Keen to distance themselves from the drug scandal with Reni Maitua overnight, LG (Lucky Goldstar) quickly moved to release a statement confirming their future does not include the embattled Sharks.LG marketing director David Brand confirmed the position of the company through the statement, and this will surely be the final straw for the Sharks. Already up to their ears in debt, slogged by multiple controveries and unable to win a game – this could genuinely be their final year in the National Rugby League competition.
“While the recent controversies around the NRL, and the Sharks in particular, were certainly a significant element in our decision we also considered the direction of our company and where we want to take the LG brand.” confirmed the media release from LG.
The annual payment from LG to the Sharks was estimated at $750,000 and will be a huge dent to the clubs finance drive for 2010.
Minor sponsors to the tune of $150,000 already pulled out last week after the Johns saga was aired on the ABC.
Those backers included Tyrepower, Wendy Wu and the Australian Mushroom Growers’.
“We have had a successful association with rugby league and the Sharks but we no longer see the benefits of an ongoing sponsorship given the evolution of our brand,” LG’s statement said.
It has been a 9 year long association between Cronulla and the LG brand, the timing obviously the worst possible for the club.
Cronulla will find it almost impossible to attract players for 2010 and beyond following this latest development, their only hope remains with their supporters and a saviour sponsor that may step forward. If the crowd comes out in massive numbers for their local derby it will be a positive step, if they fail to draw a crowd to what is usually their most popular game of the year – then the end is most surely nigh.