The Hume and Tallangatta and district league grand finals are set to clash next year.
Both leagues released their draws this week with the biggest match of the season on September 17.
Traditionally the TDFL play its grand final on the second Saturday in September with the Hume league holding its decider the following weekend.
However, the AFL NEB has broken with tradition and pushed the TDFL showpiece back a week, causing the clash.
Both the AFL NEB and Hume league officials first became aware of the clash last month.
Hume league president Phil Bouffler said he was 'disappointed' that the AFL NEB didn't find an alternative date.
"It's very disappointing that if we get finals in 2022 that both leagues are on the same day," Bouffler said.
"The decision will no doubt have significant financial implications on both leagues.
"After having no finals for two years because of COVID, how silly is it to have two grand finals on the same day?
"We can put a man on the moon but we can't find two separate dates for two grand finals, it's mind-boggling.
"It's a big price to pay when it could have been resolved with a couple of phone calls.
"The feedback that I've been getting from Hume league supporters is 'what are they (AFL NEB) thinking, why would they do that?
"I think all the clubs in the Hume league will be disappointed when they find out."
AFL NEB operations manager Gavin Rendell conceded the clash of dates was far from ideal but extenuating circumstances made it unavoidable.
"The clash is not ideal but it is what it is," Rendell said.
"We can't start a week earlier because of cricket.
"We have got three byes which are Easter, junior inter-league in May and July school holidays.
"The TDFL executive discussed the clash but was of the opinion that after having no finals for two years, that a clash of grand finals pales into insignificance.
"We looked at options to avoid the clash but if we start a week earlier there are cricket grand finals which potentially some football players could be involved in."
The surprise decision will rob both leagues of maximising their finals revenue they desperately need to recover financially after two COVID ruined seasons.
Finals gate takings are the main source of income with both leagues regularly attracting a crowd of more than 5000 and a gate of around $45,000 for their season showpiece.
Thousands of Border footy fans traditionally attend both grand finals but will be robbed of the opportunity next year.
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Long-time Hume league football administrator Merv Wegener said he couldn't recall the two leagues grand finals clashing previously.
"I know for a fact that they haven't for the past four decades," Wegener said.
"The late Des Kennedy's golden rule when he was in charge of the Hume league was that the O&M, Hume and TDFL play their grand finals on separate days.
"He always said that the leagues need to work with each other and not against each other to maximise finals revenue.
"Officials from the three leagues would always get together when scheduling the draw to ensure a clash was avoided.
"It's a shame if the two leagues clash.
"I don't know how many Border footy fans attend both grand finals but you would have to think it would be more than a 1000.
"So there's quite a bit of money involved if it is $15 entry."
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