay-to-Play fees, however, will catch on the hop some of those who have already advertised entry fees, or even already taken entries, for congresses to be held in July 2024 or later.  They probably stand to lose £6 per affected adult if they have not been keeping their eye on the ECF ball!




Subject to approval of proposed utilisation, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (old DCMS with “Digital” added) has agreed to a grant to the ECF of £500,000 to be delivered in two financial year trenches:

£200,000 for future events occurring before 31/03/2024, and

£300,000 for events occurring from 01/04/2024 to 31/03/2025.


The International Director has proposals for the first trench of £200,000, which are evidently to be outlined in the as yet unpublished International Director’s report.  This trench is expected/hoped to be paid in two parts, one in April and one in May, and relates to events which have already occurred spending £140,000 from the international directorate’s budget and £60,000 “new spend”.


That superficially frees up £140,000 which might have bailed out other areas of routine expenditure, but “The board proposes that this surplus is re-deployed from the ECF general fund to ‘strategic grass-root initiatives’.  The board intend to engage with regional coordinators to ensure these funds are invested effectively.”  For the paper on this topic see here on the ECF website.


As one who as a Civil Servant has had some involvement in government funding of external organisations, this approach seems extremely wise to the writer if the ECF wants to actually receive the money.


The International Director’s eagerly awaited report is said to contain “a draft budget for how the remaining £300,000 is to be spent.  Approximately £125,000 of this is forecast to be spent in the year ending 31/08/24 and the remaining balance of £175,000 spent in the year ending 31/08/25.