NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE side the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have released a statement confirming that they have sacked 28-year-old playmaker Todd Carney after a vulgar photograph of the player found its way onto social media websites.
An image of the New South Wales native urinating towards his own mouth while standing at a urinal, apparently in the bathroom of Cronulla nightclub, spread rapidly on Twitter yesterday.
In May of 2013, Carney signed a five-year deal with the Sharks, believed to be worth close to €500,000 per season. However, the club’s CEO, Steve Noyce, released this statement on the club’s official website this morning:
“The Cronulla Shark Football Club has today after careful consideration and lengthy deliberation, including discussions with senior NRL management, made a decision to terminate Todd Carney’s NRL playing contract effective immediately.
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“At the Sharks we are committed to building a successful club, a club with strong values and a club which sets and respects high standards in all aspects of its operations and activities.
“When Todd was first signed to the Sharks he was made well aware of his responsibilities both on and off the field, to himself, the club and to the game in general, however the photograph that appeared last night on social media does not meet the values and standards the club is looking to uphold and take into the future.
As with any difficult decision, whilst you can’t change the past, it is important to put measures in place that can deliver positive outcomes both in the present and into the future.
“The club and the NRL will be committed to working with Todd, his family and his management in implementing appropriate counselling and support, with the start of this process to begin tonight.”
Carney scored a try in the Sharks’ 24-22 win over the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night, although the club remain on the bottom of the NRL ladder despite that victory.
The five-eighth’s career has been plagued by alcohol-related incidents, with stints at the Canberra Raiders and Sydney Roosters both chequered by controversy off the pitch.