Shane Flanagan has sent an apology to Todd Greenberg (right).
Shane Flanagan has sent an apology to Todd Greenberg (right).

Banned Cronulla coach’s 10-page apology to NRL

Banned coach Shane Flanagan has sent a letter of apology to NRL boss Todd Greenberg on the eve of an independent commission meeting that will determine his immediate future.

Flanagan has forwarded a 10-page "Statement of Contrition" he hopes will convince league bosses when they meet on Monday to open the door for a return to coaching next season.

 

Shane Flanagan has sent a 10-page “Statement of Contrition” to NRL boss Todd Greenberg. Photo Jeremy Piper
Shane Flanagan has sent a 10-page “Statement of Contrition” to NRL boss Todd Greenberg. Photo Jeremy Piper

The Cronulla Sharks' 2016 premiership winning coach was banned indefinitely in November last year when an NRL integrity unit salary cap audit uncovered emails to prove he had not complied with the terms of a previous 2014 suspension.

"Without going over all the details in the submission you can be assured I have issued a detailed apology and accepted complete ownership for what I did," Flanagan told The Sunday Telegraph.

"I want the commission to know I now understand and accept that these rules and regulations need to be complied with or we will not have a game to play, coach and support in the future.

"I take complete ownership of my actions, attitude and behaviour at that time."

The NRL found evidence he had regularly been in communication with Sharks officials despite being under suspension.

 

NRL boss Todd Greenberg. Picture: James Gourley
NRL boss Todd Greenberg. Picture: James Gourley

In the submission he reveals the 'life-changing' effect it has had on his family and the personal shame he brought on himself.

"The last 12 months have been traumatic to say the least," he said, "Losing my position as head coach of the Sharks … it was a role I was honoured to have and really cherished.

"The effect this has had on my family is life changing but I recognise that it is my own doing and again unreservedly apologise for any hurt I have caused the game.

 

Sharks captain and Sharks CEO Barry Russell surrounded by senior players in a show of support after Flanagan was deregistered by the NRL. Picture: Brett Costello
Sharks captain and Sharks CEO Barry Russell surrounded by senior players in a show of support after Flanagan was deregistered by the NRL. Picture: Brett Costello

"I have made many personal changes since 2014 as a rugby league coach and moving forward my commitment to my family, the community and rugby league generally will be my focus.

"Unfortunately I cannot change the past but you can be assure that I will have a positive effect on the future."

He outlines his charity work over the last 12 months in the submission with White Ribbon, Beauty Bank, Kookaburra Kids and Red Cross.

 

A number of clubs are closely monitoring the NRL's position on his comeback including St George Illawarra, whose board meets this week to discuss the future of Paul McGregor.

The commission will study his submission and consider a recommendation from Greenberg before handing down their decision.