Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) today came to the defence of Joel Griffiths, who has been publicly accused of breaching his playing contract by Newcastle Jets. PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab said it is the Jets who should honour their agreement with Joel and immediately transfer him to Beijing Guoan for the transfer fee already agreed between the 2 clubs.
Griffiths is seeking a permanent transfer to the Chinese Champions in time for the 2010 AFC Asian Champions League after an outstanding season in 2009 whilst on loan from the Jets.  Beijing had requested for Joel to be available from 3 January so that he could be registered before the rapidly approaching Asian Champions League registration deadline.

“We have been provided with the relevant documentation by Joel and his management team,” Schwab said.  “On that basis, we are satisfied that an agreement exists between Joel and the Jets for his transfer for a specified fee which Beijing has agreed to pay.  In these circumstances, it is incorrect and unfair to Joel to bring his professionalism into question through public statements that he is in breach of contract.  These allegations are deeply hurting for Joel given his commitment and feeling for the people of Newcastle.”

The PFA will refer the matter to urgent arbitration under the A-League Collective Bargaining Agreement should the Jets refuse to complete the transfer.