NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 02: Paul Gallen of the Cronulla Sharks leads the team out during the NRL Trial match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Newcastle Knights on March 02, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

As a Cronulla Sharks fan, Paul Gallen’s recent comments about walking away from the club if the 2016 Premiership had have been stripped really hit home.

If there are two things you can count on when it comes to Rugby League fans its unparalleled support and the ability to overreact.

Once again social media didn’t let me down and went into meltdown after Gallen’s comments on Channel 9’s Wide World of Sports.

For those who missed them, Gallen said that if the Sharks 2016 title had have been taken away during the recent salary cap investigation, that he would dispose of his title ring and walk away from the club.

The comments have been overblown to the point some have said Gallen is ready to throw his toys out of the cot if he didn’t get his way, which is downright ridiculous.

As a Sharks fan, I can really resonate with our club captain’s comments.

I can tell you right now that if the 2016 title had been removed due to errors made off the field, I would be absolutely furious and would be very tempted to walk away from the club and the game as a whole.

As much as we have fun on social media, it has not been an easy run supporting the club. I’ve been a fan since I can first remember after being born over 30 years ago.

As a fan of the club I’ve seen it all; Salary cap scandals, player misbehaviour, financial disaster, peptides, sponsors walking away, and multiple close but ultimately not close enough.

It has aged me in ways only fellow fans can understand.

The 2016 title win made it all worthwhile. Every single loss in the prelim final, every single sponsor who walked away, every single negative headline or news report.

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To take that away would make it all seem … well, not worth it.

Gallen is right. 100% right. Can you imagine the frustration for a player who has carried the club through some horror dark days, who finally realised his career-long dream of a title, only to have it taken away by negligence by those in the front office?

Say what you want about Gal, and plenty have across social media, but this guy has sacrificed his career to remain with the Sharks and lead the club to its fairytale title win?

There were years it was literally Gallen and the rest in the lack, white and blue.

There were opportunities for him to join Manly, for more money and a much better chance of winning a title, but he stood solid and earned the right to lift that trophy on October 2nd, 2016.

If not for a series of Hail Mary plays at the final moment, the Sharks as a club, wouldn’t exist. They probably shouldn’t.

There were years that the club survived on the literal will of volunteers.

Members of the media too great delight in the downfall of board members in years gone by but it’s worth noting that these were fans and business people donating their time to saving the club

Simply put the club couldn’t afford to pay board members. The club went without a CEO for years as we literally couldn’t afford to employ one.

It sounds ridiculous because it is … but due to the commitment of people like board members and players like Paul Gallen, the club survived and ended that title drought in 2016.

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Take that away and what is the point?

We have a Sharks group chat online (not WhatsApp so don’t worry) that discussed how we’d react if the worst had happened.

The general feeling was it would be an absolute disaster and would drive the majority of us from the club, at least in the short-term.

Ultimately I think I’d be there in round two vs the Titans regardless of the outcome, but I wouldn’t hold it against Gallen if he had retired on the spot, should the title have been at risk. Not one bit.

Gallen, as a player, is in charge of on-field results and nothing more.

It’s not up to Gallen, or any player, to worry about the salary cap. They are there to play the game and earn accordingly. It’s none of his business what’s going on in head office.

Repeated incompetence in the boardroom is super frustrating. Ask Storm fans. Ask Eels fans. Sea Eagles …

Rugby League is ultimately about winning. The Sharks spent 49 years chasing that dream.

If they had taken away the 2016 title as a result of pure idiocy from overwhelmed members of a board who had no right promising what they had, I guarantee you plenty would have walked away.

I’m a sucker for punishment so I’d probably have gone back for more, but it would have driven a real stake into the heart.

Times that by 25 for the player who has been the literal heart of the club for the past decade and I can’t blame Gallen for his comments at all.

