Thursday, 27 June 2013


With membership figures still continuing to fall in so many bridge clubs , it is the height of madness to operate a club in such a way that members resign in protest. Membership income from subscription fees, table money and bar sales is the lifeblood of any social bridge club. Survival depends on revenue covering costs,  and in an ideal situation making a surplus will help generate funds to spend on renovation and refurbishment projects, alongside the purchase of essential equipment.
Sadly, whenever a member resigns, or absents himself in protest , over disapproval or disagreements with management, the income loss can be quite substantial. Possibly as much as £500 a year. However, if one member goes in this way , then there can be a knock-on effect with regards to his/her regular partners. They too might not turn up for a game having no desire to find someone else to fill that gap. This potential loss of " a pair " could push the income loss to the club somewhere in the region of £600-800 per annum.
In troubled clubs, members resigning or not attending  as a way of protesting about an issue could easily reach double figures. In such tragic circumstances the total loss of income could easily reach £5000 a year, which over a 10 year period adds up to a staggering £50,000. 
So in conclusion, protest resignations and non-attendance must be kept to an absolute minimum. It is bad enough to lose members through unfortunate circumstances, such as illness, incapacity, family commitments, death, moving house or loss of interest in the game, but to drive members away through either poor, ineffective or overly robust and ruthless management is nothing short of complete lunacy. Given the pressing need to maintain and improve income flows, every effort must be made to run a club where the aims, concerns and aspirations of all the members are addressed .  Indeed, whenever there is a conflict of aims and aspirations, acceptable compromises must be carefully considered, worked out and implemented. 

( Footnote : I knew of one chap who resigned in protest over alleged favouritism shown by TDs to the club's top players, but then when he was persuaded by friends to re-apply for membership the committee turned his application down. Having been a member for 30 years, he was both well liked and respected by many of his peers, and being a regular player,  the income loss to the club must now be approaching £1800 with regards to his current 3 year exile. As one of his friends I was deeply shocked and concerned over the way he was treated, and how the club committee was prepared to sacrifice a member's cash input on a scale like this,  simply because they disliked and disapproved of his views. )                   

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