Stoke chairman Gunnar Gislason has resigned from the club.
The Icelandic businessman took over the post in 1999 and has been in talks to sell the club and recently turned down an offer from director Peter Coates.
Gislason told the club website: "Later on Monday I will step down as chairman of this great club.
"The time has come for others to continue our work of preparing Stoke for promotion back to the top flight of English football."
Gislason added: "The Icelandic involvement at Stoke City FC has overall been very good for the club.
"Of course some mistakes have been made along the way and with the benefit of hindsight some are easy to spot but to expect to go through any venture without making mistakes is naive.
"The main thing to keep in mind is that the club has improved dramatically over the past seven years and strong foundations for future success have been laid."
Former manager Johan Boskamp was not offered a new deal at the end of the season and left the club.
Boskamp, his assistant Jan De Koning and director of football John Rudge were involved in a long-running row which began in November, and left Boskamp threatening to leave the club at the end of the season if Rudge was not removed.
Gislason added: "We have had our share of criticism for the managers we have employed.
"Although he is not perfect I think Johan did a decent job last season and that he would have done an even better job next season if he had had the chance to work with his team for another year."