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Ski Club of Great Britain Chief Exec resigns

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@On the rocks, For me, the roles work together. The BMC gets the authority to speak for all climbers in part because it is a governing body.

I don't expect or want SCGB to represent me for skiing, I would look to a local club if I was a member of one or Snowsport England or GB Snowsport for that.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If they'd wanted to do something useful they could have lobbied for British skiers (or members) through the Brexit process and now through Covid. Have they?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
On the rocks wrote:
rjs wrote:
@philwig, The BMC is the national governing body for competition climbing, the SCGB used to have the same role for skiing but gave it up in 1964.

The equivalents of some other roles of the BMC are filled by Snowsport England, Scotland & Wales.


Competition climbing is a very small part of what the BMC does, and the only aspect which it governs. The main role of the BMC is as the representative body that exists to protect the freedoms and promote the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, including ski-mountaineers in England and Wales (SMC does the same for Scotland and Irish Mountaineering Federation covers the whole of Ireland)


Doesn't the BMC get a chink of its membership from associated clubs? One of the problems with the SCGB when I was a member was that it was heavily London oriented. An associated clubs system would have countered that. As a model aircraft flier, I belong to the BMFA, which very much has a local club structure supporting it. Works well.
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ousekjarr wrote:
Simple solutions - sublet, renegotiate or terminate the office lease and take the hit now, cut the employed staff to 4 or less working from home with benefits, membership and finance being the core of that, then get a general manager on £50K basic salary plus up to 200% bonus based on achieving targets such as reducing losses in year 1 to £0.5m then turning a profit of £0.25m annually thereafter, increasing membership by at least 10%, improving visibility of the organisation by 10% annually until half of skiers have heard of it and as measured by industry and dry slope/snow dome surveys, getting members to check in via an app (in return for bonus points towards a holiday or guide discount) for each day they are in a resort to identify whether they choose the resort based on SCGB rep presence or not and how many of them are active skiers and for how many days per year, and so on. Verify the assumptions about why people join, why they stay, and what they want. Also verify why people don't join, or don't renew. Listen to that feedback, and change where possible to meet the needs of the current generation.

Offer a vastly reduced rep service for one year, only to people willing to pay for using it, and measure the value of it in real terms. Survey the membership to see what they actually want. Offer different levels of membership based on what you have access to - silver for membership card and website/app access including newsletters, gold for holiday access or insurance included, platinum to add rep/guide access - and see what levels people are prepared to pay for. Offer mid-season upgrades if they change their mind.

Publish the membership numbers and breakdown - how many adult members, how many children, how many paying full price, how many discounted, locations, demographics, rep days, skier days per rep, etc, etc. The first step to dealing with a problem is to acknowledge that you have a problem.

At the moment the organisation needs a survival plan. Pretty soon it will need a resurrection plan, as it will have become insolvent. That resolves the office lease problem, but doesn't address the continuing needs of the membership. Maybe though that's what it needs - to fail, and be replaced by something more relevant, agile, and organised. Something fit for the 21st century


wot he said
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@achilles, Some local clubs seem to be associated with the SCGB as well as being affiliated to a HNGB like Snowsport England. I was told once how much a club paid to Snowsport England but have no idea what happens with the SCGB (and don't really need to know).
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rjs wrote:
I was told once how much a club paid to Snowsport England.


it is on their website

£100 plus £4 per member
etc.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Snowsport England must be one of the most hopeless governing bodies on the planet. Mrs telford_mike used to be a member (she teaches at our local dry slope when we’re in the U.K.) Last year they contacted her:

SSE: your first aid (or child protection, or whatever it was) qualification is about to expire, please book yourself onto one of our courses.
Mrs t_m: yes of course, what courses do you have before the start of the winter season?
SSE: none.

Needless to say, she isn’t a member any more.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@On the rocks, to be clear, SMC is a members club and not the Scottish equivalent of BMC - that would be Mountaineering Scotland (previously the Mountaineering Council of Scotland).
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@Inboard, of course. Apologies for mixing up my TLAs
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The vast majority of UK skiers for whom skiing is a recreational holiday activity have no way of benefiting from a representative body in the same way that climbers benefit from the BMC, even if the SCGB were up to it which it definitely isn’t.

