Bird – who has been stood down since being charged in August over an incident in which his girlfriend, Katie Milligan, suffered facial injuries caused by broken glass – was already believed to have been facing the sack from the club. He is due to appear in court again later this month on charges of assault, causing public mischief and making a false statement to police.
Cronulla chief executive Tony Zappia last night confirmed the club was aware of complaints reported on Channel Nine that Bird had abused passers-by from the balcony of his unit and had hopped into the back seat of a car stopped at traffic lights and asked to be taken to a pizza shop.
“We are aware of the allegations and are trying to get more information,” Zappia said.
Meanwhile, Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen said the drinking culture that has been blamed for a number of off-field incidents was a result of the salary cap forcing the club to shed experienced players. “We do lack a strong, mature leadership group. And that’s what happened with the salary cap,” he told AAP.
He said the departure of veterans Shane Webcke, Petero Civoniceva and Brad Thorn had lead to younger players with few leaders to keep them in check.