Football clubs counting the cost
There are 17 football grounds with almost 70 fields in the Auckland isthmus – charged at more than $600 for senior use each year.
Eastern Suburbs AFC chairman Chris Ruffell says he was only made aware of the boundary issue this month.
‘‘I was certainly never aware it was applicable to the former Auckland City Council area only.
‘‘It makes me feel poorer. Money we spend on this is money we can’t spend on the kids and development.’’
Three Kings United general manager Steven Reid is also fed up.
‘‘It’s a daily fight with council to do even the basic things, like light bulbs and floodlights. We have to do [maintenance] ourselves and we don’t get compensated.’’
To make matters worse Auckland Football wasn’t sent bills in 2012 and 2013. Many clubs are now being hit with two bills.
Auckland Council local and sports parks central manager Jane Aickin says this was down to an administrative error.
‘‘AFF [and all codes] have been made aware of the fees and charges on an annual basis [at pre-season allocation meetings].
‘‘Other than the 2013 error they have always been charged for their bookings, as have other regional sporting organisations using central fields for adult competition,’’ Aickin says.
Football is the one major code where clubs are charged separately, where other organisations share the costs across the competition.
Auckland Football Federation chief executive Don Manase says this is because the club landscape can be different between each sport
‘‘If the current situation continues then we would look to review how the costs of the ground charges are met. But we would favour consistency across the boards and for no charges to be in place at all,’’ Manase says.