The main former attraction for many members seems to have been to ski with leaders of their own kind, and indeed I had some great days out under that system. Now that this is not an option I get the impression that a group of the members just want the Council to man up and make it like it used to be! The only viable legacy seems to be Freshtracks which could thrive post Covid. I guess this could be sold off, possibly to a management buy out?
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davidof wrote:
rjs wrote:
I was told once how much a club paid to Snowsport England.


it is on their website

£100 plus £4 per member
etc.


well that is really weird- because being a member of SCGB does not give you SSE entitlement - whereas SCOM at a grand £7/yr does. You need this to race.

So why do SCGB bother paying?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Snowsport England is the governing body. Local ski clubs are affiliated to it and pay them because they provide liability cover that enable the clubs to operate legally. They are ski racing orientated but have been very helpful during COVID clarifying the Government rules and lobbying for ski clubs to be able to operate, providing useful guidance and support.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Well it's the 1st of the month so time for the next installment of The Adventures of SCGB. The 2020 Report an Accounts hit a few days ago (you need a 'ski locker' to access them). The news about a further £1.2m loss is already baked in, we knew all about that so I won't expand. The club is still solvent of course - investments of £1.8m, but that's down from £3.7m the previous year - quite the depletion (£158k per month burn rate) and with potentially a non-season about to play out you would expect reserves to dwindle further.

Some of the other takeaways:

- The only person you can vote for to be Chairman is the current unelected interim Chairman. What is this North Korea? I think I'm right in saying that some form of democratic decision making would have been better. The result may have been the same but automatic coronations like this isn't a good look.
- 15 people are standing for Council's 4 available slots. That's quite a surprise, 15 is a lot more than normal. Some of them look useful.
- The membership fell by 11% from 2019 to 2020, by 7% from 2018 to 2019 and by 4% from 2017 to 2018. Can you see a pattern here? It's pre-Covid by the way. The fall for 2020 to 2021 must surely be worse. So currently there are only 22,146 members but about 9,000 of them are as part of a family membership so I think you can substantially discount it.
- In 2018 37% of the membership were over 55. In 2020 it is 45%.
- On snow sessions (instructor led guiding) = by my calculation a 43% drop from 2018/19 to 2019/20 (a mere 1229 sessions). OK, they lost half of March and all of April so perhaps not a major surprise. I really want to know how many actual members 1229 sessions represents - I think maybe not that many if you take a wild guess and assume multiple sessions per participating member but that number isn't revealed. Considering the effort and expense (£204k) that goes into this it warrants closer inspection.

Anyone else read them?
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I intend to cancel this year as will not be able to utilise the club for the reason I joined - skiing with rep/instructor led guiding.

Imagined someone would highlight the accounts (thanks Pruman).

The instructor led guiding seems to be supported to the tune of £165!!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Numbers look interesting - if you strip out the families that's 13000 paying members and if 20% bug off in a season with low prospects of skiing and evidence that their subs aren't spent that wisely then you are looking at around 10,000. Let's assume ILG has 6 people for session = 205 outings. If we assume each particpant takes 3 days in the season on average its 410 members - 4% of the new lower membership actually using or having access to the perk.

Unclear what £165 of support means - looks like its costing £1k per outing if my outing maths is correct.
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
the ILG cost is crazy.

Each person therefore costs £200 or so- given that the club member still has to pay.

And bizarrely hiring a guide off piste all day costs: €155 each for 3 (private group- Bureau des Guides Meribel). So the 'deal' actually costs SCGB substantially more than if the people who used it paid for themselves. Or less elsewhere- down to €76 pppd for a group of 6.

Madness / testicles
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@ed123, "Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad"...... Madeye-Smiley
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Maybe we're being unkind and session actually means a single group with an Instructor so 1229 of them - over a 100 day season running at 50% of days thats 24-25 resorts served - does that stack up? Nope the website proclaims 14 resorts so maybe we have to assume the vasy majority are half day groups run twice per active day. Is ILG running at that sort of capacity? Can any insider who happens to post shooting down any criticism of numbers offer a more accurate version of events
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I don't think the ILG here does a huge amount of business. A friend is the Instructor for it.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Dave of the Marmottes, from own limited experience in Tignes, ILG has been well supported. But it's very much dependant on the off-piste conditions.

