Jets CEO Robbie Middleby says the Club did not want to stand in the way of Ryan Griffiths' lucrative move to China.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets CEO Robbie Middleby says while it is disappointing to lose Ryan Griffiths at such a crucial juncture in the season, the Club could not stand in the way of his move the China.
Griffiths announced on Tuesday that he has decided to join Chinese club Beijing Baxi FC, leaving the Jets effective immediately. Griffiths requested a release from his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the 2013/14 season.
“It-s not good timing for the club and it-s disappointing to lose Ryan, but he-s in a fortunate position to get a big offer like this and set-up his family,” Middleby said.
“We-ve been talking over the last 48 hours and that was the big factor for him.
“He made it very clear over the last 48 hours what it could do for his family and for us to hold him back from that is something that would be a hard thing for us to do to him.”
Middleby confirmed that the Jets did receive a transfer fee for Griffiths, but said the decision to allow him to go to China was not about the Club making money.
“It was more about what Ryan wanted to do, not for the Club to make money, it was more for Ryan-s situation,” Middleby explained.
“Initially we thought there was no chance of letting him go this time of the season, but after we had discussions with him and his wife about his family situation, we realised it would be disappointing for him not to get that opportunity.”
Middleby said the Club and Jets head coach Gary van Egmond are confident that the Newcastle-s current squad has enough depth to cover for Griffiths- exit.
“Gary-s disappointed, but he believes we-ve got depth in the team that can fill that position with the likes of Craig Goodwin, Mitch Cooper coming through and other different players,” Middleby said.
“He gives Ryan his blessing to go and realises that this is something that-s going to set up their family.”
Middleby said the Jets would look to find a suitable replacement for Griffiths for the 2013/14 season.
“We haven-t got an Australian marquee, but he-s been touted as our Australian marquee and probably (was close to that status) with the wages he was on here,” he said.
“We can look at that for next season now and look to really build for that position.
“Now we-ve got the option we can look at that and see where we sit and who we can bring in.”