Damian Irvine has stood down as the chairman of the Cronulla Sharks this morning as the fallout from ASADA’s investigation into alleged performance enhancing drug use continues.
Irvine will be replaced by former Sharks winger Glenn Coleman.
I wrote yesterday that the Cronulla Sharks Board Has Done The Right Thing. The Sharks have made all of their decisions based on information given to them by ASADA and advice given to them by the NRL.
As I said yesterday though, people are going to want to find a villain in all of this, and after Irvines explosive interview on the weekend with Phil Rothfield, people had someone to focus on.
Its a sad day for the Sharks as when you look at the work Irvine has put into the club in recent years, he has done a great job. Many credit Irvines work for the club still being in existence in the NRL. He was the driving force behind the club getting approval to develop lands the Sharks own and for helping to give the club some long term financial stability for once in the clubs history.
Every club needs a leader, and for the Sharks, Irvine has been that man. A club that ran on a strict budget but one that still managed to attract a top coach and build a very formidable team going into the 2013 season. Who drives the Sharks from this point on is anyone’s guess.
Bruno Cullen will step in as the Sharks CEO but he himself has said that he will not be at the club for any great length of time. There are board elections coming up soon and no doubt that will have an effect on the leadership at the Sharks but all of this at the end of the day just add more uncertainty to the clubs future.
I have no doubt Irvine will find himself another job in Rugby League. He helped run the Sharks on a tight budget and he was a leader in fan engagement, something most other teams are terrible at. I think he would be the perfect leader for the Rugby Football League, but time will tell what happens. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see him back in a management role at the Sharks some time in the future.
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