Last season for eg, the fantastic early season snow took an absolute hammering when it poured with rain up to about 2800 mtrs. in January. There was little or no uptake for ILG for quite some time until conditions improved.
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So is it fair to say ILG is largely off piste club for geezonnaires?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Dave of the Marmottes, Not always the case. Different levels for groups on different days. From resort familiarisation and intro to off-piste to a full on skinning/touring day. I know some full-timers were mindful of this and would only book on last minute when it was clear that some places were unsold.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ILG is a good thing, I have had several days and even a half day session, with skiers for the most part of a good standard or at least better than me anyway!
instructors excellent, esp. Davide, who took us places I didnt even know were places!

The financial structure was based on a general need to find something to fill the huge hole left by the end of leading, there is no reason why it could not prosper on a more cost effective basis bringing members together and filling any vacant spaces from the general population in resort and bring some much needed cash into the club
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Claude B wrote:
I don't think the ILG here does a huge amount of business. A friend is the Instructor for it.

L2A had 56 sessions in 2018/19 and only 16 in 2019/20. The lowest of the 12 resorts shown in the report. To put that in perspective Tignes had 376 in 2018/19 and 226 in 2019/20. Even that is poor when you think of it for a good 4 to 5 month season.

Cleary though L2A wasn’t the worst because 5 other resorts were not given numbers on the report. Too embarrassing? From the report re rep service:

Quote:
We started the season in 17 resorts, unfortunately Soldeu in Andorra were no longer able to support the Rep in resort for this winter. However, we were present in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Canada and USA again. Having made significant changes to the service after seeking legal advice on the Leader service, we made the decision to adapt the service to the new look Rep service. Encouraging our volunteers to meet members in resort and facilitate a great day on snow. There was initial negative feedback form Reps and members, including not being able to find the Rep and the lack of value offered compared with the Leader service. Throughout the season we monitored the feedback closely and made changes accordingly when appropriate, we re introduced the meeting points in resort which helped, and we ended the season with some far more positive feedback then we started. The season unfortunately was cut short across the Alps and North America as resorts were forced to close prematurely due to the COvid-19 pandemic. We have been working hard over the summer to maintain our relationships in resort and have secured the same 17 resorts for the coming winter. We have also worked on the role of the Rep and made improvements, including member meet points, weekly programmes and a new merchandise shop where members can purchase ski club branded apparel to help them find each other and the Rep out in resort. We are hoping to get Reps back out to resort this winter, if the FCO advice allows it.


Not exactly glowing prose for a report that! I think some basic maths leads one to conclude that less than 5% of members uses the service and it’s really costly, with the many subsidising the few.

Meanwhile, hope you are sitting down, the Club’s insurance offering has ‘launched’ (dribbled out more like) – it’s here - https://www.skiclub.co.uk/ski-club-travel-insurance

The main bit I have looked at so far is the all-important Covid clauses. Earlier on Facebook the outgoing General Manager proclaimed that “Covid is covered” but I think there is a bit more to it than that because it isn’t some of the time. I have extracted the statements that would concern me:

Quote:
I wish to book a new trip, will my policy cover me?
Your policy excludes cover if at the time of scheduled departure the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the country to which you are travelling.

Am I covered for cancellation costs if the FCO changes its advice and restricts travel to my destination?
We may consider cancellation claims for unrecoverable costs if the FCDO advises against all travel to your destination.
Please note that your policy has a general exclusion for any claims relating to an epidemic or pandemic. On 11th March, the World Health Organisation declared Coronavirus a pandemic. Unfortunately, due to this we cannot guarantee that we are able to cover your claim.

What if I am asked to quarantine whilst on holiday?
No cover is provided if you are requested to quarantine whilst on holiday

What if I’ve been left stranded abroad due to COVID 19.
If you travel to a country to which international travel is permitted by the FCDO, and the UK Government subsequently issues advice to return to the UK, we may consider claims for reasonable additional, unrecoverable, travel expenses for the curtailment or extension of your trip.


Not my definition of "Covid is covered" but most insurers in similar boat. I would be wary of the woolly word may in the above. It tends to mean something more negative!

The buying process is clunky. Eg - You have to re-enter all your personal details at the payment stage. Shouldn’t be necessary this day and age.

