After arriving to much fanfare in January, the former Newcastle Jets sharpshooter is going back to the Chinese Super League, having received an offer he couldn't refuse
Joel Griffiths has left Sydney FC, the former A-League Golden Boot winner returning to China with Qingdao Jonoon.
Griffiths - who won the Johnny Warren Medal and scored the most goals in the league season in 2007-08 with the Newcastle Jets - played just eight games for the Sky Blues after joining the club in January.
The 33-year-old is headed back to the Chinese Super League, where he spent four seasons representing Beijing Guoan and Shanghai Shenhua between 2009 and 2012.
He is due to sign a two-year deal with Qingdao Jonoon, who are sixth after 17 games of the CSL season.
Sydney chief executive Tony Pignata was disappointed to lose the experienced goalscorer, but claimed the club is confident of finding a replacement.
"Disappointed is a nice word to use to be honest," Pignata told 2MM Soccer Stoppage Time.
"Unfortunately he got a really good offer and good luck to the lad. It's a good deal for him but we'll just go out and get another striker."
Pignata added that the Sydney native was disappointed to have to leave, after reportedly being tabled a two-year offer from an unnamed CSL club, one so lucrative Griffiths could not refuse.
"We got Joel last year and before he got suspended, he scored three in three," Pignata said.
"Joel's just as gutted as we are. He and his family have really settled in, they've had a new baby, his friends are here and he's really enjoying life in Sydney.
"But he said to me, 'Tony, there's no way I can knock an offer like this back at my age'. And we're not going to stand in his way.
"So good luck to Joel and hopefully things work out. If they don't, the door's always open."
In potentially good news for Sydney, though, departed midfielder Terry Antonis could return to the Harbour City, with his move to Serie A club Parma reportedly encountering issues.