The NRL’s Cronulla Sharks have secured a new major partnership just two weeks out from the season opener, but are now without their CEO, as Barry Russell resigns amid the ongoing salary cap scandal.
Having lost premiership coach Shane Flanagan due to a ban by the governing body last week, the resignation by Russell today in a letter to the members confirms weeks of speculation surrounding his role at the Sharks.
“It has been a very tough 12 months, both for the club and for me personally,” Russell said in a statement.
“As you are aware, there have been several challenges we have had to face and resolve, particularly concerning integrity, governance, finances, personnel and structural change within the business.
“When I made the decision to self-report a salary cap discrepancy last year with the full approval of the Board, I most certainly did not foresee all the issues that were to follow.”
Ace Gutters DURAKOTE, a company located in Mortdale and boasting a long association with the Sharks, signed on as the front of jersey sponsor prior to the announcement.
The two-year deal comes at a crucial time for the club and offers some financial support as the club fronts a $250,000 fine for the salary cap breach.
The Sharks are set to face the Newcastle Knights on March 15, with Ace Gutters DURAKOTE Roofing logo proudly displayed on the playing strip of the NRL squad, with the arrangement also including training gear and media polos.