20 COMMENTS

  1. I couldn’t agree more, who needs a drug cheat and racist in this game like Gallen, good riddens to bad rubbish.

  2. Sorry but Paul Gallen should not even have been playing in the 2016 season. He should have been banned along with a whole load of other players for the Peptide scandal. Back dated bans, what a farce. Even WADA the world wide governing body in charge of drug abuse in sport was furious at how lightly Cronulla players were treated. The Cronulla club, serial offenders using whatever illegal means they can to win constantly get off lightly, time after time after time after time. And you have the audacity to come on here and say you know how Gal feels.

    Try being a storm fan through that horrible 2010 season when they played for no points or an EELs fan who never even saw any success from their clubs systematic cheating. Paul Gallen crying in his coffee if the Sharks one dirty premiership is taken away – cry me a river. Even if they weren’t cheating the cap that day. they certainly where before it and they were being coached by a coach who had no right to be there.

    Sorry, but sharks fans and players have no right to come on here and expect us to feel sorry for them.

  3. Sorry Dan, but if the Sharks were over the cap in 2016, which I find it very hard to believe they weren’t given they were the your before and after, than any sentiment for the hard work of the playing group is irrelevant. If a team/club cheats, then every one is punished, simple. Whilst it may not be the responsibility of the players to manage the cap, if they were over it then they have won a title with a team that should never have even taken the field that day, which voids the title IMO.

      • I’ve said he’s rubbish when under real pressure . Pearce has always been crap in the SOO. Then your alter ego Wood Duck says he should be back in Blue. Don’t care who the halfback is for NSW. As long as it isn’t Pearce! Hell No…
        Even when the forwards including Gallen held their own for NSW, over all those losing years. The halves failed to create enough chances to score. Pearce was at the centre of a lot of that.

  4. All the keyboard warriors fly.

    The NRL has cleared 2016. It is not a dirty premiership. All you other clubs having a sook over it need to worry about your own team.

    Gallen is a dickhead, but a loyal clubman and has dedicated his career to the sharks.

    I do enjoy the comments though, from the typical crew that spew forth the same dribble at every occasion.

    Good viewpoint on the situation though. I know I’m about done with the NRL while that muppet Greenberg is in charge, Beattie is also a joke.

    • Its a dirty Premiership

      Illegally assembled team
      Several players who should have been banned because of Peptide use
      A Captain who was similarly banned
      A Coach who shouldn’t have even been there having broken the rules of his reinstatement
      ….. and all that on the assumption that the sharks were somehow salary cap compliant that year which most people doubt.

      That all adds up to a DIRTY PREMIERSHIP

  5. First time I have bothered to make a comment, normally I just read the to and fro from members but you dudes are sick.
    What a lot of miserable mean spirited morons you are, You are totally uninformed re salary cap and peptide saga.
    God help us if you have smart phones, misinformation everywhere, who cares about the truth.
    You have nothing much in your lives and it is everyone else’s fault, is anyone proud of you?

    • Totally uninformed …. you gotta be joking. If it looks like a cheat, smells like a cheat then it must be Cronulla, a name that is now synonymous with everything dirty in this game.

      • Where’s Laurie Daley when you need him?
        He missed out on the Sharks as well.
        Must be a bad culture at that club Rucky? Keep away from the Sharks as well?

    • We have nothing better to do than sit online and talk about footy eh?
      You literally just admitted to taking the time to watch our conversations and read all the comments. Stop being a hypocrite.

  6. The awe-inspiring breathtaking truth is the NRL found after 8 months that Cronulla Sutherland were $700,000 over the cap within a 5 year window $800,000 Less than the astonishing amount of 1.5 million dollars that Many Warringah were found guilty of..

    The Premiership overwhelming cannot be taken from Cronulla on the grounds of Manly ‘s case alone. Certainly on comparison with the astonishing rogue con artistry 3.8 million dollars that Melbourne delivered ….over four years, resulting in those tiles being apprehended. Cronulla’s crime is not even in the same league as that of Melbourne and Canterbury. The Sharks title should stay.

  7. Strong words from a strong man…. Captain Gal. Onya Gal, Im with you. Hopefully you can get a 2nd premiership ring this year to go with the other one.

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