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Cronulla Sharks ready to make painful financial decisions

Cronulla, Chief Executive Officer Barry Russell, says the club is pulling its way out of the current financial turmoil, but admits it needs to make a painful decision.

He confirmed a report in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday that 10 employees were released – finishing before Christmas. It leaves front office with about a dozen employees.

But Russell also said that would not have any other employee cuts under management and that the club hoped to sign the new sponsor before the front before the Telstra Premiership in March 2019.

"We needed a restructuring of our company to secure our long-term future," Russell said.

"When we have to deal with financial interests, it is unfortunately necessary. I admit that timing is very bad.

"It's sad and I'm very disappointed, and I realize we're leaving our lean teams, but we're a very competent group and we're working for a successful season in 2019.

"The financial stability of our organization is a challenge for all NRL clubs. You want to run a profitable business so we have to make some radical changes inside to get on the right path."

Russell said the club will also spend "overboard", but no more staff will be employed.

"It's just about looking at staff and looking at each of our expenses, and at the end of the tunnel there's light – this club has a great future."

Russell said commercial revenues were another area the club had to work hard to achieve.

Opal Solar did not use its 2019 election to stay on the front of the Sharks Sharks, bringing clubs around $ 1 million a year in revenue.

"We have several main features (first-level jersey). Everyone works hard behind the stage to get some long-term sponsors.

"Our goal is a new front-of-jersey sponsor to start the new season, we want it to be a reality."

Signing New Zealand's Kiwis Half Shaun Johnson of the Warriors is another item the Sharks hopes will happen to reinforce the club's wealth on the pitch.

The offer was at the age of 28, but it is unlikely to be completed on Thursday, as chief coach Shane Flanagan attends the annual NRL coaches conference at Moore Park headquarters.

Money Saved From The Kangaroos Wing Valentine Holmes, who has decided to leave the sharks earlier this month to start the NFL, will release funds to sign a one-year deal with Johnson.

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