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l'angelo mysterioso

A sport born of rebellion?

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During Huddersfield's suspension in 1893 The Pall Mall Gazette, the RFU's mouthpiece in London, (Later to become The Evening Standard) railed that Huddersfield shouldn't have been suspended they should have banned for life and that hopefully this would have caused the secession of the rest of the Yorkshire clubs as that is what is wanted. It was the RFU that wanted a showdown over professionalism and broken-time unfortunately for them there didn't seem to be enough evidence to go all the way to expulsion or maybe a reluctance at the time, however the statement in the PMG makes it quite clear what the RFU thinking was.

 

And in the two years following that leading to 1895, they upped the ante and made the amateur regulations even more onerous and forced the Northern clubs into an untenable position. It was rebel or die for them. They may have taken the step with reluctance and may have preffered a rapprochement with the RFU, but ultimately, if they were to survive, they had to rebel and leave the RFU.

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If broken time payments had been allowed,what are the thoughts of how the sport of rugby would have evolved?I know we are talking the impossible the RFU would never go down that road,but if they did could the sport be rivaling Association football today?

 

 

Sounds like a good thread for the Cross Code forum.

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And in the two years following that leading to 1895, they upped the ante and made the amateur regulations even more onerous and forced the Northern clubs into an untenable position. It was rebel or die for them. They may have taken the step with reluctance and may have preffered a rapprochement with the RFU, but ultimately, if they were to survive, they had to rebel and leave the RFU.

 

The Northern Unions amateur regulations were more onerous than those of the RFU so that argument doesn't stand. 

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The Northern Unions amateur regulations were more onerous than those of the RFU so that argument doesn't stand.

Yes but the RFU weren't buying their argument. So they split.

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Yes but the RFU weren't buying their argument. So they split.

How many times and how many quotes do you need, the clubs had issues with the control of fixtures, the RFU had issues about professionalism.

 

The clubs resigned over the issue of fixtures, broken time and professionalism wasn't why the left. There is a lot of evidence that this is the case.

 

It suited the RFU for the split to be about professionalism and not the structure of fixtures and since this was a big debating topic in the 'national' newspapers it wasn't difficult for the RFU to portray it as such. The issue in Lancashire and Yorkshire was fixtures and all the local press reports at the time strongly back that up.

 

The whole thing has been a mass brainwashing exercise where the lie has been repeated so often it is considered the truth. Anyone for Webb Ellis.

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In all this the rise of Association Football  has been under played In Lancashire especially

 

No amateur Team  won an FA Cup after 1886.

The FA had accepted professionalism and this Football code was gaining in popularity for spectators & the ability to attract sportsmen of working class - artisan backgrounds and paying them above board. 

+ Accrington, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Everton, Preston North Endwere all at least 10 years old and they had adopted a league structure . 

 

face of similar developments had legalised professionalism in 1884,

served as an awful warning to those who led rugby: ‘Only six months after

the legitimisation of the #### [professionalism] we see two professional

teams left to fight out the final [FA] cup tie,’ wrote Arthur Budd in 1886. Tony Collins

 

 

Rugby was predominantly middle-class activity at inception and there was no mention of any issue with ' payments '  until  1886  2 years after the professionalism of Association League Football in 1884 .

All the Premier Football Clubs were in the North , and a dire threat to the finances and the interest of the paying spectator.

 

The RFU realised the threat that a similar move in the north would switch the power base and effectively take the game ' and all that is stood for ' away from them .

 

It was a power struggle based on idealogy that it took ten years practically until the Lancashire & Yorkshire clubs to go on their own is the biggest surprise

 

 

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The Northern Unions amateur regulations were more onerous than those of the RFU so that argument doesn't stand. 

 

If you mean by Northern Unions, the Yorkshire and Lancashire RU as opposed to the new Northern Rugby Football Union ( RL), well so what. Both the county unions and the national RFU were in cahoots and determined to use the the broken time issue against the Northern Clubs in order to wrest control of Rugby back from the working class and their nouveau riche backers. 

