The Cronulla Sharks acknowledge the breach notice handed down by the NRL in relation to code of conduct issues back in 2011.
As was explained and stressed by NRL CEO David Smith, the findings are provisional at this time and the club has until January 15 to respond.
We have been supportive of the NRL throughout the process and the club will now consider the provisional findings, which are detailed and cover a number of aspects. We appreciate and understand the seriousness of the situation and appropriately we will take time to work through a response prior to January 15. However it should be noted that it is our intention to vigorously defend the charges.
The club will also support coach Shane Flanagan regarding the provisional findings against him.
Since 2011 the club has undergone transformational change including a comprehensive management restructure, significantly improved resourcing, under the guidance of a new chairman and board of directors.
We would also like to take this opportunity to assure Sharks members, sponsors and fans that while substantial, the proposed penalties will not distract us from our vision of continuing to build a successful club, in the Sutherland Shire, well into the future.
The club will be making no further comment at this time.