Jets reach agreement on Joel Griffiths exit
Griffiths was one of five senior players the club tried to axe three weeks ago, prompting the intervention of Professional Footballers Australia.
Since then ex-skipper Kew Jaliens has been snapped up as an injury replacement at Melbourne City and the club has withdrawn a code of conduct complaint against former Socceroo David Carney.
The Carney decision heads off an arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday at Football Federation Australia’s head office.
New CEO Mitchell Murphy said he had been working behind the scenes with the PFA and the five players, including Billy Celeski and Adrian Madaschi to resolve their situations.
In scenes the Jets will want to forget, Griffiths - a club hero - was ostracised from the main training group and vocally complained about the lack of respect.
On Thursday, Murphy took the opportunity to heal some of the recent wounds, praising the 35-year-old's long and successful association with the club, during which he scored 34 goals in 83 A-League games.
Half of Griffiths’ goals were netted at Hunter Stadium, making him the club’s all-time top goal scorer at the home venue.
The fiery striker won the 2008 Hyundai A-League Championship with the Hunter outfit, and in the same campaign claimed competition honours as Johnny Warren Medallist and Golden Boot winner.
Murphy said of Griffiths departure: “I arrived at the Jets at a time whereby the club had already decided to part ways with Joel.
“But I sincerely want to pay tribute to the valuable contribution he has made to the club.
“Joel’s been an outstanding player for the Jets, but sometimes there are difficult circumstances in football. I wholeheartedly wish him all the very best for his future endeavours.”
The Jets, sitting one from the bottom of the A-league ladder, have been rocked by controversy in recent weeks - culling their playing roster, backroom staff and executive.
But Murphy, who replaced Robbie Middleby at the helm, said the past week had seen substantial operational and management changes resulting in a “new and positive direction”.
Regarding the future of Carney, he said: "It is the club’s desire to work proactively behind the scenes with David and the PFA to resolve the situation in a timely manner.
"We achieved such an outcome earlier this week with Kew Jaliens, and the club is also committed to continuing the process with Joel Griffiths, Billy Celeski and Adrian Madaschi."