GOLD Coast CEO Mark Evans says losing Hugh Greenwood was "unexpected", but the club knew the risk it was taking in delisting him last week.
The Suns cut the inside midfielder in the hope of bringing him back via the NAB AFL Draft, but North Melbourne swooped to sign him to a longer contract.
Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Evans said losing Greenwood was certainly not the club's preference, but was something it could overcome.
"We knew the rules going into this and we knew there was some risk. We accept that," he said.
"I think (the lesson is) don't underestimate any risk.
"We started this conversation with Hugh and the club equally committing to a pathway of him being retained at the Suns.
ONE HUGE QUESTION Why delist Hugh?
"What was unexpected is the size of the offer that came from North Melbourne. That certainly turned Hugh's head towards that.
"Our preference would be that Hugh Greenwood played with us in 2022. It's a slight deviation from that."
Greenwood was initially contracted to Gold Coast for one more year with a trigger for 2023, with the Kangaroos offering him two years with a trigger for a third.
"I think it was unexpected and that become difficult in the short timeframe to explain to people," Evans said.