Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn claims he is close to appointing a "world class manager" at the Stadium of Light following his side's fifth straight defeat of the season at lowly Bury in the Carling Cup.
The 39-year-old opted to take over the running of team affairs during the close-season when he struggled to bring in a long-term replacement for Mick McCarthy, who was sacked under Bob Murray's reign last term.
However it has turned into a disaster with the Black Cats rock-bottom in the Championship and knocked out of the League Cup by League Two opposition.
Quinn has decided it is time for him to leave the management game to somebody who has a proven track-record and he claims a top class boss could be in the hot seat by the time West Bromwich Albion visit on Bank Holiday Monday.
He told The Journal: "I only stepped into the role because I thought that we couldn't get the quality of manager I thought we would.
"What I would say now is that we're getting very close to doing that and I will revert to my role as chairman as soon as possible. It can't come quickly enough.
"I have tried to give the players leadership and I didn't want them to feel pressure but I know now that my role here is that of chairman.
"In the coming days, I might have some better news for Sunderland fans. I have tracked a would-be manager for the last four weeks and we're getting closer.
"I can't name names yet because nothing is done but he's someone who will give the real lift we need.
"We are way behind - four games behind everyone in the league, ten points behind the leaders. I hope (to make an appointment in time) for Monday's game. I'm 70-30 we will have a world-class manager in place (by then) and I probably won't be in charge for that match."
Meanwhile, former striker Kevin Phillips snubbed the chance of a return to Wearside when he opted to join West Bromwich Albion from Aston Villa on a two-year deal.