“The Sharks thank Mr Munro for his dedication and service during his time at the club. The board of directors will make a decision as to a potential replacement and make those announcements in due course.”
Cronulla sources said the departure was relatively unexpected but a mutual decision between Munro and the board, which was not pleased with the CEO’s work in his short time in charge.
In the time between Russell’s departure and Munro’s appointment in June, the Sharks revealed they had sold their remaining interest in the Woolooware Bay Town Centre development to Capital Bluestone for $40 million in an attempt to secure the club’s future.
The club also moved to purchase the Kareela Golf Club and the land surrounding the 18-hole golf course to boost its bottom line. Munro said the purchase could contribute as much as $1 million in revenue to the Sharks, who have a poor financial history.
“You can only start investing if you’ve got a balance sheet to be able to do it,” Munro said in November.
“And effectively, the transaction that we did to develop Woolooware Bay has given us the balance sheet to deploy capital.
“We have zero debt to anybody and we own our assets here, in terms of PointsBet Stadium and the club.
“So what we’re doing now is deploying capital into expanding the footprint of our club and giving members a diverse product. We’ll have a summer and winter product with golf and rugby league.
“We’re here for the long-term and we’re investing into the Shire with the view of being here for the long-term. I had five hours with Tony Crawford [NRL chief financial officer] the other day taking him through the whole plan.
“He was amazed at the amount of work being undertaken and the diversification of our product. We’re not just there [Kareela] while the league’s club is being built, we have a long-term strategy for Kareela and we’ll be consulting with their members.”
Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.