17 Jun 2009

Zappia launches defence of secret money

8:02 am on 17 June 2009

Former Cronulla chief executive Tony Zappia has gone public in defence of his secret foundation as he prepares to explain why he hid $30,000 in donations from the National Rugby League Club's board.

Zappia has produced receipts and bank statements following the allegations of financial irregularities levelled by a terminally ill club benefactor.

He had reportedly asked the fan, who wanted to set up the foundation to help the cash-strapped club, to send thousands of dollars to his home address.

Zappia says $20,000 was in investment and bank accounts and receipts show the remainder was spent on a team camp and a computer for assistant coach Shane Flanagan.

He says he took no money and kept the foundation secret because the benefactor had asked him to, a claim the man denied.

It's reported the Sharks had stood to pocket $14 million when the benefactor died.