Dying fan fund claim hits Sharks' Zappia - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dying fan fund claim hits Sharks' Zappia

14/06/2009 07:07:10 PM Comments (0)

Former Cronulla Sharks boss Tony Zappia reportedly asked a terminally-ill fan who wanted to set up a foundation for the club to send thousands of dollars to his home address.

The 27-year-old fan, who wants to remain anonymous, contacted the club last year, offering to set up a foundation using money from an insurance payout.

Mr Zappia established the Beyond Sharks Foundation and told the fan to send the money to his western Sydney home address, Network Seven reported on Sunday.

"Tony Zappia answered back almost immediately and said that it would be a good idea to set up a foundation," the fan said.

"Tony Zappia, he emailed me and told me to send it to his home from then on in."

The fan said he sent six cheques totalling $30,000, sending all but one to Mr Zappia's home address. Four of the cheques were made out to Mr Zappia and two to the foundation.

But the Seven Network reports a club spokesman said the Sharks had no knowledge of the foundation and had never received any of the money.

The fan said Mr Zappia sent him 73 emails from his personal account, saying it was to ensure confidentiality as his personal assistant had access to his official Sharks account.

Mr Zappia did not comment on the report but told News Ltd the $30,000 donation has been spent on team camps and football equipment.

The fan has pledged $1.5 million in total, which Mr Zappia said will be used for ground improvements and facilities for fans.

Mr Zappia said he would hand over details of the foundation to Cronulla chairman Barry Pierce.

The allegations follow Mr Zappia's resignation as Sharks chief executive on Thursday evening ahead of a meeting with the board where his future was to be discussed.

He stood down from his position earlier last week following allegations aired on the Seven Network involving an 2008 incident where former employee Jenny Hall was left with a black eye.

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