Ricky Stuart's reappointment as NSW coach next season has turned into a Mexican stand-off, with none of the parties involved wanting to be responsible for the decision.
After NSW Rugby League directors put the onus on Stuart's new club, Parramatta, to decide whether he can do both jobs next season, the Eels have called him to a board meeting so he can outline how a dual role could work.
In effect, Parramatta officials have put the onus back on Stuart; who had left it to the state board to decide whether they wanted him to continue after introducing a policy - when he was appointed - that the Blues coach could not also be in charge of a club team.
Stuart wants one more year as NSW coach, as he believes the Blues are close to ending Queensland's seven-year domination following the 21-20 loss in this year's series decider.
But after assuring the state board he was capable of coaching both teams next season, he now has the mammoth task of convincing the Parramatta board he can do two jobs, without the club suffering as a result.
It is understood Stuart will propose that an assistant - likely to be Trent Barrett or Jim Dymock - be assigned all pre-Origin duties to allow the Eels coach to focus his attention on his NRL side in the lead up to the series.
Stuart's position as NSW coach is seen as a bonus for Parramatta's hopes of recruiting leading players in 2014 and, given his desire to do the job, it is difficult to imagine how the Eels could stand in his way.
However, the Sydney Morning Herald understands Parramatta are concerned about a backlash from fans if the Eels are languishing at the bottom of the ladder when Stuart leaves for Origin, which will be discussed when they meet. Parramatta chief executive Bob Bentley tried to organise a meeting of Eels directors to discuss the issue but not all were available.
Bentley said the board wanted to hear Stuart's proposal before coming to an arrangement.
''He needs to put something to the board, in terms of how it's going to work,'' Bentley said.
''Then they're going to have an opportunity to understand what the impact might be for Parramatta, and the impact on his club commitments. Then we'll make a decision based on the best interests of Parramatta.
''We haven't had any representation from Ricky in regards to what that proposal might look like at this stage. When we get the opportunity to hear his thoughts, then we'll give it some consideration. I wouldn't see it being in the next couple of days because we have some board members away at the moment, but probably in the coming weeks.''
NSWRL chairman John Chalk and general manager Geoff Carr met Bentley on Wednesday, and are waiting on a decision from the Eels board before they proceed with plans for 2013.
''We've had a preliminary discussion [with the NSWRL], but not in great detail,'' Bentley said.
''They want Ricky to present the situation to us first. I believe they've got a model that he's spoken to them about, but he hasn't shared that model with the board or myself.''