The NRL has granted Cronulla an extension to respond to the breach notice issued to the club for its 2011 supplements program after it was accepted the festive season could have disrupted proceedings.
The sport's governing body ruled in mid-December that Cronulla had seriously breached the game's code of conduct with the program and that coach Shane Flanagan had failed in his duty of care to the players.
However, Sharks chief executive Steve Noyce said the NRL was sympathetic that formulating the club's response could have been slowed down by the Christmas-New Year break and they decided to extend the January 15 deadline by a week.
"In any breach notice you get a period of time to respond and obviously the current period is over the festive season which puts different time considerations onto the whole issue," Noyce said.
"The NRL continue to be supportive of us, giving us enough time to provide a response to the breach notice, which we're obviously entitled to do."
NRL chief executive Dave Smith handed down what were described as "damning findings" before Christmas and the club was hit with a proposed $1 million fine ($400,000 of which is suspended), while Flanagan was provisionally suspended from all duties for 12 months.
After receiving the breach notice, the Sharks' directors immediately voted to assemble a legal team to fight for the club's reputation and future.
Noyce said Cronulla's supporters had rallied behind their club and there had been a surge in memberships.
"Last year was the first time in the history of the club that we had over 10,000 members; our numbers at Christmas were up on the numbers from last year," he said. "The response from the rank and file last year was strong and certainly at this stage it continues to be strong and that's obviously exciting and pleasing news for the club."