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SBD Global/September 25, 2013/Franchises

ASADA Scandal Could Force NRL Cronulla Sharks To Relocate In 2015

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National Rugby League side Cronulla Sharks "could be forced to relocate" 1,450km to central or southern Queensland in '15 "in the wake of the club’s administrative failures when" the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation is complete, according to Wilson & Hooper of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. NRL powerbrokers "have held talks" about the possibility of the Sharks being moved to Rockhampton or southern Queensland, with the club's financial position "expected to become stretched to the extreme if the NRL hits Cronulla with a million-dollar fine for bringing the game into disrepute over the ongoing supplements crisis." Under NRL rules, the game’s governing body "has the power to rescind any club’s licence if they deem it has become financially insolvent or in 'extreme circumstances,' such as the black eye the Sharks have caused rugby league due to the club’s controversial supplements program" from '11. NRL CEO Dave Smith denied plans to move any team in the immediate future but conceded "the footprint of the entire competition" would be "reviewed" for the following year. Smith: "We don't have plans to move any team" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/24).

FIT FOR A QUEEN: In Sydney, Stuart Honeysett reported a spokesperson for the consortium pushing for a central Queensland team said that the group "was open to the idea of taking on a relocated club." Central Queensland Business & Community Manager Walson Carlos admitted that relocation "was not the bid team's preferred option but it would be willing to accept it in order to grow the game in the region." Carlos: "Obviously our preferred option is to start our own team with our brand with some input from the people from central Queensland. I guess the reality of the situation is there's too many teams in Sydney and it's only a matter of time before the NRL look at rationalization" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/25).
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