I have been a fan of the Cronulla Sharks for nearly 30 years and its time for the bullshit to stop. We supporters have been through it all, but enough is enough.
It took us 50 years to win a premiership and, my God, what a night that was. I will never, ever forget the team or that night for the rest of my life. But the good times are so few and far between.
We don’t have a major sponsor or stadium sponsor, or any money to pay the fines that are about to be imposed onto us. We have sacked multiple staff members in recent weeks as we don’t have the money to pay them. We received a grant from the NRL last season and still recorded a loss for 2018.
We are in dire straits.
My love for this club comes well before that boofhead Gallen stepped on to Shark Park. My love for David Peachy, ET, Martin Lang, Steve and Matty Rogers, and of course the great Gavin Miller will always remain.
I used to sit up late on a Friday night with my old man and cherish the time I got to watch the mighty Sharks play. These are memories I will always have.
My son is six years old and he only knows us as a team that will do anything, at whatever cost, to win games – or as grubs that play the game the wrong way.
After the dramas of 2014, I thought maybe, just maybe we had turned a corner. Sure enough, 2016 came around and we turned that porch light off and celebrated like it was our last day on Earth.
But this week, once again, we watch another press conference where we have to defend the club we love.
I can put up with the hate, the abusive text messages from mates, the dirty looks I get when I wear my jersey to the shops. I will even put up with the constant talk about us being moved to Perth.
But I will not put up with the constant lies from the club I love.
It is time for a change.
This is what we need to do:
1. We do not fight the charge handed down to Shane Flanagan by the NRL. He needs to go on a permanent fishing trip.
2. Paul Gallen needs to follow him. You cannot change the culture of a club if the old heads still remain. Thank you for your years of service, but you need to go now.
3. We go to the NRL with our tail between our legs and beg them to suspend the entire fine. We don’t have the money to pay it and won’t for quite some time.
4. New coaching staff. If it is Trent Barrett, I am OK with that. We also need to keep John Morris and Jim Dymock on in some capacity. We need to bring in Michael Ennis as an advisor. These guys know football and between them can bring this club back to some kind of normality.
5. We need to be an open book. Let the NRL run our club transactions for a while.
This won’t happen overnight, but we can rebuild this thing from the ground up. Start by playing good football. Don’t get yourselves in the news for the wrong reason. The fans and sponsors will come back eventually.
If all this fails? Move the team to Perth.
I love the Sharks and will follow them to Canada if I have to, but I want something to be proud of.
I want my kids to be proud of the club their dad supports. I want to be a proud Sharks fan again.