Club Management Focus: Winter 2021

Welcome to the winter edition of Club Management Focus 2021.

We hope you will find the information below useful. Please let us know if there are topics you would like us to cover in future editions.

If you have any queries about any of the content in this newsletter then the best points of contact are likely to be myself Club Liaison Officer, Jonathan Lillycrop – - or Communications Officer, Sam Kelly -




Annual Fees

The EBU AGM was held on Wednesday 25th November and the county shareholders voted to keep all EBU fees for the forthcoming year (2021/22) the same as this year (2020/21). The treasurer was given the power to increase UMS during the year if circumstances require.

The County Associations will provide their subscription fee information in due course to the EBU. Once the EBU have received their fees it will let the clubs know and this will be in February 2021.

EBU UM Fee: 40p
EBU Direct Members Annual Fee: £32
EBU Club Annual Affiliation Fee: £27

Please note that the year-on-year capping of UMS that was introduced to help only clubs in need will be ending on 28th February.

A number of counties have chosen not to charge UMS, or to refund it to their clubs:

Berks & Bucks - up to 31st March 2021
Cumbria – for the time being
Essex – for the time being
Update 12/02/2021: Hants & IOW - suspended indefinitely
London Metropolitan Bridge Association - up to 31st March 2021
Manchester - for the time being
Middlesex - for the time being
Nottinghamshire - for the time being
Worcestershire - for the time being

Club Affiliation fees will be due from 1st April. If your club pays by Direct Debit, we will be collecting the fees on or around 9th April. If your club might have difficulty in paying the fee, please let us know by 31st March and we will defer your payment but maintain your club's EBU affiliation.


UMS Fees and EBU Membership Lists

We would like to remind clubs that are paying UMS on the basis of their previous year’s numbers that this will come to an end on 1st March. From this date clubs will need to submit and pay on the basis of their actual numbers.

Please remember that all members of an affiliated club automatically become members of the EBU too. For new members, these should be created at club level.

It is also important that clubs keep membership lists up to date — telling us when new members join, and when old members leave. We have created a guide explaining how to do these things. To view click here. Emails to update club officials should be sent to

As a reminder, the new membership year will begin on 1st April.


Licences for Club and County Events

Please remember if you would like to publicise your club or county event to non-club members, you must apply for a licence.

If your club is looking to run a licenced event, it may be worth checking that the event doesn't clash with any events on the EBU calendar. Please remember, clubs must seek county approval before applying for a licence. For any queries about licencing applications, please contact

Full details about Licencing can be found:


Convention Cards for Online Games

We are delighted to announce that will be our repository for system cards. Please email your system cards to to receive an online link that you can provide to your opponents at the table. Please make sure your email contains in the subject which event you would like this card to be used for.
If you could please send your System Cards in a pdf format named "Surname-Surname.pdf".


Cashless payments in Bridge Clubs

With more clubs now using online bridge platforms such as RealBridge which don't have a built in mechanism for collecting table money in that way that BBO does, clubs need a way of collecting table money.

Below are three payment options that are being used by some of our clubs:

1. BriAnMAS – this charges a flat fee and is used by Richmond, so you may already be familiar with it. Victor from BriAnMAS has written a short article detailing this cashless management program, read full details below.

2. Spadetickets – also charges a fee and I am told these first two work by people depositing money up front and it being subtracted as it is used. They are also both dedicated to bridge game use. John from Basingstoke Bridge Club has written a guide detailing their experience with using the online payment system

3. Square – this seems to be different in that it charges a percentage and is more suitable for smaller clubs. It is also a generic payment system, not bridge-specific, although I am told it is in use by Larkhill Bridge Club.

There are also responses from clubs that we have featured in the Winter 2019 issue of Club Management Focus, you can read them here.


BriAnMAS Cashless Club

Since Covid hit, collecting players’ money, and the associated record-keeping, have been challenging for many clubs. With the growth in use of Bridge Club Live F2F, RealBridge and Pianola Play, and the hope of returning to a cashless clubhouse, demand has sharpened for a cashless management toolkit.

The BriAnMAS player accounts system is the result of a collaboration between Richmond Bridge Club, the largest EBU-affiliated club with over 1,200 members, and veteran TD and bridge technologist Victor Lesk (of Cafe Bridge and the BriAn scoring app).

BriAnMAS maintains a personal financial account for each club player. All accounting and record-keeping tasks are streamlined through a single admin webpage. BriAnMAS is highly affordable for small clubs, and easy to operate.

Integration with Pianola and BridgeWebs means that existing player data can be used in-place.

Charges are raised by uploading session UMS files, and players’ payments are credited by uploading club bank statement exports. Our bank transfer-centred approach virtually eliminates transaction fees.

Players can receive a pdf statement of their balance and transactions on demand, just like a bank account. Joint accounts are supported, allowing a nominated player to pay for others.

