SYDNEY - Cronulla and the NRL are adamant the heavy penalties handed down over their controversial 2011 supplement program won't bury the under-pressure club.
Cronulla were yesterday hit by NRL chief executive Dave Smith with a proposed $1million fine as well as having their coach, Shane Flanagan, provisionally suspended for 12 months.
The ban hits the embattled Sharks the two places it hurts them most — the heart and the back pocket.
In Flanagan, they lose the man credited with keeping the club together during the course of the ASADA investigation.
But to a club that has perpetually been financially weak to wear such a significant fine, though $400,000 of it is suspended, has many concerned it could be a terminal punishment.
The Sharks plan to fight the charges, and insist that they will continue to exist in their current form — and not be relocated to Perth or central Queensland.