The NRL has reportedly granted Cronulla an extension to respond to the breach notice issued over the 2011 supplements program.
The NRL ruled in mid-December that the Sharks had seriously breached the game’s code of conduct and that coach Shane Flanagan had failed in his duty of care to players.
However, Cronulla chief executive Steve Noyce said the league was sympathetic that formulating the club’s response could have been slowed by the Christmas-New Year break and decided to extend the January 15 deadline by a week.
“In any breach notice, you get a period of time to respond and, obviously, the current period is over the festive season which puts different time considerations onto the whole issue,” Noyce told Fairfax Media.
“The NRL continue to be supportive of us, giving us enough time to provide a response to the breach notice, which we’re obviously entitled to do.”
NRL boss Dave Smith handed down what were described as damning findings before Christmas and the club was hit with a proposed $1 million fine ($400,000 suspended), while Flanagan was provisionally suspended from all duties for 12 months.
After receiving the breach notice, Sharks directors assembled a legal team to fight for the club’s reputation and future.
Noyce said Cronulla’s supporters had rallied behind their club and there had been a surge in memberships.