The thorny issue of Championship funding is back on the agenda and so far the public utterances from both sides are a mere couple of galaxies apart.
The 12 tier two clubs, including Worcester, Bees and Moseley, have made a submission to the RFU to continue the current £300,000 a year funding for another two seasons.
In fact in their more optimistic moments they even want to see an increase to £0.5m with extra financial assistance to cover participation in the British & Irish Cup.
The governing body, on the other hand, are moving in the other direction.
They want, by the end of the current campaign, to make any future funding conditional on the number of English qualified players those clubs field.
They have also made it abundantly clear they expect those clubs to have English coaches too.
The parties have agreed to come face to face at Twickenham after the union’s management board meeting at the end of the month, where they will share dinner and a frank exchange of views.
It is, however, important the crudities aren’t more numerous than the crudités because this is not a time for entrenched positions.
Both parties must accept responsibility for future of the lower end professional rugby, if indeed it is worth saving at all.
The Championship members must not throw back in the union’s face its failure to deliver the sponsorship they promised when they railroaded in the new structure.
The union must not resort to selective deafness whenever the clubs over-egg the pauper’s pudding.
But one simple fact has to be established. The RFU is the representative body of English rugby union and as such it has every right to demand its money goes to the development of English players.
No doubt someone will want to quibble about whether the money is actually the RFU’s at all but that is the sort of blind alley to be avoided in such demanding economic times.
As things stand Twickers holds the purse strings and unless the clubs would rather toddle off and put together a competition on their own, they would do well to remember that.
If the union has an obligation to the health of the national game so too do the constituent clubs.