Conflict on the agenda: What the annual meeting will decide
Sunday 06 July 1997
Friday's get-together at the London Hilton Hotel, however, threatens to be as much of a departure from tradition as was the game's conversion to professionalism. The top end of English rugby is bitterly split into two factions. On the one side is Cliff Brittle, the chairman of the RFU's executive committee, who claims to represent grass-roots interest and is supported by, among others, the triumphant Lions manager Fran Cotton. In the other corner is the majority of the executive committee who have put forward one of their own, Bob Rogers, as an alternative chairman. In the middle is Tony Hallett, the RFU's secretary and its chief executive designate.
After months of public sniping in a war of words which has become increasingly personal and vitriolic, this week's AGM should decide which opponent is victorious. At issue is an accusation that Hallett deliberately misled Brittle before last year's AGM over the RFU's abortive pounds 87.5m TV deal with BSkyB which nearly resulted in England's expulsion from the Five Nations' Championship.
On the agenda is a proposal from Brittle supporters that the chairman of the executive committee, or management board as it is to become, should have "full authority to represent the Union ... and shall oversee the chief executive in the discharge of his delegated duties and responsibilities". The Brittle camp also want the chief executive's job to be advertised with a selection panel set up to handle the applications; an independent inquiry into how the RFU conducts commercial negotiations such as the BSkyB deal; and justifications to be given for the RFU's recent legal and PR fees.
Whatever the outcome, the wounds will take time to heal and the bar afterwards is unlikely to be its usual haven of conviviality.
Site users raised funds after Jennifer Lawrence photo leak
Latest in Sport
US Open 2014: Roger Federer vs Roberto Bautista Agut match preview
Danny Welbeck joins Arsenal: Welbeck joins growing British core among Arsenal squad - but it wasn't always this homely
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal triggers United upheaval as 13 players leave club since manager arrived
Chelsea completed transfers: A profile of the new arrivals including Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Loic Remy
- 1 David Sedaris: What I learnt from Fitbit about the world around me
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: 'It's only rape if the victim is conscious'
- 5 Katie Hopkins in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education require a Drama speci...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Science Teacher - Full Time - Lo...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is looking for a Seco...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are looking f...