Sunday Sin Bin: Sharks can’t give sponsorship away

Cronulla have tried to donate the club’s major sponsorship to charity for free … only for the offer to be rejected. The Sharks are the only team without a major backer after becoming the focal point of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s investigations into the NRL. Resigned to the likelihood that corporates will steer clear while the drug allegations hover over the club, the new board has opted to align the Sharks with a charity partner at no cost. It’s the same strategy employed by Canterbury in 2008. At their lowest ebb and also without a front-of-jersey partner, Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg struck a deal with Camp Quality, an association that continues to this day. Camp Quality initially knocked the Bulldogs back, concerned about the negative publicity surrounding their brand. And it’s understood the Sharks have faced similar problems, with at least one potential partner baulking at the prospect of getting involved, even though it wouldn’t have cost a cent. In March, the club knocked back a sponsorship proposal put forward by Tynan Motors, claiming the offer was too low. At that stage they had already discounted the deal by 50 per cent.Trust me, I’ve a real hunger for politics
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Glenn Lazarus is the latest rugby league star to turn his hand to politics. The ”Brick With Eyes” has joined another larger-than-life character, Clive Palmer, as part of the Palmer United Party senate team. While he has the backing of former coach Wayne Bennett, not everyone makes a smooth transition from the footy field to the even tougher world of politics. Lazarus’ former Canberra teammate Mal Meninga enjoyed what is believed to be Australia’s shortest political career. And it hasn’t taken long for Lazarus’ old buddies to have a dig. ”I hope it’s a big buffet down in Canberra,” Allan Langer told AAP during the week. ”He and Clive will cut big figures [in politics].”

Dank cites dissing

Why doesn’t Stephen Dank just come out and tell ASADA and the AFL his side of the story? It’s a question he was only too happy to answer. Dank believes both bodies have botched the investigative process and that he would have co-operated had they approached him respectfully early in the piece. ”The only reason I don’t speak to ASADA or the AFL is because of the lack of courtesy they’ve shown me,” he said.

Galloway on loose

As if there weren’t enough dramas in Tiger Town … NSW and Australian prop Keith Galloway (pictured) is off contract at season’s end and has piqued the interest of rival clubs. With their forwards stocks already thin, the joint venture can ill-afford to lose an integral part of their pack.

Exit is explained

I had the opportunity to sit down with Stephen Humphreys for an hour on Saturday morning at his office at Concord Oval along with Wests Tigers chairman Mike Bailey and deputy Nick Di Girolamo. The very fact that they presented a united front was significant and shows they are serious about putting factionalism aside. The outgoing Wests Tigers chief executive had planned to address the players and tell them of his decision to step down after Friday night’s clash with South Sydney, but couldn’t bring himself to do it then after the hammering they copped. He told several staffers after the game and started calling the players on Saturday. Humphreys – flanked by Bailey and Di Girolamo – was clearly weighed down by the mounting losses, the injury toll and the politics which had hampered the joint venture off the field. ”It’s a big call and one I make with a heavy heart,” he said. Your correspondent has had the opportunity to work with Humphreys over the years and has always found him to be honest, fair and – above all – a man who has always put the interests of the club first. ”My mum rang me last night to say somebody had said something [about his departure] on the radio and I hadn’t told her. She was a bit upset by that.” He hoped those he had not spoken to personally about his decision were not offended, but wanted to keep the decision quiet so as not to draw further attention to the club at a tough time.

Roy still keen

Roy Spagnolo might no longer be the chairman, but will continue to have influence at Parramatta. Despite missing out on a director’s spot at last weekend’s Leagues Club elections, Spagnolo returned to the boardroom via a loophole in the constitution. ”It’s a privilege to remain involved with the Parramatta club and I look forward to working with the new board,” Spagnolo said. Fairfax Media reported during the week that the constitutional clause Spagnolo exploited was one inserted by former CEO Denis Fitzgerald. This is incorrect. ”The Emperor” contacted us to let us know that the loophole has been in existence since 1959.

Clouded future

The future of veteran rugby league commentator David Morrow remains in limbo. Morrow has been suspended while the ABC investigates an alleged racist remark which was broadcast through the Illawarra by mistake. The incident occurred before the St George Illawarra-Manly clash almost a fortnight ago. ”David Morrow remains off air while the investigation into his recent on-air comments is continuing,” ABC Grandstand manager Craig Norenbergs said. ”While the ABC has worked to conduct the investigation quickly, under the terms of the ABC enterprise agreement, David’s response was only received by the ABC [on Thursday]. It is now being reviewed. Separately, the ABC has concluded that the material broadcast was in breach of the ABC’s editorial policies, specifically section 7.7 of the Code of Practice, where employees must ‘avoid the unjustified use of stereotypes or discriminatory content that could reasonably be interpreted as condoning or encouraging prejudice.’ Once outcomes of both processes are known, further action will be determined.”

JT’s baby bonus

Could it be all of the planets will align and Johnathan Thurston’s partner Samantha Lynch will deliver their first child on Origin night? The Queensland star is expecting to become a dad in early June, about the time of the series opener. So if push comes to shove and the baby arrives on June 5, will he be at ANZ Stadium or the maternity ward? ”It’s around Origin but that’s still a few weeks away,” he said. ”I’ll be right to play that Origin. We’re pretty confident it won’t come around then, so fingers crossed.”

Mystery solved

We published a photo last weekend of what we believe to be the first female rugby league coach, of the Glenora Rugby League Club in Auckland. Unfortunately, we were unable to identify her. However, we were contacted by Mark Freeman, who was able to solve the riddle. ”That’s my mum,” he said of Dorothy Freeman, who passed away in 1990. ”I was reading the last line of your article about an unidentified woman and straight away I knew it was going to be mum. I looked over at the picture and sure enough it was. It made Mother’s Day, I looked up to the heavens and said: ‘Thanks Mum’. It was like she was saying hello.” The photo was taken in 1967 but it’s believed Dorothy Freeman picked up the clipboard for the first time the previous year. She went on to coach her son at schoolboy level and the pair enjoyed premiership success.

King of the carnival

Injuries have frustrated Matt King, although there is something bright coming up for the Souths star. The Matty King Shield, named in his honour, will be awarded to the victorious school in a competition next month in his home town of Casino in the Northern Rivers area. ”I’m proud as punch,” King said. ”All I wanted when I started playing first grade was a street named after me. Now I’ve got a footy carnival, so I’m happy with that!”

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