Cronulla Sharks Can't Count On Financial Bailout From National Rugby League
National Rugby League side Cronulla's prospect for financial assistance from the NRL to help cover possible legal action "may be in jeopardy following the club's decision to overturn the sacking of four key staff members before the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority completes its investigation," according to Walter & Carayannis of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The potential fallout "from the stunning decision" by the new Sharks board and the subsequent resignation of NRL-appointed interim Cronulla CEO Bruno Cullen "was all the talk in league circles on Tuesday as shocked observers across the game questioned why the club would take such action on the eve of players interview with ASADA." An official said, ''They have just stuck their finger up at the NRL and ASADA" (SMH, 7/31). In Sydney, Stuart Honeysett reported a "doomsday scenario" that predicted Cronulla stood to lose A$6M ($5.4M) in damages was drawn up by the club in March, soon after the ASADA supplements scandal broke. The amount, which has the potential to leave the Sharks in ruins, "included possible settlements with players not covered by the club's insurance policy, legal fees and wages for those stood down for doping offences as well as payments to replacement players." Sharks Chair Damian Keogh confirmed that the previous board "had worked on a worst-case scenario but said he was not privy to any details." Keogh said, "As a board we've had that many other priorities. This hasn't been a massive priority to address all that at this stage because you're almost jumping at shadows" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/31).