The ECF has today published a list of the Board members, and who is/is not offering themselves for re-election at October's AGM. The list makes astonishing reading:.
President: C J de Mooi. Seeking re-election.
Chief Executive: Andrew Farthing. Not seeking re-election
Non-Executive Chairman: Mike Gunn. Seeking re-election.
Director of Finance: Gareth Caller. Not seeking re-election.
Director of International Chess: Lawrence Cooper. Not seeking re-election.
Director of Junior Chess and Education: Phil Ehr. Seeking re-election.
Director of Home Chess: Adam Raoof. Not seeking re-election.
Director of Marketing: Tim Woolgar. Not seeking re-election.
Non-Executive Director: Jack Rudd. Seeking re-election.
Non-Executive Director: John Wickham. Not seeking re-election.
FIDE Delegate: Nigel Short. Seeking re-election.
Chairman of the Finance Committee: Mike Truran. Seeking re-election.
Chairman of the Governance Committee: John Philpott. Not seeking re-election.
The first thing to note is that no fewer than seven of the 13 officials are not standing for re-election, a veritable meltdown for the federation. Of course, "not seeking re-election" only means for their current post, so some may be intending to stand for other positions. Sadly, that seems to be the case with "Odious" Adam Raoof. Rumours have recently linked him with a move to Marketing Director, although I remain unconvinced that one can rule out this most ambitious of individuals going after the vacant CEO role. But I am not aware that most of the other outgoing Directors are intending to go after other posts. Few tears will be shed for most of them, but the loss of Lawrence Cooper from the International Director role will be a sad one.
The second thing which stands out is that the four most important positions - CEO, Home Director, International Director and Finance Director - are all set to become vacant. Maybe other candidates will come forward, but I am at this moment not aware of a single definite candidate for any of those four vital roles. Without filling them, the ECF simply cannot function.
But the most amazing thing of all is that the Dear Leader is planning to stand for re-election as President! Even those of us fully aware of his veritably bombproof vanity find it amazing that he should even contemplate standing again, after all that has happened in the past twelve months. Fortunately, this is one case where the ECF's byzantine constitutional structure might come in handy. Under its absurd set-up, an unopposed candidate is not simply elected automatically, but can still be rejected by the AGM, who have the option to leave the post vacant, by voting for "None of the above candidates". If no other Presidential candidates come forward, then we just have to hope that "None of the above" triumphs. For de Mooi to be re-elected, after all that has happened, would be the final degradation for British chess.