The AGMs of the RFU in 1893 and 1894 both turned down proposals to allow broken time payments mostly by using proxy votes collected from all and sundry by the RFU. Clearly the payment of broken time either as a way of forestalling open professionalism or to help out the overwhelming number of working class players was a big issue.
The owners of the northern clubs supported broken time because without it they would soon have no players
In 1895 Huddersfield, Salford, Wigan, Leigh and others were suspended from playing because of paying their players broken time
The dispute about fixtures arose because the suspended clubs were going to finish in a relegation spot because oft their suspensions and would lose income and prestige as a result. They were in this position because they had been paying their players broken time. The power of the big Lancashire clubs was broken because they were all suspended because of the broken time issue. There were so many suspended and facing serious financial problems that they did resign from the lancs competition so they could form their own league for their survival.
Such discussions about forming their own league has been going on for some time including the big Yorkshire clubs and the mass suspension of the Lancashire clubs was the catylyst for this decision. They all met at the George in the famous meeting They pledged to m ove forward with the new league based on the principles of paying broken time compensation and they all resigned from the RFU and gave the letters to Joe Platt for forwarding to the secretary of the RFU.
The dispute over fixtures does not seem to have been a big issue. All this info is in Tony Collins book Rugby's Great Split.
I have read Collins and a lot more, I have spent hours trawling material on this.
The split was over fixtures, broken time was not the big issue, the RFU wanted that to be seen as the issue when things came to a head and everyone has bought the RFUs line, even the RFL.
By the time the meeting at The George came about there is plenty of evidence that the clubs were already no longer members of the RFU I suggest you trawl through some old issues of newspapers like The Yorkshire Post, The Lancashire Daily Post, The Wigan Examiner etc. along with magazines such as Athletic News.
Professionalism was a hot topic being discussed in a lot of newspapers and this blinds people to what the real issues at club level where.
Edited by Padge, 13 June 2013 - 07:44 AM.