NRL Cronulla Sharks Could Be Allowed To Pay $1M Over Five-Year Period
National Rugby League side Cronulla "could be given up to five years" to pay the A$1M ($890,000) "fine it incurred over its handling of the supplements scandal," according to Dan Kock of THE AUSTRALIAN. In an attempt to ease the burden on the Sharks' bottom line, there "has been talk of allowing the club to pay the fine in annual instalments" of A$200,000. While that "would lessen the financial strain on the Sharks," it could "create further problems for the club and the NRL." How could the Sharks "accept an olive branch from the NRL designed to ease its financial burden and then justify keeping suspended coach Shane Flanagan on the payroll?" And how would the NRL react if Cronulla "decided to appeal against its sanctions" -- it received a A$1M fine, although A$400,000 of it was suspended. The Sharks "will discuss their next move at a board meeting" on Thursday night. The board "will also discuss what steps it will take to fill the void created by Flanagan's suspension" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/19). In Sydney, Michael Carayannis reported at least two more members of Cronulla's '11 playing squad "have made inquiries about their legal position after the Sharks were fined" A$1M, with the NRL claiming the embattled club had exposed players to ''serious health risks.'' That number "could further rise should any players be issued with an infraction notice by ASADA and rubbed out of the game for an extended period for unwittingly taking performance-enhancing drugs at the club's direction" in '11 (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 12/19).