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Volume 7 No. 149
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Cronulla Sharks Receiving Interest From Potential Sponsors, CEO Says

Cronulla Sharks' CEO Barry Russell
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National Rugby League side Cronulla Sharks CEO Barry Russell revealed he "had been contacted by a number of companies interested in filling the Sharks' sponsorship void," according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. Cronulla had a second director "walk away" but was "given hope" that it can stem its financial bleeding. Russell confirmed that Paul O'Neile -- a member of the club's audit, risk & compliance committee -- resigned from his position on the board. His decision to stand down comes "only a matter of weeks after Craig Airey did the same." Russell insisted O'Neile's decision was "due to his work commitments outside the club." The club's financial position has been the "subject of intense debate" for months, as it struggles with significant losses, a lack of sponsors and an ongoing salary cap investigation that could result in Cronulla "receiving heavy fines and cap sanctions." Russell confirmed "a handful of companies had contacted the club" in the wake of revelations it was on the lookout for sponsors for the upcoming season, "chief among them a major backer" to be featured on the front of its jersey. NRL CEO Todd Greenberg acknowledged the NRL was "keeping a close eye on the Sharks" but reaffirmed the game would "no longer prop up clubs that hit financial difficulty" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 11/30).