Sharks' future in our hands: Gallen - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks' future in our hands: Gallen

By Todd Balym 19/05/2009 05:34:50 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen says the players need to take ownership of the club's perilous financial position declaring they must start winning to help save the Sharks from extinction.

With Cronulla just 18 months away from folding Gallen says it is up to the players to end their eight-game losing streak to give management a better chance to attract sponsors to the embattled club.

The Sharks have lost over $150,000 worth of sponsorship in the past week in the fallout from their 2002 sex scandal while it's been reported major backed LG will not continue their $1 million a season support when their deal expires at the end of the season.

"It would be a shame to have the Shire without the Sharks," Gallen said of the club's future.

"Hopefully it won't come to that. But all we're concerned with is winning footy and our results will hopefully get sponsors and people here.

"I'm pleading with all supporters to get down here and fill this place and really get behind us this weekend to help us start something - to kick start our year anyway.

"If we can start winning some games and getting some supporters here hopefully there won't be too many issues (with the club's future).

"We know we have to start winning or it is going to affect us financially."

It is difficult times in the Sutherland Shire, but Gallen says the players are remaining positive that they can turn their on-field fortunes and the club's fate all around.

Spirits were certainly high at training on Tuesday when a game of touch football - with the Pacific islanders and Kiwis against the Australians - ended with a lively attempt at a haka by the losing Aussies.

"We are still being positive. There are no splits or anything dividing us at the club at the moment and there won't be either," said Gallen.

"We're going to stick solid together and hopefully a win is just around the corner."

Gallen is confident strong support still exists for the Sharks despite poor attendance figures this season.

The official Sharks supporters group have done their own letterbox drop to try to entice fans to the game against local rivals St George Illawarra on Saturday.

Gallen says he had dinner in Cronulla on Sunday evening and couldn't believe the support and understanding the club has from fans.

"The support we have got at the moment is unbelievable for where we are on the table," he said.

"I was quite shocked and embarrassed to go down there on Sunday but all the people were very nice and supportive of us and they really feel for us at the moment and can see that we are trying.

"Hopefully they turn out for the rest of the year to watch us."

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