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Barry Russell: Cronulla Sharks going nowhere

Sharks CEO Barry Russell has guaranteed Cronulla fans that the club is going nowhere.

It comes after the NRL came down hard on the club and coach Shane Flanagan after Flanno was found to be communicating with club players and officials while suspended in 2014.

The NRL integrity unit found the club and Flanagan had breached the following condition: “the club must not allow Mr Flanagan to be concerned directly or indirectly with the club” while suspended.

As a result, the Sharks were handed a fine of $400,000 previously suspended and an additional proposed fine of $400,000, while Flanagan has been issued with a notice to have his registration cancelled.

It’s a major blow for the club which is struggling financially and seems to find itself consistently involved with in a scandal following the ASADA drugs scandal.

While Russell earlier this season self-reported a potential salary cap breach by the club in 2015.

But the club’s boss admitted the Sharks aren’t going anywhere.

“We’re no different to other organisations and other clubs, we’ve had our financial challenges and we’ll work through them,” Russell said.

“It’s important we actually look at our business model and our business structure which hasn’t been done for a long time.

“Those redundancies were part of a cost cutting and a restructure, so we build towards a successful business model that can actually break even and make profit.

“So our Sharks will always be here, we’ve got some exciting things happening around Shark Park with the development.

“I’ve got no doubt this proud club is headed for some fantastic success.”

With the man who delivered Cronulla their first premiership now gone, Jim Dymock and John Morris have been named as interim coaches.

Russell has also said the Shire club have had no contact with any other coach.

“Out of respect to Shane and respect to the process, we won’t even and are not even looking at coaches beyond what we have at the moment,” Russell said.

“We’ve just got to get through this next five or six weeks and get an outcome before we try and pre-empt what we do.

“At the moment, we have not identified or spoken to any potential coaches.”

Flanagan and the club will have until the end of January to respond.


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