For the moment I have run out of things to moan about Very Happy
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That's shocking if they are punting it as a "COVID is covered" policy. The wording implies almost the opposite. The first para you quote is guaranteed screwing of members if the market opens up they book then FCO advises against discretionary travel. Feels almost moronic if they expect to sell that policy.
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snowornever wrote:
ILG is a good thing, I have had several days and even a half day session, with skiers for the most part of a good standard ...
I think you're arguing that it's "a good thing" to have your turns subsidised by someone else. Perhaps it's not such a good thing for those doing the subsidising? Could that be why increasing numbers of them are heading for the exits? Perhaps it's not such a good thing for the club as an organisation? Could the costs of this activity not be contributing to those cash outflows? What happens when the reserves are all gone?

snowornever wrote:
The financial structure was based on a general need to find something to fill the huge hole left by the end of leading,
there is no reason why it could not prosper on a more cost effective basis ...
I think Pruman's numbers say £1.8M reserves and a burn rate of £158k/ month.
Dividing one of those into the other suggests the "good thing" is nearly over,
although bizarrely Covid-19 may help as if you're not doing the loss-making activity then your reserves will last longer
wink
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
philwig wrote:
I think Pruman's numbers say £1.8M reserves and a burn rate of £158k/ month.
Dividing one of those into the other suggests the "good thing" is nearly over,
although bizarrely Covid-19 may help as if you're not doing the loss-making activity then your reserves will last longer
wink


Is the £158k/month burn rate an average over the year, or just the value in the winter months? Either way, as you say if that continues then reserves will be down to zero before long. Sad
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Funny the SCGB's own self appointed social meeja attack dog

Alan Partridge wrote:

The sort the Nazis used on Steve McQueen. They're trained and very right wing'


is not quoshing this unfair analysis of the scores on the doors
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
One might suppose he is busy fighting the 'enemy within the walls' on facebook?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Alastair Pink wrote:


Is the £158k/month burn rate an average over the year, or just the value in the winter months? Either way, as you say if that continues then reserves will be down to zero before long. Sad


I'm guessing a fair amount of this would be fixed costs - Lease, bills and permanent staff salaries. I would be interested to know if they at least Furloughed the staff to buy themselves a bit more time ...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Funny the SCGB's own self appointed social meeja attack dog

is not quoshing this unfair analysis of the scores on the doors


I think he may have been reminded of his grown-up board responsibilities and asked not to engage. Sometimes there are no answers, numbers (or 'facts' as I prefer to think of them) tend to present the truth. The words in the report are waffle and definitely don't tell it like it is. Why not report the numbers from ALL the rep resorts? What's to hide? Fact is, the cost of running the rep/leading program are obscure. I'd like to see it broken down:
- Cost of HQ staff and overhead to run the program
- Travel and associated costs for reps
- Amount paid out by members for ILG sessions
- Amount paid out in subsidy by the Club for ILG instructors
- the financial relationship with each resort

I really want to know what is meant by a 'session' - is it one person for half a day? Or is one person for a whole day = 2 sessions? It makes a huge difference. I suspect the latter because it makes it look better.

What's the average number of sessions per member?

Then we might just have a chance of working out what the real costs are and the degree to which other members are subsidising.

Alastair Pink wrote:
Is the £158k/month burn rate an average over the year, or just the value in the winter months? Either way, as you say if that continues then reserves will be down to zero before long. Sad

All I did there was take the amount the reserves depleted in one year and divided by 12. If you think of reserves the same way a start-up thinks of investment, it’s a simple way of establishing a burn rate ie how fast they are motoring through the cash and a predictor of when they'll run out.

For sure the burn will slow down. But it won’t stop, not this year!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Pruman wrote:

All I did there was take the amount the reserves depleted in one year and divided by 12. If you think of reserves the same way a start-up thinks of investment, it’s a simple way of establishing a burn rate ie how fast they are motoring through the cash and a predictor of when they'll run out.

For sure the burn will slow down. But it won’t stop, not this year!


isn't the burn rate : reserves + income / 12 ?

so it could be a lot higher than your figure, if the income part of the equation is removed and there is no equivalent cut in costs it could burn the reserve part much faster.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Pruman wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Funny the SCGB's own self appointed social meeja attack dog

is not quoshing this unfair analysis of the scores on the doors


I think he may have been reminded of his grown-up board responsibilities and asked not to engage...



http://youtube.com/v/h-wfO6_eq-A
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davidof wrote:
isn't the burn rate : reserves + income / 12 ?

so it could be a lot higher than your figure, if the income part of the equation is removed and there is no equivalent cut in costs it could burn the reserve part much faster.