BriAnMAS gives clubs the freedom and flexibility to run a full programme, and to update your offerings as needed, whether online or face to face. Current BriAnMAS cashless clubs include Richmond, Welwyn, Southport, Preston, Kenilworth, Trowbridge and Lymington.

Further information at
Contact Victor Lesk at or +44 7804 953460 to hear more about the benefits of the system.


Hitchin Bridge Club Fundraising for the North Herts Hospice

Hitchin Bridge Club Fundraising for the North Herts HospiceWhen the first national lockdown started in March face to face bridge came to a complete halt.

By the end of April, the Hitchin Bridge Club had launched a virtual club offering its members online games.

Other local bridge clubs were not large enough to do this, so a North Herts clubs evening was introduced to enable members from Royston, Letchworth, and Stevenage clubs to take part.

This game was dedicated as a fundraising evening with all profits going to the Letchworth Garden City Hospice and to date the club has raised £3275. It has proved extremely popular and now attracts approximately 100 bridge players each week.

Meanwhile a member Saroj Ellis was busy making greetings cards from her photographs and the sales of these to members and friends contributed a further £525.
As a result, the club is pleased to present a cheque to the hospice for £3800.

The weekly fundraising session will continue until it is possible to return to real life round the table club bridge. It is also hoped to resume lessons for people wishing to learn to play in the autumn of 2021.

Bridge players of all levels of experience are welcome to join the club – visit our website at


York Bridge Club – The First 75 Years

York Bridge Club - The First 75 Years
York Bridge Club will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2021. The Club has an interesting history which has now been recorded in a book written by Mark Dunkley, the Club’s Secretary. The book has 68 pages and over 60 pictures.

In November 1945 Miss Fanny Horsfall placed an advert in the York Evening Press asking for women interested in the formation of a private bridge club to contact her. Three of the ladies responding to the advert agreed to form a working committee. A list of Club rules was drawn up and a press notice was issued on 16th January 1946 asking for more female readers to come and join the Club. York Bridge Club was all-female until a married couple (Kath and Gordon Gill) were permitted to join the Club in spring 1946 who went on to have a huge part to play in the history of the Club.

The scope of the book is wide-ranging. Amongst much more:

  • It names and describes the contribution of many of the key personalities who helped shape the Club.
  • It provides a history of the Club’s premises, when and why the Club decided to move, including current plans to build purpose-built premises during the Club’s anniversary year.
  • It describes how changes in the fabric of society and social change influenced the history of the bridge club.
  • How it became a Proprietary Club between 1961 and 1977.
  • How the teaching of bridge evolved and how it was delivered over several decades.
  • Changes in bridge equipment and technology and how and when it was implemented by the Club.
  • How the EBU fitted into the history of the Club.
  • How and why the Club became a Registered Charity and a Company limited by guarantee.

Club Secretary and Trustee Mark Dunkley said “when I realised the bridge club had retained its records going back to 1946, I was drawn into reading them to find out if there was an interesting story to be told. I concluded there was and gave myself a challenge of writing a book by 2021”.

If you would like to buy the book, please contact Mark Dunkley at providing your name and address, and he will provide further details. The book is priced at £10 plus £2 for postage and packing.


BAMSA Covid Project, December Summary

Brisge A Mind Sport for All LogoBAMSA have written a brief summary of their emerging findings from their current project exploring how bridging lives have changed due to the pandemic.
It aims to give a little taster of what has been analysed (with more to come). BAMSA also invite further observations from bridge players, contact them at:


Bridge Club Live

As an organisation with former links to the EBU, BCL has for many years had an extremely favourable arrangement with the EBU for awarding master points. With the proliferation this year of other online clubs paying UMS and awarding master points, it was felt that all such clubs should be treated equally and so the AGM of the EBU voted to discontinue the special status that had been held by BCL. As a consequence, BCL has decided no longer to run any games of its own providing EBU master points, but instead to provide a platform for other affiliated clubs to run their games. So BCL members who wish to earn EBU master points (and maintain their EBU membership through the Universal Membership Subscription scheme) can continue to do so by supporting BCL’s “F2F Virtual Sessions”.


EBU Club and County Logos

The EBU logo, along with variants for use by clubs and counties, are available to download from the EBU website. Thank you to all clubs and counties who have added a logo to their websites.

We invite all affiliated clubs and counties to have the EBU logo displayed on their websites, and to use it in documents (newsletters, competition information etc) which they produce. It would be good if all our Counties and Clubs chose to make use of these logos to represent our collective bodies and present an easily recognisable identity.

The EBED logo is also available for any clubs which wish to support their work by providing a link from their website to that of the charity.

The logos can be downloaded here


Bridge Warehouse

Please be advised that due to recent changes, the Bridge Warehouse is currently only sending out orders once a week, on Wednesday mornings between 9am and 1pm.