The NRL and ASADA have spent a lot of time and money investigation what went on at the Cronulla Sharks in 2012. One of the very first conclusions that the NRL came to during the investigation was that Sharks coach Shane Flanagan needed to pay a penalty for his actions.
The league handed Flanagan a 12 month ban, a ban he was considering appealing for a long time until he decided to give up on that fight.
Some would suggest he got off lightly, that he should have accepted the ban and been thankful that in 12 months time he could resume his career. That doesn’t seem to be the case though.
Ever since Flanagan was banned he has done nothing but piss and moan about the situation he put himself in. He has cried about David Smith, the NRL, ASADA, and yet at no point has he taken a look at his own actions and said he did the wrong thing.
When the Cronulla a Sharks extended his contract by three years EVERYONE within the game was shocked. The ASADA investigation is still ongoing and the reason all of the evidence against Flanagan has not been made public is because releasing that information could compromise the ongoing investigation.
To have a coach that the league believes needs to be banned for his alleged role in the systematic use of performance enhancing drugs is a terrible thing for the Cronulla Sharks to have to face. It should be a moment in the clubs history everyone should be looking to learn from, make sure can never happen again, and then move on from.
You can not move on from any of this when you re-sign one of the key figure in the ASADA investigation. One of only two people that have been banned…and they re-signed him!
The Cronulla Sharks board put their vote of confidence in someone that the NRL judges to have been a problem. Considering how much money and resources the NRL have given the Sharks for the club to work it’s way through this mess, it’s understandable that the NRL was furious that Flanagan was re-signed.
I wonder what Cronulla Sharks fans think of all of this. The club has been through so much in recent seasons. Instead of looking to start fresh with a new coach the club has decided to keep the bloke that has so far been the only one banned from their club after all of this.
It is not a good situation. You can’t spin this into a happy story.
Now Flanagan is supposed to be heading off to do some “consulting” with the Salford Red Devils in Super League. A move that the NRL has apparently given their blessing too.
You have to wonder what type of advice Flanagan will be giving Salford..
What it all comes down to is the integrity of the Cronulla Sharks football club, a club that as of right now can not attract a major sponsor and that plays in a clean jersey.
How can you possibly promise to sponsors that all of the issues the club has faced are behind them when you have put your faith and your clubs long term future in the hands of the same coach that has been banned for his role in this alleged drug use that ASADA and the NRL have uncovered?
That isn’t a question for me to answer. That is a question that the corporate community will answer by either sponsoring the club, or wanting to have nothing to do with them.
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