Fisk named new Sharks chief executive - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fisk named new Sharks chief executive

By Steve Jancetic 19/06/2009 06:57:20 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla have taken the first steps towards restoring their battered image with marketing guru Richard Fisk installed as the new chief executive at the embattled NRL club.

Fisk, made redundant by the Sydney Roosters only two months ago after 12 years at the tri-colours, was on Friday named to replaced Tony Zappia at the helm of the Sharks.

Zappia resigned his post after becoming embroiled in several off-field scandals, Fisk brought in to rebuild a club which had been brought to its knees.

"In life, when you get an opportunity and there are a few problems, you can only tinker with it, but after the last months with the Sharks, they really have hit or are close to rock bottom," Fisk said.

"While we have to get our internal practices correct, what we need to do and what the board and indeed the entire club are committed to, is win back the trust of not just the fans, not just the shire, but the rugby league community.

"That's the challenge and quite frankly I just think that's a very exciting challenge and one I can't wait to embrace."

The Sharks have lurched from one scandal to the next in what has been a dismal 2009, Zappia's resignation following Barry Pierce's decision to step down as chairman.

Deputy chairman Damian Irvine, one of a handful of candidates in line to succeed Pierce when he finishes up at the end of the month, confirmed Fisk would be a long-term appointment, claiming an interim posting would have done little to stabilise the troubled club.

Fisk first held discussions with the Sharks 5-6 weeks ago, when the club started putting out feelers following reports Zappia was set to leave the club.

The former Roosters general manager of marketing said there was no short-term cure to the Sharks ills, which include issues with the playing roster and financial support following the exodus of several sponsors.

"I think the challenge in front of us is certainly a long one," Fisk said.

"I can think of nothing better in life than to come to this club in its current time and leave it with a premiership and to be financially stable and that's going to take a while to achieve all of those outcomes."

Many have come to the Sharks with similar intent, yet to date, none have been successful with the club still searching for its first premiership.

Fisk at least knows the background of the club, having worked there before switching to the Roosters.

He also has experience in working with Sharks coach Ricky Stuart, the two having been together at the Roosters for five seasons including the club's 2002 premiership win.

Irvine denied Fisk's relationship with Stuart had been a factor in the appointment, but Fisk was adamant his experience with Stuart would be beneficial.

"I think the great thing about our friendship is that we disagree on things but we agree to be friends," Fisk said.

Fisk's appointment coincided with the elevation of Steve Litvensky to general manger of football, while the board on Thursday ordered an independent review of the football club's governance and management procedures.

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