Gallop can't see NRL future for Zappia - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gallop can't see NRL future for Zappia

By Ed Jackson 09/06/2009 07:24:42 PM Comments (0)

The former Cronulla employee at the centre of the club's black eye scandal says NRL boss David Gallop has backed her "100 per cent".

Jenny Hall, the club's former community liaison officer, met with the NRL board on Tuesday to give her version of events after she alleged Sharks chief executive Tony Zappia had offered to be "spanked" after accidentally giving her a black eye.

"He (Gallop) just backed me 100 per cent which is fantastic, so I'm really happy with that meeting," Hall told Channel Seven on Tuesday.

Hall, who also made an unannounced appearance at the Sharkies Leagues Club on Tuesday morning, also denied signing a workplace report that cleared Zappia of any wrongdoing in the incident in August last year.

The news follows an earlier announcement from Gallop that it was going to be difficult to see how Zappia could remain involved in the sport.

Zappia has already been stood down as Sharks chief executive, following the broadcast of recorded conversations allegedly between him and Hall on Sunday.

Hall said she was happy with the decision by the Sharks board to stand Zappia down.

"I guess it's a positive sign that the board's going to make the right decision here," she said.

Sunday's report, also aired on the Seven Network, claimed Hall covertly taped a meeting with Zappia following the incident where she was left with a black eye.

In the report Zappia is claimed to have asked Hall if she wanted to spank him as punishment and then allegedly showed her offensive images from an email during their discussion.

Gallop said if the tape is genuine, it would be difficult to imagine a future in the sport for Zappia.

"On the face of it, we've got a situation where the CEO of a company is involved in giving an employee a black eye, albeit accidentally," he said.

"The response to that ... to deny her sick leave and suggest she may want to spank him is totally unacceptable.

"The Cronulla board have allowed a couple of days for a process to take place but they need to step up to the plate in relation to this issue."

When asked if he wanted Zappia to continue to be involved in the NRL, Gallop said: "On the face of it, it seems to me that would be very difficult."

Last month the NRL asked the club to explain the injury, saying it would not take the matter any further unless it received new evidence.

Gallop, speaking at an NRL luncheon to celebrate the role of women in the game, denied he felt like he had been lied to by the club's board but urged them to make a swift decision on Zappia's future.

"We don't run football clubs, that's not our role, but certainly we've been involved in discussions and I think I've made myself plain about it over the past couple of days," he said.

"We're not the decision maker in this, this is an issue for the club to get on top of and I'm suggesting that they need to do that quickly.

"I can't see any alternative but to treat the matter seriously and to take the strictest action available to them."

Gallop said he expected to listen to an unedited tape of the alleged conversation shortly while the Seven Network reported it would also be giving the Sharks the recording for their investigations.

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