Andrew Davies left Hartlepool United because he wants to end his career playing at a higher level, according to Richard Money.
The club captain had his contract, which was due to run until the summer of 2020, torn up this week.
Davies signed for Scottish Premiership side Dundee today.
And Money admits he was powerless to stop the defender leaving, with his heart set on an early Pools exit.
"It was purely a personal decision from Andrew," explains Money, whose side take on AFC Telford in the FA Trophy this weekend.
"He came to us before Christmas and said he wasn’t happy and it wasn’t working out for him.
"And I want supporters to understand that in normal circumstances the club holds the cards and the alternative was for him to stay.
"We want people who are genuinely committed to what we want to do and I’m not saying Andrew wasn’t.
"We had a real genuine mature and open discussion and he felt he wanted to go and play somewhere else. We decided to let him go."
Money admits Davies is a player he admires, given he tried to sign him for Walsall but when a player wants to go, it is hard to change their mind.
"He is an experienced player but I’m not from the area so I don’t know Andrew Davies the Middlesbrough player, or the player who everyone thought he might be here," he said.
"I tried to sign him when I was at Walsall so I know about him. I understand his reasoning and it hasn’t worked out here how he wanted.
"He wants to play at a higher level and he is coming to the end of his career. There’s more negatives than positives in digging my heels in which wouldn’t be in the interests of anyone."