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Shane Flanagan.

The NRL has de-registered Cronulla Sharks coach Shane Flanagan and Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe over separate breaches.

Cronulla have installed John Morris and Jim Dymock as interim coaches while the Tigers will need a new CEO after the club was punished over an undisclosed agreement to pay Robbie Farah as an ambassador when he finishes his career.

The Flanagan decision stems from revelations he had dealings with the club regarding the recruitment and retention of players while he was suspended in 2014 over the Sharks' peptides scandal.

"Part of those conditions was a requirement that the club not allow Mr Flanagan to be concerned directly or indirectly with the club whilst he was suspended," NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.

"That message was reinforced a number of times to the club, and to Mr Flanagan during his suspension.

"The conditions that applied to Shane Flanagan's 2014 suspension were crystal.

''Shane and the club appear to have ignored those conditions."

The Sharks have also been fined $400,000, the amount that had been suspended from the $1 million fine handed down in 2014, and handed an additional fine of $400,000 for the breach.

NRL comes down hard on Flanagan

The Wests Tigers, meanwhile, have been fined $750,000 and the amount of Farah's ambassador agreement – $639,000 – will be included in their 2019 salary cap.

There is no suggestion that Farah has done anything wrong but the NRL believes the club should have disclosed the agreement.

"We have obtained documents which show that the club entered an agreement to pay Robbie Farah to act as an ambassador at the club when he retires from playing," Greenberg said.

"This agreement was signed in 2016, at the same time Robbie left the club to join the Rabbitohs.

"The game's rules are very, very clear on these arrangements.

"Any commitment to make such a payment should have been disclosed and should have been included in the salary cap. The club failed to do this.

"The club then compounded its conduct by submitting a misleading application to the NRL in relation to the salary cap treatment of money paid to Robbie when he left the club."

Both Cronulla and the Wests Tigers have until the end of January to respond to the findings.

There would be no "time limit" placed on how long Flanagan would have to stay away from the game before he could seek a return. There is likely to be a further determination on that when Flanagan and the Sharks respond to Wednesday's breach notice in late January.

The option for coaching in the Super League is open to Flanagan as the English game is run under a different set of rules.

The NRL's investigation did not find just "a handful" of emails but five pages of exchanges and communication with the Sharks. The Integrity Unit's investigation showed the Sharks not only knew about his contact with the club, but participated in it.

Wests Tigers CEO de-registered by NRL


The club's CEO at the time Steve Noyce, the chairman Damien Keogh, and football manager Darren Mooney are no longer at Cronulla and are not currently working within the NRL. That is why Flanagan is copping the brunt of the flagrant disregard of the NRL's original 2013 suspension notice. But current chairman Dino Messatesta was a member of the Sharks board in 2014.

The Wests Tigers issued a statement on Wednesday saying the club will be "vigorously defending" the proposed penalties. 

"The club is shocked with the decision and extremely disappointed in the process," the statement read.

"It is an arrangement that Wests Tigers had with Robbie that is unrelated to his career as a player. The club does not know if he is going to take it up and Robbie has not indicated his intention in return.

"The reason the ambassadorship was offered in November 2015 is that then new CEO Justin Pascoe felt that the club had disrespected Robbie and this was a way to show him the respect that Justin felt he deserved as a Life Member and club legend due to the overwhelming support Robbie had at the time from Members and fans.

"Most importantly Wests Tigers derive absolutely no advantage from this arrangement. It is not tied in any way to Robbie's playing contract.

"Wests Tigers are particularly concerned about the wrongful attack on the integrity of the club's CEO. For the last three years Justin has shown nothing but respect for the NRL and the salary cap.

"The club will be vigorously defending this."

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