Skipper Paul Gallen says the Sharks were left with no option but to sack Todd Carney.
Cronulla was left with no option but to sack Todd Carney for his latest off-field indiscretion, according to captain Paul Gallen, as the NRL claimed the ongoing ASADA investigation was having a crippling effect on the embattled Sharks.
Carney was sacked on Sunday after an unsavoury image of the star playmaker at a urinal went viral on social media.
Gallen indicated he had been informed by club officials that Carney was on his last chance with the Sharks before his latest scandal.
“The decision is out of my hands and it’s a very hard position I’m in, I’ve got a lot of loyalty towards Todd but also a lot of loyalty towards the club,” Gallen said on Tuesday.
“I’m not privileged to all the information about Todd’s contract and about what else has happened in the past, this year and previous years… so from all reports the club was left with little choice and the NRL would have come over the top anyway.
“The most important thing now for someone like me who is a friend of Todd is to make sure his welfare is OK and to make sure he gets on with the rest of his life.
“The world’s going to keep moving on and Todd has to as well. We have to make sure he does that in the right way and gets his life sorted out and Toddy Carney as a person is OK.
“That’s the most important thing to me and the other boys at the club.”
NRL chief operation officer Jim Doyle said the ongoing ASADA scandal had impacted adversely on the Sharks, who also lost caretaker coach Peter Sharp after he resigned on Tuesday.
Doyle said it was “completely unacceptable” that the ASADA saga had spanned 18 months and this had contributed to the crisis Cronulla were in – on and off the field.
Although Carney has a long track record for alcohol-related incidents, it’s been reported that the 28-year-old fell back into bad habits since Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan was suspended from his post over the club’s 2011 supplement program.
“Without a doubt – you can’t go through something (without it having an effect). The club are no doubt going out trying to sign sponsors, and this is something that’s been hanging over their head,” Doyle said.
“No doubt (that played) a factor in the decision they made based on the picture that came out on Saturday.
“No doubt for them, it’s hard to get sponsors et cetera and it’s why they want to change the culture of the organisation.
“We’ve said right from the start it’s completely unacceptable. We push ASADA on a continuous basis that we want to get this resolved as soon as we can. They have a lot of process they need to go through and it’s outside our control. But we push them every single day to get a result.”
Doyle stuck by his original stance that it would be “highly unlikely” that the NRL would register another contract for Carney, who has now been sacked by three NRL clubs after also being shown the door by Canberra and the Sydney Roosters but admitted you would “never say never”.