That players be allowed compensation for bone fide loss of time.
Against the proposal, the Establishment tabled the following amendment:
That this meeting, believing that the above principle is contrary to the true interest of the game and its spirit, declines to sanction same.
The amendment was carried by 282 to 136 votes.
A breakaway of twenty-two clubs from Lancashire and Yorkshire was to follow, and formation of a Northern Union, leading eventually, to the introduction of the Rugby League. This fundamental schism in rugby playing philosophies would prelude a long and bitter struggle for the possession of the game.
Since these times, a proportion of rugby historians have acknowledged that Matthew Bloxham’s recollections on the Webb Ellis ‘legend’, were possibly perpetuated in order to provide an identifiable point of origin, within a truly idealistic and amateur environment.
The R.F.U. were to make immediate law revisions to protect the amateur status.
It did affect Bath, as it affected every other Rugby Union Club. Over the years, there were to be several covert approaches from Northern Clubs, and some West Country defections. Most importantly, a player would automatically jeopardise his amateur status by even talking to a League scout.
But, for the working man, payment for playing had its attractions…….
AT A SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION, held in September there was a recommendation that the following clause be incorporated into the Laws of the Game:-
“That the referee shall have sole control over the game, and may blow his whistle without waiting for any appeal.”