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SBD Global/September 26, 2013/Franchises

National Rugby League CEO Smith Says Cronulla Sharks Will Not Move To Queensland

National Rugby League CEO Dave Smith said that "there are no plans to move" the Cronulla Sharks to Queensland but said that "the code's governing body are carefully monitoring the financial viability of the club," according to Ian McCullough of the AAP. League powerbrokers "have reportedly discussed the option of relocating the Sharks north of the Tweed should the cash-strapped club be hit with a multi-million dollar fine" arising from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority probe into their '11 supplements program. Smith said, "The clear fact is we have no plans to relocate any team. The story stems from speculation to the outcome of the ASADA investigation" (AAP, 9/25). The AAP also reported Cronulla CEO Steve Noyce "has assured fans the Sharks are not going anywhere." Noyce, who was appointed CEO in July, said that "the story was untrue." He said, "I think it's clear in the story that Dave Smith, CEO of the NRL, says there are no plans to move any clubs. I know 100 percent, the Cronulla Sharks aren't going anywhere." Noyce insisted that "if Cronulla were fined by the NRL as a result of ASADA's investigation, it would survive" -- just like Australian Football League club Essendon -- which was hit with a A$2M ($1.8M) penalty over its controversial supplements program (AAP, 9/25). In Sydney, Brent Read reported Smith "has thrown his support behind his Head of Football Todd Greenberg, insisting he has absolute trust in the man he hand-picked to be his understudy." Greenberg "has been in the crosshairs over his handling of the Ben Barba situation earlier this year." In particular, there were "concerns raised over his failure to inform the NRL of allegations that Barba was involved in a case of domestic violence" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/26).
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