Now headed for English club Bradford Bulls for 2009 after being sacked by the Sharks and deregistered by the National Rugby League – there was internal support for Bird throughout the ordeal and there may already be foundations in place for Bird in 2010 depending on varying factors.
After much speculation, a joint statement by his management and Sharks – finally saw Bird free from his indefinite suspension.
On suspension since August last year after being charged with assaulting girlfriend Katie Milligan – Bird must still face court in April to defend charges against him.
With no other local options for 2009, Bird will link with Bradford for at least a season.
Bradford officials agreed to allow Bird to return home in April to fight his charges in court.
As part of his contract termination with Sharks it was agreed Bird could not play for a rival NRL club this year, however the Sharks may have given Bird the option to return albeit for lower money if he wishes in 2010. Much will depend on the form of Reni Maitua and how he settles into the club; but also much on Bird himself – if he performs well in the Super League, the money for future years maybe too much to resist.
People close to Bird believe he will thrive once established in the UK, free from the constant speculation of local NRL life.
Obviously wanting to get on with his life; Bird and Cronulla have agreed to refrain from further comment on the delicate situation.
“Sharks, Greg Bird and his management have agreed that following this press statement no further public comment will be made in relation to the details of the release.”
Sharks boss Tony Zappia said he was pleased the Bird dramas had finally been settled.
“It’s been a long-running saga – everyone can now move on,” Zappia said.
Sharks skipper Paul Gallen last night wished his former teammate all the best.
“As a good friend, I am glad Greg has found a club and can play football this year,” Gallen said.
“His future has been unresolved for a long time now so it is good that we can all move on.
“I wish him the best of luck with his new club and also with his life because the last few months, I am sure, have been very hard for him.
“He is a great talent and I am sure he will be very good in the UK.”