John Morris and Jim Dymock will take over as interim coaches at the Cronulla Sharks after the club accepted the NRL's decision to de-register coach Shane Flanagan on Wednesday.
Flanagan was de-registered and the club handed a $800,000 fine after the NRL found the coach had been in contact with the Sharks while suspended in 2014, in breach of the conditions of his suspension.
Sharks chief executive Barry Russell said the club accepted the league's decision regarding Flanagan but would appeal the extent of the fine given the manner in which the club has worked with the NRL in recent times over the matters.
"As CEO of the club we have to accept responsibility as a club we broke the rules," Russell said.
"If you break the rules there are consequences. This is a very disappointing day for our club.
"My thoughts go out to Shane and his family, from my point of view it's paramount we provide him and his family with wellbeing and support.
"We have until January 31st to lodge an appeal, it's a substantial amount and we will be appealing that.
"I think the fact we self-reported, we are working with the NRL doing what we can to rectify the situation. If we cooperate, which we are, we have solid grounds to reduce that.
"We have made significant progress in the last few weeks regarding our future. The Sharks will always be here, our future is bright."
NRL comes down hard on Flanagan
"[It is] the actions of past leadership, club officials and staff at this club. It is sad for our fans and players we are dealing with this.
"The integrity of our club and the governance needs to be first class."
Sharks captain Paul Gallen was also present to front the media alongside Russell, with senior Sharks players Andrew Fifita, Josh Dugan, Matt Moylan and Chad Townsend also offering support.
"Shane Flanagan is a personal friend of mine and my coach for a long time. What's happening is unfortunate but rules have been broken," Gallen said.
"As a playing group we're pushing forward, we'll weigh up 2019 in the future. My job is to reassure members and fans we're here to win games.
"I've seen this all before, it is a distraction but we're here to do a job."
Russell said the club was focused on putting an end to negative headlines and securing a jersey sponsor, and that it was up to Flanagan to determine whether he would appeal the NRL's decision.
Flanagan has until January 31 to lodge an appeal in regards to his own sanction.
"We have received our letters with a summary of correspondence and the accusations. We're receiving files to review, it's up to Shane whether he appeals his breach," Russell said.
"If you haven't got your integrity, you haven't got anything. No one is bigger than the game and no one is bigger than the club.
If you haven't got your integrity, you haven't got anything. No one is bigger than the game and no one is bigger than the club.Barry Russell
"We aren't looking back, we're finished with it. Look at the squad we've got, we can win the premiership next year, we believe that. This is a speedbump but we'll get over it."