Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) today confirmed that Newcastle Jets and Joel Griffiths had finalised an agreement for Joel to be transferred to Beijing Guoan for an agreed transfer fee. As a result, there will be no need for the Arbitrator to hand down a decision of the grievance which was heard in Sydney last Tuesday.
“As we said in filing the grievance on behalf of Joel, these matters are always best resolved by agreement,” PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab said today.  “We are pleased an amicable agreement has finally been reached in this case.”

“From Joel’s perspective, he is now free to stay with Beijing Guoan, where he played a leading role in the Chinese outfit’s 2009 national championship.  Hopefully, his outstanding form will continue in the 2010 Asian Champions League, where he will come up against Melbourne Victory.”

The PFA again placed the negotiations in their context, saying that the case was never about a player not respecting his contract.

“Joel has always tried to do the right thing by Newcastle and the A-League,” Schwab said.  “Not only has he been an outstanding contributor on the field, Newcastle is now being well rewarded financially for his transfer.  Joel was always committed to that outcome.”

“It is a daily occurrence in the world of football for player transfers to be negotiated for players under contract,” Schwab said.  “Indeed, in a World Cup year, international moves are being encouraged throughout the A-League to ensure players with Socceroos aspirations are active right up to May.”