RYAN Griffiths said the lure of a million-dollar contract from Chinese club Beijing Baxy and the chance to set his family up for life outweighed his desire to help the Jets push for a place in the A-League finals series.
Griffiths completed a whirlwind 72 hours when he put pen to paper yesterday on a one-year deal, the most lucrative in his career, with the ambitious second-tier Chinese club after the Jets agreed to a ‘‘modest’’ transfer fee to release the 31-year-old from his contract.
‘‘It is a difficult time of the season to be leaving,’’ Griffiths said. ‘‘But when it came down to the finances and the difference in what you can earn and be able to set up your family and your future ... it was pretty hard for me to say no. The money is 10 times more than on offer here.’’
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Griffiths acknowledged the timing of the move was poor for the Jets, who are clinging on to sixth place before their game against Wellington Phoenix in the New Zealand capital tonight.
‘‘I was brought up to finish the things that I have started,’’ Griffiths said. ‘‘This is the first time I will break that rule. If you were put in the same situation, it is something you have to do.
‘‘The Chinese transfer window closes tomorrow and the season starts in three weeks.’’
Griffiths was contracted to the Jets until the end of next season, and his departure leaves an enormous hole.
He was the equal leading goal-scorer with nine and had also provided five assists.
Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby said Griffiths had made it clear he was desperate to go.
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