Cronulla Sharks face uncertain future without Shane Flanagan as NRL closes in on salary cap breaches


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Now, a brand new day of reckoning has arrived. Of all of the occasions which have performed out at Cronulla in recent times, Flanagan’s potential exit may very well be probably the most dramatic.


The NRL integrity unit has, for six months, combed by way of pc servers, laptops and cell phones, together with these belonging to board members. Its investigation into potential wage cap breaches throughout the membership shouldn’t be but full, however the NRL felt it essential to speed up any punishment of Flanagan so the Sharks had time to discover a new coach if required.

On Tuesday, the integrity unit will hand down its findings regarding Flanagan at a fee assembly in Sydney. If the fee finds there have been breaches after which decides to deregister Flanagan, he may very well be instantly banned from having any involvement with the membership, even within the probability of an attraction.

For the previous two weeks, Russell has been diplomatic when requested in regards to the ongoing negotiations to increase Flanagan’s contract past subsequent yr. Now we all know why. Fears in regards to the bomb the integrity unit is about to drop clarify the delay.

Sharks CEO Barry Russell has maintained the club's backing for Flanagan.

Sharks CEO Barry Russell has maintained the membership’s backing for Flanagan. Credit score:AAP

The doubtless alternative if Flanagan goes? With the teaching merry-go-round coming to a halt with the Bennett-Seibold swap, there aren’t many choices. Assistant coach Jim Dymock has been prepared for an NRL gig for a while. Others want fellow assistant and former participant John Morris.


Former Manly coach Trent Barrett performed 36 matches for the Sharks in 2009-10 and, since shedding his stand-off with the Sea Eagles, is determined for a gig. Barrett is managed by Wayne Beavis, who additionally manages Flanagan.
Discovering a coach is simply one of many membership’s issues. There may very well be a big monetary value.

When the Sharks have been fined $1million for the peptides scandal, they satisfied then NRL boss Dave Smith to have $400,000 of it suspended on the situation Flanagan had no contact with the membership. Then Flanagan popped up at Shark Park for a trial match towards the Wests Tigers and he was learn the riot act. The membership jiggled out of any additional sanction by claiming he was there to see his son Kyle within the decrease grade fixture.

To his credit score, Flanagan then did all the pieces anticipated of him, together with programs in governance, ethics and participant wellbeing. The Sharks board re-signed him for 3 years. He returned and skilfully rebuilt the roster. Then he rebuilt their junior base. Then he squeezed the most effective out of drawback youngsters like Ben Barba and Andrew Fifita.

Then he did what no different Sharks coach had achieved in 50years: he delivered a premiership that despatched the Sutherland Shire into wild celebration for weeks.

Flanagan and Paul Gallen are mobbed by fans after their 2016 NRL grand final victory.

Flanagan and Paul Gallen are mobbed by followers after their 2016 NRL grand remaining victory.Credit score:Kirk Gilmour

Mercifully, sources say that title shouldn’t be in peril of being stripped. But when the NRL calls within the $400,000 high-quality that was beforehand suspended, it would put the membership below vital monetary stress.

Whereas its long-term future ought to be safe as the huge property improvement of 880 flats, dozens of retailers, a resort and medical centre takes form, the membership is struggling to make ends meet.


It’s estimated the soccer membership may lose as a lot as $4million this yr. That’s mystifying for a profitable group that received the premiership two seasons in the past and commonly challenges for the title.

When NRL chief government Todd Greenberg addresses the media subsequent Tuesday afternoon at League Central to disclose Flanagan’s destiny, you possibly can guess these chewed up and spat out by the peptides scandal shall be watching with curiosity.

Flanagan obtained his job again and received a comp. Former power and conditioning coach Trent Elkin wasn’t afforded such latitude: he misplaced his job, his livelihood, his home.

He has solely lately been allowed to work within the NRL once more, however few will contact him due to the half he performed in Dank’s arrival on the membership. In latest weeks, he has been working with former Sharks fullback Val Holmes as Holmes embarks on his NFL journey.

Now, Flanagan’s future is equally unsure, if no more. ‘‘I see myself teaching for an additional 10 or 12 years,’’ he stated earlier this yr. ‘‘Possibly 15 if issues are going nicely.’’

Chief Sports activities Author, The Sydney Morning Herald

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