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Eels chairman to consider quitting role

Parramatta chairman Steve Sharp says he'll consider his future after being overruled by fellow board members when seeking to appoint Brad Arthur as the NRL club's new coach.
Eels chairman to consider quitting role
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, Oct 11 AAP - Parramatta chairman Steve Sharp says he'll consider his future after being overruled by fellow board members when seeking to appoint Brad Arthur as the NRL club's new coach.

The Eels are set to name Jason Taylor as Ricky Stuart's successor with the NRL wooden spooners after voting 3-2 in favour of the former South Sydney mentor at a board meeting this week.

Sharp's ParraFirst ticket swept into power at the club's football elections earlier this year, overthrowing former chairman Roy Spagnolo.

The three-time premiership winner from the Eels glory days in the 1980s was joined on the board by deputy chairman Tom Issa, Lawrence Shepherd, Peter Serrao and Robert Sassen.

But his push to appoint Manly assistant Arthur, who impressed during a short stint as caretaker Eels coach last year and is well liked by the players, fell on deaf ears.

"I led the ticket into power on the back of being a former player at the club and with the football credentials to make the right decisions," a disappointed Sharp told AAP.

"I expected a bit of backing from my fellow board members.

"All I want to do is the right thing by Parramatta and make this magnificent club great again.

"I'll always be there for this club, but I'll have to sit down and decide if it's worth staying on as chairman."

Unlike many other clubs in the NRL, the Eels have money behind them thanks to a new multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with Dyldam, an increased membership and a leagues club that turns over a profit.

Sharp said he knew it would tough turning the fallen giants around but admitted he's been taken aback by the enormity of the task.

"We have been copping a fair bit in the media and it paints the club in a very bad light," he said.

"There seem to be people who want us to fail. That's very disappointing and very frustrating."

Taylor finished his outstanding playing career with the Eels and was part of the 2001 side that reached the grand final. He cut his teeth as a coach in the club's lower grades before guiding the Eels into the 2006 NRL finals after Brian Smith left the club midway through the year.

The 42-year-old also gave Eels star Jarryd Hayne his NRL debut before departing for Souths to be their first coach of the Russell Crowe-Peter Holmes a Court era.

He exited the Rabbitohs in acrimonious circumstances at the end of the 2009 season following a bust-up with prop David Fa'alogo at the club's mad Monday celebrations.

But the former NRL record points scorer bolstered his coaching reputation by helping the Sydney Roosters win the premiership last Sunday as an assistant to Trent Robinson.


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