How the times have changed

It could almost be said that Rugby League was birthed in 1892, when Bradford and Leeds were both issued with charges of professionalism for compensating players for missing work. What started as the protection of an amateur sport enjoyed by those in England and Australia turned into, effectively, a clear social class divide based on the earnings of the individual. This was due to lower and middle class players being forced to pay out of their own pocket for medical bills and time off work; something the richer, upper class players had very little to worry about.

Fed up that their players received no financial help at all, even with large paying crowds attending games, several clubs took the drastic step of splitting with the Rugby Football Union, to form the Northern Union in 1895. However, the move had no effect on the RFU as they refused to bow to the clubs request, believing that