Cronulla chair denies club is imploding - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cronulla chair denies club is imploding

28/05/2010 06:47:07 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla chairman Damien Irvine denies the club is on the verge of imploding despite chief executive Richard Fisk and coach Ricky Stuart quitting the NRL strugglers within days of each other.

Hot on the heels of Stuart announcing he would not see out the final year of his contract and walk out on the club at the end of the current season, Fisk on Friday said he too was on his way when his contract expired next month.

It's the latest in a string off off-field disasters for the club stretching over the last two years, while the performances on the field haven't been much better with the Sharks winning just eight of their last 34 games.

Fisk arrived with the Sharks in crisis, following the controversial resignation of Tony Zappia, and he leaves it in much the same way with the club now on the lookout for its third boss in the space of 12 months.

Irvine though denied the club was falling apart at the seams, claiming Fisk had simply decided to move on following the conclusion of his current contract on June 21.

"On the contrary - there's been a great change in the club in the last 12 months," Irvine told AAP.

"The outlook is vastly different and it's a lot better, and that's because of Richard and Ricky being here, no question.

"We couldn't be in better position going forward into 2011, and that's no disrespect to Richard or Ricky, they've contributed to that.

"Nothing's falling apart."

Fisk and Stuart have a strong relationship from their time together at the Sydney Roosters, and it was that connection that helped draw Fisk to the club when it was buried in a myriad of scandals.

Zappia quit after allegations of improper conduct by a female staff member were levied at him, while the club was also dealing with a backlash from sponsors as a result of the fallout from a Four Corners reports into the group sex scandal from the club's 2002 pre-season tour of New Zealand.

Fisk and a new board headed by Irvine helped rescue the club from near extinction, and while financial issue continues to dog the club, they appeared to be in headed for calmer waters despite continuing struggles on the field.

That was until the last five days - with the club now staring down the barrel of a rookie coach in Shane Flanagan taking over a club now on the lookout for a new chief executive.

Irvine said the search for a replacement for Fisk had not yet begun, and he refused to rule out the possibility of the post being filled from within the club.

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