National Rugby League side Cronulla Sharks' seven-year drug saga is "officially over" after more than half of the club's '11 playing squad successfully reached a more than A$1M ($793,240) settlement with the club, according to Michael Carayannis of THE AUSTRALIAN. Two years of "ongoing courtroom battles" ended with the 13 players from Cronulla’s 25-man squad reaching a confidential settlement with the club. It is understood that the payout was about A$1.2M ($950,000), with the reparation different for each player. One player received as much as A$300,000 ($237,972), while others received between A$10,000 ($7,932) and A$50,000 ($39,662). The payout was covered by Cronulla’s insurance company, with the club "only needing to foot" about A$100,000 ($79,324) in legal fees. A "string of high-profile players" including Anthony Tupou and Ben Pomeroy were joined by Albert Kelly, Scott Porter, Dean Collis, Broderick Wright, Josh Cordoba, Isaac Gordon, Paul Aiton, Nathan Gardner, Stewart Mills, Nathan Stapleton and Stuart Flanagan in taking action against the club. Players sued for negligence, breach of contract and intentional tort during a period in '11 when sports scientist Stephen Dank ran a supplements program at Cronulla (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/15).
ManU has been "urged to slash prices" in the Stretford End in a bid to "correct the sterile Old Trafford atmosphere," according to Jack Gaughan of the London DAILY MAIL. In an open letter to Managing Dir Richard Arnold, the Manchester United Supporters' Trust also indicated it hopes ManU will submit an application to "install rail seats." Manager José Mourinho has been "critical of the home support" and, while plans for stadium expansion have been "put on ice," M.U.S.T. has "pressed ahead" with suggestions on how ManU can implement change. Fans "want a younger generation filling the Stretford End," historically the "noisiest" stand, and the relocation of exec seating and part of the family enclosure. The letter read, "The biggest single change which would impact on atmosphere would be to reclaim the Stretford End as a traditional 'popular end' with cheap tickets, a youthful age profile of highly vocal fans. Younger supporters should be given priority on any new migration into a rejuvenated Stretford End." M.U.S.T. wants ManU to "investigate ways of implementing rail seats on the Stretford End." The club has supported the potential implementation of safe standing in the Premier League and sent a delegation to Celtic Park as research (DAILY MAIL, 2/14).