Zappia stands down as Sharks CEO - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Zappia stands down as Sharks CEO

By Steve Jancetic 08/06/2009 07:43:51 PM Comments (0)

The woman at the centre of damning allegations against besieged Cronulla chief executive Tony Zappia says she is willing to meet with NRL boss David Gallop to explain her version of the incident that left her with a black eye.

On the same day Zappia voluntarily stood down from his post to weigh up his legal position, former Sharks community liaison officer Jenny Hall told the Seven Network Zappia had accidentally hit her before telling her not to talk to anyone.

Hall maintained her silence after leaving her position at the club several months after the incident - with reports of a $20,000 payout - but said she was now prepared to discuss the incident with the NRL.

"If David (Gallop) wants to talk to me I'm more than happy to talk to him," Hall said.

The NRL said it had always been willing to meet with Hall, but talks are unlikely to take place before the Sharks have determined Zappia's future later this week.

Among a long list of allegations, Hall repeated claims that Zappia had offered to let her spank him as punishment for the black eye and had opened pornographic material on his computer while Hall was in the room with him.

"There I am, your employee that you have just given a black eye to who is in tears and there you are focusing on a pornographic picture," Hall said of the incident.

After standing down on Monday, Zappia was given until Thursday to save his job following an emergency meeting of the football club's board.

"The board has requested a response from Tony Zappia and his legal team by Thursday," outgoing chairman Barry Pierce said from the steps of Sharks leagues club.

"He's entitled to his due process and being a long weekend, he can't do anything today.

"He's standing down and I can't say much more at this stage."

Asked whether Zappia's position was in jeopardy, Pierce said: "A lot will depend on what comes back from his legal advice and there's a lot to look at I believe."

The Sharks board will also request a copy of the recordings from the Seven Network in a bid to establish its authenticity and the context in which a number of the statements attributed to Zappia were used.

Sharks staff members will also be interviewed to provide background information on the incident.

Zappia did not return AAP's calls on Monday, but News Limited reports on Monday said Zappia believed the recordings may have been a set-up.

"I don't remember saying it and who knows whether it was a cut and paste recording," Zappia said.

Hall also lifted the lid on allegations that players had been given sex toys, a claim the Sharks board denied last week following allegations made in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Although admitting she never saw the toys, Hall said she was certain they were distributed.

"They were handed out at training," Hall said.

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