It is hard for a club to rebuild its reputation after going through a rough time. Just ask the Canterbury Bulldogs.
For the Cronulla Sharks, the club has been suffering from a PR hangover that goes back to not only the ASADA scandal, but then a subsequent salary cap scandal that led to their coach being banned from the game.
The club has struggled to rebuild its reputation since then. While on the field they have played well, rebuilding the clubs value with sponsors is a longer term process. In short, club sponsors don’t like negative publicity, and the Sharks have tried their best to avoid any bad publicity over the last 12 months.
Then Bronson Xerri started to worry that he wasn’t running fast enough…
The timing couldn’t be any worse. With the economic downturn due to the global pandemic seeing a lot of advertisers looking to cut costs, clubs are having to scramble to hold onto sponsors anyway. Especially when you consider that sponsors have signed up to deals for a certain amount of exposure, and that has been cut back with a shorter season and no crowds.
The Sharks are also having to deal with losing a fantastic strike weapon out wide. Xerri was one of the clubs real bright spots in a lineup that coach John Morris has done a great job with since taking over the clubs head coaching role.
Despite the fact this is a ban that will be imposed on an individual, the Sharks are going to unfortunately suffer fallout from this. It must be rotten for everyone involved with the club, and Sharks supporters too, who will all be copping it right now because of the bad choices of one individual.
Hopefully the Sharks can pull through this all OK, but on and off the field. This was the very last thing the club needed in such a difficult time for all clubs with so much uncertainty around funding of the game right now.
The Sharks will get through this, there’s no doubt about that, but there will be more damage for the club to repair, and thats completely unfair on the club.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com