There is more than one way of looking at it. Essentially it's about how fast an organisation is burning through its cash reserves. ie at what point will it have a cash flow crisis, need an injection of funds or decide it time to cut and run? But I agree, whichever way you cut it, it's bad.

Maybe someone can ask about that at Thursday's AGM - as it currently stands I have a work Zoom and won’t be able to tune in.

There are other good questions to ask like (1) all of the above 20+ pages (2) where is the Platinum membership offering? It still says "coming soon" but, to me, it must surely mean the horse has bolted and all those who signed up for it previously must have gone elsewhere or totally lost interest by now. So I'd like to know what the real projected membership figure is.

Meanwhile, from the forum, here is a glimpse of what we are up against:

Ski Club Member:
Quote:
LEADING IN FRANCE. A theoretical solution would be for all reps who want to operate as on-snow leaders in France to apply for a 'Carte Professionelle'. This
would legally permit leading groups on or off piste, and even permit remuneration. There is a small fee for it. The practical issue is that the process takes at least 6 months and requires a face to face interview in France. But is not impossible, and feasible if the Club were to plan ahead for and support a reasonable number of "French qualified' reps. The Carte specifies the particular activities that you are permitted to practice., based on qualifications, and the Ski Club reps course would be the qualification presented, or others such as BASI.


The General Manager replies:
Quote:
Definitely worth looking into further - we should get back to a situation where we are able to have more of a presence in France wither socially or the way you suggest.


What planet are they on?

Surely they must have seen the TWO sets of legal advice that basically says 'no chance' and surely they must have some grasp of working rights post 31st December. The Club could of course have reps with a carte pro - they are more commonly called very well qualified ski teachers.

They'll NEVER give up on the gravy train til it's bone dry and a few Directors are behind bars. Oh death where is thy sting?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Pruman, hah that's very funny. I guess you can't blame the members for being a bit naive but it appears to me that unless you pitch up with BASI 4 + Eurotest you will not get a carte pro easily. Same for every sport in France as they are all regulated. Invent your own sport and the French authorities will already have a regulation Happy

"wither" as the reply uses, seems to be the appropriate word.

There is a nordic ski instructor (Guy Beaumont) who took 5 years to get his BASI Nordic qualification validated, the first for France.

As you say, post Brexit things could be even more complex.

That said, a club doesn't need carte pros for leaders, they need to rethink the way they operate.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Tue 17-11-20 14:17; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

Surely they must have seen the TWO sets of legal advice that basically says 'no chance'

This is an interesting point and one the CEO made, drawing from the French and Swiss cases the Club has had ... but I have only ever seen one set of advice, and I tried hard... Pruman can you shed a light? And hasn't the Butler case softened the definition of equivalence?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
GM firmly resident in the middle of an Egyptian river.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
pisteoff wrote:

This is an interesting point and one the CEO made, drawing from the French and Swiss cases the Club has had ... but I have only ever seen one set of advice, and I tried hard... Pruman can you shed a light? And hasn't the Butler case softened the definition of equivalence?


Here's the form that needs to be filled in. Your qualification needs a EQU number. If there is no current equivalence a French government commission meets to look at your qualification - I guess they just say no for everything and wait for people to sue. Happy

https://www.isere.gouv.fr/content/download/38983/278858/file/D%C3%A9claration%20Educateur%2014%20juin%202017.pdf
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pisteoff wrote:
Quote:

Surely they must have seen the TWO sets of legal advice that basically says 'no chance'

This is an interesting point and one the CEO made, drawing from the French and Swiss cases the Club has had ... but I have only ever seen one set of advice, and I tried hard... Pruman can you shed a light? And hasn't the Butler case softened the definition of equivalence?


I was told by someone who I trust to know that it was two, but I'm personally not privvy to either, and that a French lawyer was brought over to explain things face to face. Yet still some people seem to think they can waltz around the back and restart leading in France without attracting the attention of the French legal system.

The Butler case appears to have softened things from a qualification point of view but that's irrelevant if you don't have the right to work there.

I see that Platinum Membership renewals have hit the mat and people aren't too impressed! The attrition continues.
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See also this thread, where Nemesis has reported that Ski Club Winter Arrangements Ltd (the SCGB ski holiday subsidiary) have not yet been granted a renewal of their ATOL licence!
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