Sharks Group CEO Lyall Gorman and Club Captain Paul Gallen front the media at Sharkies Leagues Club this afternoon to address media allegations of a recent incident involving Gallen.
Watch the press conference with Gorman and Gallen, now playing on Sharks TV.
Original statement posted at 10:55am, Friday 28/08/2015
The Club notes assertions in today’s media in relation to an alleged verbal exchange between our Club Captain Paul Gallen and an adult spectator at the completion of two recent home matches.
Club CEO Lyall Gorman offers the following response.
“To say that Paul is shattered by some of the assertions in the article is an understatement and he has asked me to launch a detailed investigation.
“As he said to me this morning, my (his) kids have to go to school today and live with that about their father when some of it is just simply not true.
“The initial enquiries from those present at the time of the alleged exchanges certainly indicate inconsistencies from what has been reported, but at this stage those findings will remain internal.
“Our Club, and the playing group across the board, take their responsibilities and obligations to uphold the image of the game at all times very seriously and have become renowned for the exceptional contribution and engagement it’s playing group maintains day in day out with its Member and fan base, corporate partners and its community at large.
“It is accepted across every level of our organisation and our broader Sharks family that continually leading the charge in this regard is Paul Gallen whose spontaneous ‘beyond the call of duty’ commitment and ‘drop everything mindset’ to engaging with young boys and girls, members and supporters, corporate partners, those less fortunate in our Community and the young or old is commented on wherever we go.
“Indeed overnight our Club has been inundated with support for Paul as our Members and fans share many stories of the incredible personal time he has given over so many years to them and the way he has touched the hearts and minds of so many, one family citing the following:
My wife, myself and our 5 month old baby drove from Melbourne up to Sydney for that same game against the Cowboys and we met Gallen and the other players after the game in the sheds and he was very polite and friendly. I'm a bit confused at how he could change so dramatically in such a short period of time.
As referenced within an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald today, Paul has also long been an advocate for spreading anti-bullying messages in schools and in support of NRL programs.
“In relation to the post-match incidents and the media article which appeared on-line last night, I had previously written to the family concerned following the first alleged incident, offering to catch up and discuss their concerns. This invitation was respectfully declined. I had also written to the family extending our Club’s apologies for the way they felt, regardless of the facts.
“Following the Sharks-Tigers game last weekend I had in fact engaged in a post-match discussion with the father and felt the matter was settled following our discussion.
“Clearly in proceeding to present the cards to Paul, inscribed the way they were and in the fashion in which they were presented, I was wrong.
“As a result of this incident a detailed review will be taken internally, not only of the assertions, but also including the level of security and access to our players pre and post-match.
“While they have to accept that they live in a fish bowl environment, our Club has continually gone to great extremes to make our players available after a game but it might be now time to