 

Both the local unions and the national body were hell bent on purging "their" game of these newly dominant lower class usurpers and their clubs and forced them into an untenable position precipitating the rebellion, the breakaway, the schism, use what term you want and they did.

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How many times and how many quotes do you need, the clubs had issues with the control of fixtures, the RFU had issues about professionalism.

 

The clubs resigned over the issue of fixtures, broken time and professionalism wasn't why the left. There is a lot of evidence that this is the case.

 

It suited the RFU for the split to be about professionalism and not the structure of fixtures and since this was a big debating topic in the 'national' newspapers it wasn't difficult for the RFU to portray it as such. The issue in Lancashire and Yorkshire was fixtures and all the local press reports at the time strongly back that up.

 

The whole thing has been a mass brainwashing exercise where the lie has been repeated so often it is considered the truth. Anyone for Webb Ellis.

 

 What were these fixture issues which caused such concern and why would they precipitate a break up of the sport.?

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If you mean by Northern Unions, the Yorkshire and Lancashire RU as opposed to the new Northern Rugby Football Union ( RL), well so what. Both the county unions and the national RFU were in cahoots and determined to use the the broken time issue against the Northern Clubs in order to wrest control of Rugby back from the working class and their nouveau riche backers. 

 

Both the local unions and the national body were hell bent on purging "their" game of these newly dominant lower class usurpers and their clubs and forced them into an untenable position precipitating the rebellion, the breakaway, the schism, use what term you want and they did.

Sorry there was an apostrophe missing that should have been Northern Union's.

 

The RFU was trying to stop professionalism, the clubs wanted a league. The clubs resigned from their County Unions thinking they were still members of the RFU, they then wanted to set up a Lancs Northern Union and a Yorks Northern Union under the auspices of the RFU operating a league system, they couldn't do that as they were no longer members of the RFU. The clubs hadn't realised that and were left with no option other than to create the Northern Union. They didn't rebel they f'ked up.

 

Edit to add.

 

Once the RFU realised the clubs had done them a favour they quickly moved to make it an issue about broken time and thus it ever was.

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 What were these fixture issues which caused such concern and why would they precipitate a break up of the sport.?

They wanted a league system, home and away between a selected set of clubs. The County Unions were against this and wanted the system in place to continue, a system in which it wasn't possible at the end of the season to declare someone the champions.

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Suffragettes. The vast majority of these were middle class well off women.

They were still rebels.

 

This is true. It's also true that those who fomented the French Revolution were middle class, for that matter so were those who signed Charles I's death warrant.  It's hard to recapture social attitudes from over 100 years ago.  Most millowners, shopkeepers etc. voted Liberal - the Tories represented the shires and the landowners. But throughout the 19th century the Liberals fought the corner for the Trade Unions - it was only at the end of the century that the TUC decided that the interests of its members and the interests of those who supported the Liberal party were coming into conflict.

Those who ran the RFU (and the Pall Mall Gazette too probably) were old style Tories and resented the fact that their teams were getting beaten regularly by a bunch of weavers and miners who were efffectively professionals in all but name. Worse still these miners and weavers played for clubs that wree run by manufacturers and coal owners.  They decided to put a stop to it.  That's what "broken time" etc was all about.  The rebellion was the fact that despite everything the NU went right on playing, and then began changing the rules of the game to make it more attractive to watch. 

Cricket was much more civilised.   They employed the professionals and ordered them about like servants.  It's within my lifetime that the "Gentlemen versus Players" fixture at Lords was taking place every year.  Brian Close recalls being carpetted for calling Godfrey Evans by his first name in this fixture.  The same Brian Close who was sacked from the Yorkshire captaincy by Brian Sellers - a former amateur player with Yorkshire. The "corinthian" spirit was alive and well right into the the 20th century. In fact right up to Union going honest in1995.  RL kept the flag of rebellion flying all that time despite every spiteful trick Union could play on them. That's what I call a rebellion.

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This is true. It's also true that those who fomented the French Revolution were middle class, for that matter so were those who signed Charles I's death warrant.  It's hard to recapture social attitudes from over 100 years ago.  Most millowners, shopkeepers etc. voted Liberal - the Tories represented the shires and the landowners. But throughout the 19th century the Liberals fought the corner for the Trade Unions - it was only at the end of the century that the TUC decided that the interests of its members and the interests of those who supported the Liberal party were coming into conflict.

