Ricky Stuart has quit his post seven weeks early, leaving the struggling Sharks with a new coach, Shane Flanagan, for the rest of the season.

Flanagan was planning to take over from Stuart next year but will begin work today.

Stuart’s walkout was triggered by the Sharks’ 48-18 loss to Manly at the weekend.

The Sydney Morning herald reports Stuart as saying: ”I could probably sense with them [the players] that this was the only decision. I really believe they are a lot better team than what they have displayed the last two weeks. It just wasn’t working out.”

The Sharks have suffered a string of scandals in recent years. In 2008, Greg Bird was sacked after being charged of assaulting his girlfriend, although he was later acquitted.

In 2009, Brett Seymour was caught behaving in a drunken fashion.

Between 2009 and April 3 this year, the Sharks lost 13 straight games.