Patten urges Sharks to use Dog blueprint - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Patten urges Sharks to use Dog blueprint

By David Beniuk 28/05/2009 07:15:25 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs veteran Luke Patten has offered crisis-strewn NRL rivals Cronulla some hope, suggesting his club's turnaround is the perfect blueprint for the Sharks.

Only last year it was the Bulldogs in free-fall as crises such as Willie Mason and Sonny Bill Williams' walkouts culminated in a wooden spoon for the Belmore club.

But a new regime under chief executive Todd Greenberg, a new coach in Kevin Moore and an influx of players with the right attitude have the Dogs on top of the table after 11 rounds in 2009.

"I actually thought that with all the stuff Cronulla are going through, that we're lucky that we've been through that and we've come out the other side," Patten told AAP on Thursday.

"I guess the club just made some tough decisions. Anyone that was stuffing up, they got rid of them and they brought Todd Greenberg in and he just made decision after decision really - new coach, all new staff, new players and with that everything's changed.

"There's a new attitude and everyone's working really hard for that and maybe the Sharks, that is something they can look at.

"I don't want to comment too much because I don't really know too much about their club but maybe it's something that they can look at.

"I think we were getting a little bit stale there, as much as the amount of respect I have for Folkesy (former coach Steve Folkes), I think the club did need a change.

"Even though it's only the halfway mark of the season, it's really shown that it's a good thing for us."

Cronulla members' mood for change was due to be revealed on Thursday night when the results of elections for the leagues and football clubs' board were to be announced at the Sharks' annual general meeting.

An early report from News Limited suggested all three challengers for board positions had been elected in a landslide.

Exactly what the elections mean, though, remains unclear because the current board has already called for an extraordinary general meeting to conduct a fresh vote and make changes to the club's constitution before July 31.

Sharks officials were expecting a larger than normal turnout from amongst their 19,000 members at the AGM in the wake of the series of crises that have engulfed the club.

Chairman Barry Pierce and his fellow directors have been under immense pressure since details of a 2002 sex scandal involving Matthew Johns were revealed by the ABC's Four Corners program earlier this month.

Reni Maitua's positive drugs test, allegations players were offered sex toys, reports a woman employee accidentally injured by chief executive Tony Zappia last year was paid $20,000, mounting debt reportedly totalling $12 million and the withdrawal of major sponsor LG Electronics have added to the off-field problems.

On the field, the club is outright last having won just one of 10 matches and this week has weathered a racism row involving captain Paul Gallen.

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