Militant clubs believing they were getting a raw deal from headquarters is what gave birth to rugby league 120 years and three months ago.
Players complaining they were getting screwed and motivating those clubs to rebel was another underlying cause of the Northern Union breaking away from the denizens of Twickenham on August 29 of 1895.
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News Corp chief defends NRL deal
The NRL has announced a new bumper TV rights deal with news Corp defending an earlier statement from Rupert Murdoch that the company preferred Aussie Rules.
A nice round century later, Rupert Murdoch played the enabler of another schism (great rugby league word, "schism") that lasted three years, with pay television's introduction to Australia the source of all the cash.
The rebellion gene had been passed down completely intact over four generations. In rugby league, we tend to intermarry.
Now, like a schoolkid unable to hold onto his lunch money far past little lunch, we're at it again.
The George Hotel in Huddersfield sits boarded up while players in Australia complain about demands that are not a patch on what their brethren in the north of England have to endure (two entire rounds over Easter and 28 all up).
And clubs aren't happy to have their entire wages bills paid by the governing body. They want 30 per cent more.
If we look at things in the macro sense, the here and now, both parties have a point. Five-day turnarounds must be hell for a professional athlete. Clubs are bleeding money to such an extent that at least three of them rely on the NRL for their everyday survival.
But seen in the context of 120 years in which rugby league's single most prominent quality was its capacity for self-immolation, the bickering is nothing so much as sad.
Forget you're a rugby league fan. Let's pretend we have just landed from Mars and picked up the papers.
The NRL is so set on reaching financial targets to satisfy the media and rebelling clubs it signs television deals and puts out draws without consulting the players.
The clubs have enormous IP which matters to millions of people, many have leagues club backing, multi-milion-dollar sponsorship deals and all their player wages and travel expenses are completely covered. But, somehow, they're still broke.
Is this because their hunger for success dwarfs their concern for the sport they play? Is it because they spend money trying to find the best kids, pay their coaches a small fortune and insist on micro-managing junior competitions that would best be administered centrally?
The players have 10 years in the game and - perhaps until now - have struggled to agree on what to have for lunch let alone how to approach the biggest issues. The players' union in the UK has just collapsed due to lack of interest.
They've never earned more, but have also never been more militant.
Rugby league is not just the 16 clubs. The sport gets government funding for keeping kids off the streets, not for putting them through high performance programs with the aim of getting them on swap cards.
Why shouldn't the second tier be aimed at keeping kids at home, providing semi-professional spectator sport in country towns and giving a community a focus? Why should junior teams be lined up like ducks behind an NRL logo?
Australian club officials love going to the US on study trips. If they'd paid attention, they'd know that teams there are franchises in the true sense of the word. They pay players, they pay staff, they sell sponsorships, they sell tickets. That's it.
The governing body does everything else. The NATIONAL governing body.
The NRL does care about player welfare - that's why you'll see more kangaroos in Pitt Street than you'll see in Test matches between World Cups in future years. But when the suits pull out the cheque book, well ... the ARL commission has a momentary lapse of memory about player welfare.
Maybe one day the NRL, which owns all the logos, colours and trademarks of the club, could as a last resort just deal directly with the players and cut out the middleman? Suddenly the militant club officials wouldn't feel so indispensible.
Would the outcome be so bad?
While rugby league people have been fighting amongst ourselves for 120 years, other sports have been getting on with business. The AFL is on the march in the northern states. We have the second oldest World Cup in sport but still one of the smallest among the professional codes. And when our players find their skills are transferable, they leave.
Forever looking inwards, while other sports scan the horizon.
The recent impasse involving the League, the players and the clubs looks like being quelled by the usual panacea - money.
But these issues will come up again. It's inevitable. It's in our blood.