MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Sharks coach Shane Flanagan watches his team warm up during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park on September 21, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Shane Flanagan is set to become Cronulla’s longest serving coach next year but his future beyond 2019 is difficult to discern through the controversy and uncertainty created by the Sharks’ salary cap investigations, as reported by

CEO Barry Russell says they plan on retaining Flanagan at the Sharks beyond 2019, with talks reportedly in progress and a deal soon to be finalised.

“Again there has been speculation as to Shane Flanagan’s future,” Russell said in a letter to Cronulla members.

“We are in discussions with a view to finalising his future as soon as possible.

“Shane is busy preparing a team and coaching through the pre-season but negotiations are ongoing and we are confident a deal will be struck and a contract signed in the very near future.”

Flanagan’s son, playmaker Kyle Flanagan, recently signed a three-year contract extension with the Sharks, so if Russell is to be believed then Cronulla fans will see the father-son combo in action for many years to come.

But if the contract falls through or if the results of the investigation are damning, then Flanagan’s long years of service might reach an abortive conclusion.

Flanagan enters 2019 having coached 185 games at Cronulla, meaning he will break John Lang’s previous record (206 games) in round 23.

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