Those who ran the RFU (and the Pall Mall Gazette too probably) were old style Tories and resented the fact that their teams were getting beaten regularly by a bunch of weavers and miners who were efffectively professionals in all but name. Worse still these miners and weavers played for clubs that wree run by manufacturers and coal owners.  They decided to put a stop to it.  That's what "broken time" etc was all about.  The rebellion was the fact that despite everything the NU went right on playing, and then began changing the rules of the game to make it more attractive to watch. 

Cricket was much more civilised.   They employed the professionals and ordered them about like servants.  It's within my lifetime that the "Gentlemen versus Players" fixture at Lords was taking place every year.  Brian Close recalls being carpetted for calling Godfrey Evans by his first name in this fixture.  The same Brian Close who was sacked from the Yorkshire captaincy by Brian Sellers - a former amateur player with Yorkshire. The "corinthian" spirit was alive and well right into the the 20th century. In fact right up to Union going honest in1995.  RL kept the flag of rebellion flying all that time despite every spiteful trick Union could play on them. That's what I call a rebellion.

If they were so anti-miners and weavers why did the RFU's selection committee pick them for England, surely they would never have been allowed to soil the England shirt with sweat, coal and cotton dust.

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How many times and how many quotes do you need, the clubs had issues with the control of fixtures, the RFU had issues about professionalism.

The clubs resigned over the issue of fixtures, broken time and professionalism wasn't why the left. There is a lot of evidence that this is the case.

It suited the RFU for the split to be about professionalism and not the structure of fixtures and since this was a big debating topic in the 'national' newspapers it wasn't difficult for the RFU to portray it as such. The issue in Lancashire and Yorkshire was fixtures and all the local press reports at the time strongly back that up.

The whole thing has been a mass brainwashing exercise where the lie has been repeated so often it is considered the truth. Anyone for Webb Ellis.

But I aren't arguing about whys and wherefores, I have read Tony Collins work. Just the fact that it was a rebellious act, regardless of anything else. Otherwise there would not have been a NU formed would there?

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But I aren't arguing about whys and wherefores, I have read Tony Collins work. Just the fact that it was a rebellious act, regardless of anything else. Otherwise there would not have been a NU formed would there?

 

This may seem like splitting hairs but RL being born of rebellion is a different matter as Padge has explained in his posts.

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But I aren't arguing about whys and wherefores, I have read Tony Collins work. Just the fact that it was a rebellious act, regardless of anything else. Otherwise there would not have been a NU formed would there?

If they had realised resigning from the counties was resigning from the RFU there probably wouldn't have been a Northern Union.

 

Tony's stuff is excellent, but I don't read one source, I even go out and research it myself.

 

Just as the RFU created the Webb Ellis myth they also created the broken time myth.

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My reading of the split was primarily that the "Powers that be" wanted to keep control of their domain, and thats a very normal and human situation. Then, you have to ask the question why would successful businessmen/club owners/secretaries not want to be proactive in promoting the game, and wanting to shake of the shackles of rules they saw as dated. The "North" in particular had seen the value of a structured league system, Association Football was growing, and in some cases taking club members, spectators and also the athletes/sportsmen away from the game, partly due to monies, but also due to the popularity of these fixtures. I think it's very difficult to ascribe what happened to any one particular aspect of the changing world people were faced with at that time.

 

Great thread, only spoiled by the pedantry over the use of the word "Rebellion" ;)

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What they disagreed about is irrelevant. They disagreed and rebelled. This is my point, not *what* they disagreed with.

Tizzles, surely the thread was started over the term rebellion, so not irrelevant to argue the point.

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If they had realised resigning from the counties was resigning from the RFU there probably wouldn't have been a Northern Union.

 

Tony's stuff is excellent, but I don't read one source, I even go out and research it myself.

 

Just as the RFU created the Webb Ellis myth they also created the broken time myth.

Whether they were rebelling against the RFU or not, they certainly rebelled against the county unions.

