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Paid Players Pre 80s

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Cannon View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Jun 2019 at 11:30
I had dinner last night with my parents and friends. Very interesting chat about players being paid in the lower leagues brought up the old subject of money in the boots. 

Two of the guys (one had played with Gareth Edwards in the early days) had played for London Welsh in the 70s and early 80s, even back then then they were being paid a few pounds a week to play. As teachers they worked in Surrey and this supplemented their lifestyle! I didn't realise it went back to pre leagues.
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sidelined View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sidelined Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2019 at 12:09
I'm not 100% sure but I think it's what precipitated the split back in 1895.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2019 at 12:19
The Northern Union wanted to be honest about it.

Whether it was tucked into boots or passed over when the club treasurer shook your hand is much debated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark W-J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2019 at 12:26
Originally posted by Cannon Cannon wrote:

I had dinner last night with my parents and friends. Very interesting chat about players being paid in the lower leagues brought up the old subject of money in the boots. 

Two of the guys (one had played with Gareth Edwards in the early days) had played for London Welsh in the 70s and early 80s, even back then then they were being paid a few pounds a week to play. As teachers they worked in Surrey and this supplemented their lifestyle! I didn't realise it went back to pre leagues.

Oh God, you'll start someone off again.
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Richard Lowther View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2019 at 13:17
Originally posted by sidelined sidelined wrote:

I'm not 100% sure but I think it's what precipitated the split back in 1895.


It's not. Unfortunately history and historians have conflated the broken time issue with the Yorkshire Senior Clubs dispute with the Yorkshire RFU over promotion and relegation (yes, there is nothing new under the sun).

At the end of the 1894/95 season the Yorkshire Senior clubs wanted to protect their own and not have the bottom side involved in a play off game. When the YRFU upheld that principal the clubs thought they could withdraw from the YRFU, join up with counterparts from Lancashire who were having their own issues and form a Northern Union but still under the RFU. The RFU would not allow the clubs to do this and ultimately they had no option to go it alone, which led to what we call the Rugby League now.

The broken time issue had been bubbling away for years and if the split was sorely about that it would have happened in 1893 when the Yorkshire and Lancashire clubs lost a vote at the RFU AGM but they stayed.

I know for some these are controversial statements but are backed up by evidence of the time. Unfortunately historians misinterpreted the two events, conjoin them into one, usually to make a political point about the Southern upper class attitude to their Northern working class colleagues. Unfortunately this narrative neglects to mention that some of the owners of the breakaway clubs were of the same social standing as their Southern counterparts.

It's an interesting complex history that I (and I'm not alone) believes is constantly misread.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2019 at 13:33
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

Originally posted by sidelined sidelined wrote:

I'm not 100% sure but I think it's what precipitated the split back in 1895.


It's not. Unfortunately history and historians have conflated the broken time issue with the Yorkshire Senior Clubs dispute with the Yorkshire RFU over promotion and relegation (yes, there is nothing new under the sun).

At the end of the 1894/95 season the Yorkshire Senior clubs wanted to protect their own and not have the bottom side involved in a play off game. When the YRFU upheld that principal the clubs thought they could withdraw from the YRFU, join up with counterparts from Lancashire who were having their own issues and form a Northern Union but still under the RFU. The RFU would not allow the clubs to do this and ultimately they had no option to go it alone, which led to what we call the Rugby League now.

The broken time issue had been bubbling away for years and if the split was sorely about that it would have happened in 1893 when the Yorkshire and Lancashire clubs lost a vote at the RFU AGM but they stayed.

I know for some these are controversial statements but are backed up by evidence of the time. Unfortunately historians misinterpreted the two events, conjoin them into one, usually to make a political point about the Southern upper class attitude to their Northern working class colleagues. Unfortunately this narrative neglects to mention that some of the owners of the breakaway clubs were of the same social standing as their Southern counterparts.

It's an interesting complex history that I (and I'm not alone) believes is constantly misread.

 

Absolutely right - Tony Collins is probably the go-to historian on this subject. He comes from the RL side of the fence but writes about the history of both codes. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote elmsall man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2019 at 14:35
Richard 
Thank you for that.
As somebody born bred and educated in rugby league land in West Yorkshire it was ingrained in me that the split was all about the broken time issue.
Fascinating
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2019 at 16:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2019 at 18:15
Tony Collins book Class Culture and the Great Divide well worth a read. You may be surprised by some of the facts surrounding the issue.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote No 7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2019 at 13:33
Around the 70,s and 80,s players received no money whatsoever! What they did receive was 'expenses'. People still dispute the fact that top class teams paid their players money .....tax free and against the law.

It was supposed to be an amateur sport.
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2019 at 14:05
Back in the 70s and 80s expenses were paid and jobs handed to top players - there were loads of stories about car park/ bar receipts being used to pay players but I'm not sure how true they were.

Certainly plenty of players turned league with the lump sums offered being sufficient to purchase a house ( watch The Codebreakers BBC documentary) . Interestingly many Wales players switched due to discrimination by the WRFU ( Billy Boston and Clive Sullivan to name just two). From what little I know those in the professions were happy to accept good job offers and play alongside players who may have benefited from better expenses especially those involved in manual occupations. I don't believe there was wholesale payment as such in RU but I'm happy to be corrected.

Things are now different less loyalty and more money about which has contributed to the demise of social rugby and the loss of lots of players.ive got all my fixture cards and personal results from 1966 until 1985 which shows that lots of teams in the NW ran 4 and more sides. In London the number of teams could be well into the 10s.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeGC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2019 at 16:07
A great school friend of mine played for a top class club in the early 80s.
He definitely wasn’t paid, having a successful teaching career.
However, his wife had an exceptionally well paid job for a local company who didn’t require her to actually go into the office. Lots of ways around "not paying players"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cannon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2019 at 16:27
Originally posted by MikeGC MikeGC wrote:

A great school friend of mine played for a top class club in the early 80s.
He definitely wasn’t paid, having a successful teaching career.
However, his wife had an exceptionally well paid job for a local company who didn’t require her to actually go into the office. Lots of ways around "not paying players"
Is this not still going on? I heard hearsay (and I have no evidence so no names) that a London based club has a hell of a lot of secretaries on their books!!!!
Rucks and mauls may bust my balls, but whips and chains excite me!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote WEvans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2019 at 12:41
Originally posted by Cannon Cannon wrote:

Originally posted by MikeGC MikeGC wrote:

A great school friend of mine played for a top class club in the early 80s.
He definitely wasn’t paid, having a successful teaching career.
However, his wife had an exceptionally well paid job for a local company who didn’t require her to actually go into the office. Lots of ways around "not paying players"
Is this not still going on? I heard hearsay (and I have no evidence so no names) that a London based club has a hell of a lot of secretaries on their books!!!!

There are a lot of secretaries required in Barnet!
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