“While change is sometimes considered intrusive or regarded as a sign of instability, the Sharks’ board of directors can reassure the members that it is very much business as usual at the Sharks with many exciting projects still on the way and the 2020 NRL season to look forward to,” a letter to members read after Munro’s departure.
“We trust you will see that all is well at the Sharks. We have high hopes for the team in 2020 and that the business is in a strong position and our objective to continue strengthening that is of the highest priority.”
The board needs the next CEO to take the club into a new era of stability, Mezzatesta said, with the next two seasons set to be a test for Cronulla’s resilience while home games are played in at Kogarah Oval, the home of arch rivals St George Illawarra. This comes after a tumultuous few years involving the peptides scandal, a self-reported salary cap scandal and former coach Shane Flanagan being suspended twice from coaching the NRL side. For those reasons, the club is looking for a leader to continue the redevelopment of the Sharks brand.
“We’ve had a fair share of adversity and you only grow stronger from that,” Mezzatesta said. “We certainly don’t want any more adversity.
“The No.1 thing you want from a CEO is obviously a leader right? Between the board and management, we will land somewhere which will make sure that we continue with stability in the future.”
Munro spearheaded the club’s purchase of Kareela Golf Club, which aims to provide an extra $1 million annually in revenue for the club. The move follows a similar path to the Roosters and the Panthers, who have also utilised property investment for an extra revenue stream outside of rugby league.
Cronulla and St George Illawarra will head into the 2020 season without a CEO. Former Dragons boss Brian Johnston announced he would be departing the Red V in March after a “challenging” year with the club.