Sharks, Seven clash over Hall tapes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks, Seven clash over Hall tapes

By Ian McCullough 10/06/2009 07:17:59 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla officials say the Seven Network has refused to give the embattled NRL club a copy of the recorded conversation between chief executive Tony Zappia and former employee Jenny Hall.

Seven had offered to give the club a copy of a covertly recorded meeting allegedly between Zappia and Hall following an incident where she was left with a black eye, so the club could conduct its own investigation into the incident.

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

However, the Sharks now say the network refused to hand the tape over because, as AAP understands, the club turned down a Seven request to view legal documents relating to Hall's departure.

The Sharks have this week commissioned an independent investigation into the allegations, with members of staff interviewed in the past few days.

The findings will be released to the board at a meeting which will take place on Thursday evening.

"The board has commissioned a new independent investigation into all previously reported and new allegations raised in the media in the past few days," Sharks board member Greg Holland said on Wednesday in a statement released to AAP.

"The board has requested that the independent report will be made available by 5pm tomorrow.

"Unfortunately Channel Seven continue to set unacceptable conditions for us to be able to view the tapes aired on their news programs, which makes investigating the incident more difficult.

"The board is also looking forward, as requested, to Tony Zappia's response by close of business tomorrow.

"A board meeting will be held tomorrow night to consider all of the information before it."

Seven refuted the Sharks' claims in a statement released on Wednesday.

"We have offered the opportunity for lawyers for Cronulla to listen to the audio tapes involving Anthony Zappia," the statement said.

"Indeed, we have made that offer to the board of Cronulla or its representatives on a number of occasions since Sunday.

"The offer has not been taken up as yet.

"Regardless, four days after our original broadcast, the offer remains in place.

"The board of Cronulla or its legal representatives, indeed the board and its lawyers, can come in and listen to the tapes for themselves at any time.

"Claims that Seven News is not allowing the club to listen to the tapes are misleading and not reflective of our representations to the club.

"But we will not be agreeing to any conditions they may impose on Jenny Hall in order to listen to the tapes."

Chairman Barry Pierce, who will stand down himself on June 30, is effectively running the club in Zappia's absence, and a club official said the Sharks would wait on the outcome of Thursday's meeting before making any plans for a possible successor.

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