Ex-Sharks CEO Zappia clears air with NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ex-Sharks CEO Zappia clears air with NRL

By Todd Balym 12/06/2009 06:23:01 PM Comments (0)

Tony Zappia's future in rugby league remains unclear despite a "productive" meeting with NRL boss David Gallop on Friday.

The former Cronulla CEO met with Gallop at NRL headquarters less than 24 hours after quitting his position with the Sharks to clarify the incident which left former employee Jenny Hall with a black eye and his subsequent handling of the situation.

Zappia told AAP via text message that it was a "very positive and constructive meeting" with Gallop, while the NRL boss also said the discussions were a step in the right direction.

However, Gallop stopped short of over-turning his previous comments that Zappia had no future in the NRL.

Gallop said Zappia accepted he handled the fallout from the accident poorly after he denied Hall sick leave, made an inappropriate comment about "spanking" him and allegedly showed a pornographic email.

"The game is committed to promoting positive attitudes towards women," Gallop said.

"An important part of our stance this week was to highlight that matters should have been handled very differently between Cronulla and Jenny Hall.

"Importantly today Tony Zappia acknowledged that.

"In terms of his future in the game, accepting that he has made errors and learnt from them is an important first step. So the meeting was productive in that regard."

Parramatta remain the club most likely to offer Zappia an NRL lifeline given his long association with Eels prior to assuming the Cronulla job.

The Eels are searching for a new CEO to replace departed long-term boss Denis Fitzgerald and board member Brett Kenny said Zappia could be considered for the job, but only if he is totally cleared of wrongdoing in the Sharks fiasco.

"I just think you have to wait and see what the end result is (on Zappia)," Kenny said.

"I would hate to think you make a quick decision on it and you find out later on he wasn't guilty of the so-called crimes he was supposed to have committed.

"If it's found out he was in the wrong then he probably wouldn't apply.

"(But) if he is in a position to be a candidate then we would still go for the best one."

But Zappia is not the only potential new CEO at Parramatta, with the club keeping a close eye on Manly chief executive Grant Mayer's increasingly untenable position at the Sea Eagles.

Mayer is highly respected in the game but is destined to be the fall guy of the power struggle between the warring co-owners at Manly unless Scott Penn can assume total control of the club by the end of the season.

"It would be silly not have a look at his resume. By all reports he is a very good businessman and very good CEO," Kenny said.

Meanwhile as the NRL prepares to celebrate the Women in League round, the return of Sydney Roosters bad boy Anthony Cherrington has gone largely unnoticed.

Cherrington was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend in November last year and is set to play his first NRL game since the incident and court sentencing against the Gold Coast at Gosford on Saturday.

The 21-year-old avoided a prison sentence "by a cat's whisker" when handed 150 hours of community service and told to undergo a domestic violence course by Sydney's Downing Centre Local court.

Cherrington was also lucky to avoid the sack and de-registration from the NRL.

Instead he was fined $10,000, ordered to undergo counselling and a controlled drinking course and do additional community work organised by the club.

Roosters officials are pleased with his progress since the incident, while Gallop hopes his return can help him get back on track.

"We are comfortable that the Roosters took the matter very seriously," he said.

"It's a difficult situation. Anthony has some work to do in terms of his sentence, but getting him back on the field may well be part of his rehabilitation."

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