If I quit Scunthorpe United the club would probably go into administration, says chairman Steve Wharton
Chairman Steve Wharton has admitted the uncertainty surrounding his future is having a negative impact on Scunthorpe United.
But he fears the club could go into administration if he simply walked away.
Wharton is looking to cut all ties with the Iron having announced 12 months ago he was trying to find a successor, but his search has so far drawn a blank.
Although revealing he would be 'gone tomorrow' given the chance, his loyalty to the team he has supported all his life and the place where he has been a board member for almost 30 years, is preventing him from quitting until a replacement is found.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"I don't think it helps the situation to know the chairman wants to call it a day, it doesn't fill people with enthusiasm," said the 68-year-old.
"I can't just go on forever, I haven't got the energy I had before I had my heart problems.
"Given the simple choice I'd be gone tomorrow but it isn't a simple choice.
"There are two options open to me. One is to try to work hard to improve the situation, one is to walk away from it.
"If I walk away from it I'm afraid the club would probably go into administration.
"The choices are not easy."
Wharton is keen to recruit someone who shares his love for Scunthorpe, but may soon have to cast the net further.
Either way, the chairman is eager to sever his association completely.
"I would like to say I'll always be a Scunthorpe supporter but I think it would be fairer for people if I'm not involved," he explained.
"I don't want to be casting a shadow over anyone.
"I'm looking for someone to take on the role of chairman but also to take over.
"At the moment I've guaranteed a fairly sizeable loan for them, I'd like them to take over the loan if at all possible.
"I've made assurances to finance the loan at the moment over 20 years, which will probably see me out by a long way.
"There are obviously people locally who I thought might have the ability and the financial ability to get involved.
"Other than that, I possibly may have to employ someone to seek an outside successor but then you're spending a lot of money on a process which takes time to find people.
"I would like to think it would be someone who I thought would be good for the club but in the present situation beggars can't be choosers.
"A lot of clubs are looking for people to take them over and I don't think Scunthorpe are top of anyone's list at the moment.
"I fear if someone came and threw a lot of money at it and then got tired and walked away, Scunthorpe could end up like a lot of other clubs, like Portsmouth."
Their fall from grace may not have been as severe as that of Pompey, but United find themselves struggling in the same division.
Last week's 1-1 draw against Brentford ended a three-match losing streak, though in front of a continually-dwindling home crowd, it is not just the team's results which are sounding alarm bells.
"Poor attendances affect the income, obviously," said Wharton.
"Of course I'm concerned.
"If you look at it logically, that can only make the situation worse rather than better.
"If fans want to improve the situation more of them should attend games to help the club, but I quite understand if people are not enjoying the football they won't want to go.
"Again, the answer is to improve the performances, which is what the manager is trying to do.
"At times we've played well but Saturday was a particularly poor performance.
"I'm sure the manager will say the players are intimidated by the home crowd.
"The first half against Tranmere was outstanding football. One or two people have said to me that's the best they've seen Scunthorpe play for a long, long time, but it was only 45 minutes.
"Those are things we've got to address. We know we're capable of playing good football.
"I can assure everyone we're working hard to get it right."
Although conceding the possibility of relegation is a concern, Wharton remains convinced Alan Knill is the right man to give Scunthorpe every chance of avoiding it.
"In Alan we've got a very able, good man but he's just finding life a bit tough at the moment," he said.
"The injury situation hasn't helped him.
"I'm optimistic that one or two good results will help turn it round.
"It's my job to try to help to turn it round.
"I'm confident we can turn it round but worried if not.
"The crowds would decrease further and our income would go down, but not as dramatically as coming down from the Championship.
"When a team starts to fold it's difficult to stop the fall – that's important, you've got to stop the fall."