Paul Gallen in Hawaii with Mitchell Pearce. Photo: InstagramPaul Gallen is set to be called to front the Cronulla board next week to explain a social media attack in which he used an expletive to hit out at the NRL.
Powerbrokers at League Central were on Thursday night believed to be angry at the comment made by the suspended Sharks and NSW captain, particularly given his leadership position within the game.
He faces punishment including a possible hefty fine over the spray on Twitter, made in the wake of Cronulla chief executive Steve Noyce’s sacking, but the NRL is expected to wait and see how the matter is dealt with by the Sharks before determining if any further action is needed. Gallen left little doubt about his thoughts on chief executive Dave Smith’s management when he posted on his official Twitter account early on Thursday morning, responding to a news alert on the exit of Noyce: “Steve Noice (sic) actually cared about players from cronulla’s feelings. Couldn’t say that about any other c— from Nrl.” After several other posters urged him to delete the post, it soon disappeared.
The Sharks parted ways with respected administrator Noyce on Wednesday as part of what they described as a restructure of the club’s hierarchy. This has left the wooden spooners again without a chief executive of their football department as they seek to rebound from two seasons marred by an ASADA investigation into their 2011 supplements program.
Gallen later posted a photo on the picture-sharing site Instagram sitting next to Sydney Roosters halfback and former NSW State of Origin teammate Mitchell Pearce. “4 drinks for $5 RSA. OMG no wonder I’m hung. Good times. Time to fly home,” the accompanying message read.
Smith said the NRL would get to the bottom of the matter. “I haven’t seen the comments and I haven’t seen the tweet,” he said. “We have a clear process for those sorts of things. We’ll have a look at the code of conduct and the comments and we’ll take a view from there. We’ve reached the end of a very difficult process. It was difficult for everybody. Hopefully that chapter is closed and we’ve moved on. We have a process to deal with these sorts of things.” The barb directed towards the NRL is another reflection of the frustration felt by Cronulla players during the seemingly interminable ASADA inquiry.
with Michael Carayannis
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