The future of the Auckland Secondary Schools Football Association will be decided at a special general meeting on October 21.
ASSFA, through secretary Ian McLaughlan and chairman Dave Bagwell, notified members and stakeholders of the meeting two weeks ago. Top of the agenda is a notice to dissolve the association, which has existed since the early 1930s.
At the heart of the issue is the governance of schoolboy football in the region. There are 52 schools affiliated to ASSFA, which in turn is affiliated to College Sport.
McLaughlan, who has been in the job for more than 15 years and works tirelessly in getting senior results out to media and stakeholders, says the constitution requires a two-thirds majority for dissolution, which would allow College Sport to take over the running of boys football.
The October 21 meeting at Bill McKinlay Park promises to elicit plenty of passion. McLaughlan, who would not be drawn too deeply into the possible outcome, believes ASSFA has the numbers to survive.
The ASSFA executive met on Monday and he will be sending out a missive later in the week detailing the long history of the association.
McLaughlan feels ASSFA has done a good job administering football and believes that should continue.
"It's all down to the schools on October 21. If two-thirds want to dissolve, we dissolve. If they don't, we stay as an association," he said.
College Sport chief executive Dave Currie acknowledges the work done by McLaughlan, but wants to see a more streamlined operation for boys football. College Sports runs girls football in the region and wants to combine resources.
Currie said there was too much "triple-handling" with some of the work done by McLaughlan, when College Sport already did much of the background administrative work surrounding draws and the like. He said ASSFA did not have charitable status, so, for example, should not be sending out invoices and handling money.
"We want to have conversations to standardise things and bring them into line with what we do," says Currie. "We also need to have some relationship with the regional sporting bodies, the Northern Football and Auckland Football federations.
"ASSFA have virtually no link with them, other than providing referees. We can't work in isolation. To grow we have to be in partnership."
There was a tension between school and club football, which Currie would like to see lessened, and inconsistencies between ASSFA rules and College Sport bylaws, which he said were not helpful.
Schools cricket is organised through the Auckland Cricket Association and rugby through the Auckland Rugby Union.