Media release – Cronulla Sharks update
Friday 8 March 2013 7:05 PM
The following is a statement from the Cronulla Sharks Board regarding management changes & the appointment of Bruno Cullen appointed as interim CEO:
The Board of Cronulla Sharks has announced significant management changes which will see the appointment of a new interim Chief Executive Officer.
With the support of the NRL, the Sharks expect to finalise terms with former Broncos Chief Executive, Bruno Cullen early next week.
The Sharks Board has gratefully accepted assistance from the NRL through the provision of personnel and funding and is committed to making the club even stronger in the months ahead.
The Club engaged former Justice of the Industrial Court and former Deputy Chair of the Australian Sports Drug Agency, Dr Tricia Kavanagh, to undertake an investigation and legal review of the Club’s activities during a period in 2011 that is the subject of a current ASADA investigation.
The advice to the Board arising from Dr Kavanagh’s preliminary enquiries indicated there were management failures within the Club’s football operations and other issues.
Today we are dealing with the identified management failures.
The Board is having business advisory firm, Grant Thornton conduct a full management review of the club.
Appropriate counselling and support services will be made available to the affected staff and to operational staff at the club during this difficult period.
It is with great regret that the Board has taken this course of action, but it does so given the serious nature of the management failures identified.
We make these decisions in the interest of our club going forward, in the interest of the game itself and the welfare of our playing group, which is uppermost in our minds.
We understand that Sharks fans and all rugby league supporters will be shocked by this news, but the Board determined this was the most responsible and appropriate course of action to be taken at this time.
The Club will have a competitive team on Sunday night and full coaching and medical staff in attendance.
Appointment of Interim CEO
We are very pleased to be able to announce that upon the finalisation of terms, the highly respected Bruno Cullen will be joining us as Interim Chief Executive Officer early next week.
Bruno has been one of the most successful chief executives in rugby league and we welcome him to the Sharks at this important juncture in the Club’s history.
He has advised us today that he looks forward to joining our football club and he is committed to assist the club going forward, subject to his other business interests.
In the absence of ASADA action against any player, no player will be stood down or otherwise adversely treated by the Club. Each player is entitled to an unfettered presumption of innocence.
The consequence of any decision by players to provide substantial assistance to the ASADA investigation are a matter wholly between the players, their legal representatives and ASADA.
The club has made it clear that any player who does cooperate in this manner will receive financial support.
The Club has ensured the players who may be subject to an ASADA investigation have independent legal representation and, in consultation with the players, former ASADA head lawyer Richard Redman was appointed to represent the playing group.
The Club has also committed to meeting the costs of Senior Counsel to be available to the players. Separate legal representation has also been provided to Club officials. It is also providing counseling services.
In respect to re-signing players for 2014, the Club has said to players that each case would be judged on its merits – with such consideration not including a player’s dealings with ASADA.
The question of the legality or otherwise of substances at the centre of ASADA’s investigation is a matter for ASADA.
We thank our loyal supporter base for the support they have provided in recent days and commit to providing further information as appropriate.