Jets want answers from absent Griffiths

January 3, 2010
By Ed Jackson

Newcastle Jets have issued a please explain letter to absent star Joel Griffiths and ruled out a deal with Chinese club Beijing Guoan for the wantaway striker.

Griffiths, who has been playing for the Chinese Superleague powerhouse for the past 10 months, has failed to appear at training for the A-League club since they returned from their holiday break on Saturday.

And Jets chief executive John Tsatsimas says the club is seeking answers from the 30-year-old.

"Joel was required to be at training on the 2nd of January, we advised him of that and he's failed to appear in relation to that," Tsatsimas told AAP.

"We've written to him asking him to explain his fail to attend and we await (a response).

"There are some contractual issues and we're seeking find some resolution in terms of his absence."

Griffiths has been keen to extend his deal with Beijing after a successful time in China, but Tsatsimas says that is off the table.

Both clubs have failed to come to an agreement about a transfer fee, with Jets owner Con Constantine reportedly lowering his asking price from $1 million to $350,000.

But Tsatsimas said even if Beijing met that price, there would be no deal.

"The time has come and gone," he said.

"We've been down that road, counter-offers and what not, we've said we want Joel back now.

"If we concede any more than we have than any player seeking justification for an early release could cite the Joel Griffiths example.

"It sends the wrong message about the domestic competition and we had to draw a line in the sand."

Despite the stand-off and Griffiths' apparent reluctance to return to the club where he won the A-League's golden boot, premiership and the Johnny Warren Medal in the 2007-08 season, Tsatsimas said the former Socceroo would still be welcome.

"That's what we've always said, that we always wanted Joel back at Newcastle," he said.

"He's a contracted player to the Newcastle Jets and we maintain that position.

"Joel is always welcome to play here."