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If they were so anti-miners and weavers why did the RFU's selection committee pick them for England, surely they would never have been allowed to soil the England shirt with sweat, coal and cotton dust.

 

 

Slightly off topic, if I recall correctly, the performance of the England RU team, following the loss of these players was not great. (Cue responses of ...has it ever been...?)

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Slightly off topic, if I recall correctly, the performance of the England RU team, following the loss of these players was not great. (Cue responses of ...has it ever been...?)

You are joking, it nose dived and it took years to recover. The damage to the national team was immense.

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What they disagreed about is irrelevant. They disagreed and rebelled. This is my point, not *what* they disagreed with.

Tizzles, surely the thread was started over the term rebellion, so not irrelevant to argue the point.

 

Hence the wink...

 

My feeling is that it was mainly to progress and modernize. It's all very well sitting in 2013 and looking at events of over a hundred years ago. I was lucky to have known my great grandfather, a Wiganer born in 1879, their values, and ways of looking at the world, was very different from ours. We can postulate all we like, but if you want to use the word rebellion, that would suggest that it was a movement all working in the same direction, which it was not. Once people were in a corner they took the only course open, to walk away, because the club they were in did not want them as they were seen as trouble.

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Suffragettes. The vast majority of these were middle class well off women.

They were still rebels.

Many we're upper class

The suffragettes were only part of the women's suffrage movement: many of their activities were frowned upon

A campaign is not a rebellion

Suffrage was granted women via the democratic process through that campaigning it was not taken by 'rebellion' women continued to be part of mainstream society: your analogy doesn't work

The clubs who formed the northern union weren't rebels that was the last thing they wanted to be

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You are joking, it nose dived and it took years to recover. The damage to the national team was immense.

 

No, I wasn't joking. I believe they struggled.

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Many we're upper class

The suffragettes were only part of the women's suffrage movement: many of their activities were frowned upon

A campaign is not a rebellion

Suffrage was granted women via the democratic process through that campaigning it was not taken by 'rebellion' women continued to be part of mainstream society: your analogy doesn't work

The clubs who formed the northern union weren't rebels that was the last thing they wanted to be

As I have said, they might have not *wanted* to be rebels but their hand was forced. Going against the grain and forming a new body like the NU was an act of rebellion.

And the analogy is valid since you and padge implied their social status meant they couldn't possibly be rebels.

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Sorry there was an apostrophe missing that should have been Northern Union's.

 

The RFU was trying to stop professionalism, the clubs wanted a league. The clubs resigned from their County Unions thinking they were still members of the RFU, they then wanted to set up a Lancs Northern Union and a Yorks Northern Union under the auspices of the RFU operating a league system, they couldn't do that as they were no longer members of the RFU. The clubs hadn't realised that and were left with no option other than to create the Northern Union. They didn't rebel they f'ked up.

 

Edit to add.

 

Once the RFU realised the clubs had done them a favour they quickly moved to make it an issue about broken time and thus it ever was.

 

Thanks for that but it is my understanding that they already had a league and a second division and there was conflict re p and r. The suspension of many top teams for the broken time issue left them pointless in relegation spots, penniless as they were banned from playing and raising revenue at the gate and so. for survival, resigned to form their own league and then, as you have shown, inadvertantly found themselves out in the cold and out of the RFU although they all still officially resigned from that body after the founding meeting at the George.

 

So it seems to me that their resignation from, in particular, the Lancashire RU was linked directly to broken time as the clubs were all suspended for that offence and for their survival had to form their own union, whcih they naively thought they could do and then have it become a member of the RFU. When all that went pearshaped and they were forced into forming the Northern Union then you are correct in your synopsis but it seems that the root cause of their resignation was because of the issue of broken time payments was punished by suspensions which would have led to extinction.

 

There is ample evidence from the previous several years RU agms and statements from seniior RFU officials that broken time was an issue seized upon to attack the northen clubs with to force them out of the fold. There are even statements about being prepared to lose large numbers of clubs and suffer the consequences if they could but reclaim the game for the original participants, namely the public school, upper class stratas.

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