Zappia resigns as Cronulla CEO - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Zappia resigns as Cronulla CEO

11/06/2009 08:27:44 PM Comments (0)

Former Cronulla chief executive Tony Zappia said he will meet with his lawyers to discuss legal options against the Seven Network after quitting his post in the wake of the black eye scandal.

Zappia resigned from the beleaguered Sharks on Thursday evening ahead of a meeting with the board where his future was to be discussed.

He`d stood down from his position earlier this week following allegations involving former employee Jenny Hall last year.

Last Sunday, Seven broadcast a covertly recorded meeting allegedly between Zappia and Hall which took place shortly after an incident where she was left with a black eye.

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.

Zappia was cleared of any unlawful conduct by an independent investigation launched by the NRL club but agreed that his position was untenable.

He said he was relieved to have been cleared and was looking forward to spending time with his family.

"I have said from day one it was an accident and that has been shown again today," Zappia told AAP.

"I don't know how many times I have to confirm it but unfortunately some people have agendas and now I just want to move on and start afresh.

He said in regards to Channel Seven: "I haven't decided what I will do yet but I know my rights and I will sit down with my lawyers and weigh up my options."

Zappia said he made the decision to walk away from the Sharks after less than two years in the job on Thursday morning for the sake of the club and his family.

"I never met the board today, what happened was I woke up this morning, spoke to my kids and my wife and I said to her as I was having breakfast 'I think I have to walk away from the club'," he said.

"It has been awful for my family, my kid has been teased at school and my wife and children have really been upset by the situation."

Zappia's name has been linked with the vacant CEO's position at Parramatta and although he refused to say whether he would be looking for a return to an administrative position within the NRL, he hoped being cleared by the Sharks would go some way to restoring his reputation.

"I have enjoyed my time at Cronulla, it has been a very difficult job," he said.

"I am not too sure now what I will do, but I want to now look forward to the future."

A statement from the Sharks said the club accepted Zappia's resignation and recognised and appreciated his dedication to and good work for the club during the past two years.

It also said the two parties acknowledged the harm done by the media reporting of the Hall incident, in particular the reporting of the taped conversation.

NRL chief executive David Gallop said he respected the decision taken by both the Sharks and Zappia.

"Clearly there are no winners in what has been a difficult time for every party from Jenny Hall to the Cronulla board and Tony Zappia," Gallop, said in a statement.

"Tony has tonight paid a heavy price.

"That said, he is a person who has also made a positive contribution to the game in many areas and that needs to be remembered.

"I hope Tony, Jenny and the Cronulla club can each work towards more positive futures.

"The issue will hopefully serve as a reminder of the standards that need to be maintained across the game.

The Cronulla board will meet next Tuesday to discuss plans for a successor to Zappia.

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