Al Shabab signs Griffiths
Saudi Arabian side Al Shabab have announced the capture of Gold Coast United defender Adam Griffiths, completing their quota of foreign players for next season.
The Australian has been signed in a deal worth US $1.2 million under the 3+1 rule, which allows teams to sign one player from an Asian Football Confederation country in addition to three foreign players. "It's a great pleasure to join Al Shabab," Griffiths told the club's website.
"Al Shabab are one of the best professional clubs in Saudi Arabia and the administration showed a lot of commitment in their negotiations with me. I have watched some of their matches in the AFC Champions League and I have got a lot of information from the internet. They won two championships last season and finished fourth in the local league."
Griffiths had played only one competitive game for new franchise Gold Coast United - Saturday's 3-1 win at Brisbane Roar - but previously won the A-League title with Newcastle Jets and has European experience having played for Oostende in Norway and English side Watford. Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg admitted Al Shabab's offer for the 29-year-old was too good to turn down.
"We had a very big offer to release Adam," he said. "In the end, it's a business decision. Everybody has their price and I think the offer exceeded the price. Adam is almost 30 and we won't stand in the way of him earning in one year an amount which can settle him for life."
Griffiths was outstanding in United's victory over Brisbane and while Bleiberg conceded he was brought to the club as an integral part of their future, he insisted they have enough strength in depth to cover his loss.
"He was one of our main signings, yes, and against the Roar he was one of the best three players on the field, but I think that we have the personnel in the team to cover for him." Bleiberg added. "All the players who were on the fringe such as Kristian (Rees) and Steve (Pantelidis) now have a bigger chance to play."