The mum of sacked coach John Morris has posted a damning message about Cronulla's "assassination" of her son.
The divisive debate surrounding the decision to axe the popular mentor just five rounds into the 2021 season continues simmer — and it reached boiling point on Wednesday when Sharyn Morris made public claims against "deceitful" figures at the Sharks.
Morris on Tuesday was finally given the chop after being pushed through the mud this week with daily reports of his demise and a meeting with senior club officials that reportedly gave Morris some hope of keeping his job.
He was told he was no longer needed 24 hours later after the club confirmed the news that Roosters assistant Craig Fitzgibbon had signed a three-year deal with the club, beginning at the end of 2021.
Morris agreed to walk away immediately.
The shambolic handling of the axing has led to widespread condemnation of club officials, including chief executive Dino Mezzatesta, and now Morris' mum has added her fury to the conversation.
The Daily Telegraph's Phil Rothfield first shared her message on Twitter on Wednesday morning where she asked Sharks members to vote out the board of directors.
"My heart breaks for my son the coach," she wrote.
"So dedicated and so loyal. So disgusted that he was treated so badly by the board. Even though he knew they weren't resigning him he wanted to finish out his contract. He loves his players and his staff. His only question... why? They couldn't answer him.
"Fans get to know you board. They are deceitful liars. 24 hours earlier they said "no deal had been done".
"You have the power, but must be financial members for three years before you can vote. Vote them out and bring back Barry Russell, a true loyal Sharks man."
Her complaints surround the club's emergency meeting with Morris' agent on Monday, following reports on Sunday the club had already agreed to a deal with Fitzgibbon, who had reportedly told Roosters figures he was going to accept the job at the Sharks.
It comes as The Daily Telegraph's Dean Ritchie on Wednesday morning also claimed Morris had been "assassinated" by the club following the Monday meeting.
Ritchie told Sky Sports Radio:
"I think he did a good job, John Morris. I think he's entitled to feel angry, let down ripped off," he said.
"It certainly seems like he was assassinated."
The Daily Telegraph's Paul Crawley called out the club for their "inexperience" and "lack of class" in their handling of the situation on Fox League's NRL 360 on Tuesday night.
Morris — the lowest paid head coach in the NRL — had requested a contract extension several times only to be knocked back.
He had taken the Sharks to the finals in 2019 and 2020, despite being hamstrung by salary cap and roster issues he inherited — but the club deemed that he hadn't done enough.
Broncos great and NRL 360 host Ben Ikin said Morris had done a brilliant job in setting the team up for Fitzgibbon by clearing space in the salary cap and showing talent in developing the club's rising stars, including Blayke Brailey, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Toby Rudolf and Will Kennedy.
However, the club also has 15 players off-contract at the end of 2021, including Andrew Fifita, Josh Dugan and Shaun Johnson, and the roster is in limbo.
"Shane Flanagan took over in 2011 and won a premiership in 2016 so John Morris has done pretty well to finish in finals both years," Ikin said.
"Let's not deny it that the squad that Craig Fitzgibbon is going to inherit is full of quality players that John Morris coached as youngsters and brought into the system and has them ready now to grow again.
"I'll say it exactly how it is. The young players he brought through are not the players he inherited. I'm talking about the young players that he's brought through."