Wigan chairman Maurice Lindsay has announced his intention to stand down from the role at the end of the season.
Lindsay may be followed out of the club by owner Dave Whelan
The 66-year-old, who first joined the club's board in 1979, is in his second spell as chairman.
"No-one can go on forever," said Lindsay, who also revealed that Wigan owner Dave Whelan is considering an offer to sell the club.
Lindsay's decision comes one week after Wigan were deducted four points for a breach of salary cap rules.
"It is not a decision taken lightly as I first joined the board in 1979," added Lindsay.
"I think it is fair to say that the club was close to bankruptcy at that time and was enjoying little success.
"It's also fair to say that I played a major part in putting matters right and the club became a major success once again."
Lindsay has been one of British rugby league's most prominent administrators, with stints as the chief executive of the Rugby Football League, Super League managing director and Great Britain team manager all featuring on his CV.
He helped establish Wigan as one of the most successful teams in history during their glory years of the 1980s and early 1990s, bringing stars such as Ellery Hanley to the club.
But his second spell at the helm has been markedly less successful, with the 2002 Challenge Cup representing the only silverware since his return in 1999.
Wigan won trophy after trophy during Lindsay's first spell
Last season, Wigan endured a miserable run which left them stranded at the bottom of the table before the arrival of coach Brian Noble helped spark a revival.
Wigan crashed out of the Challenge Cup at the weekend, losing 37-24 to Catalans Dragons in the semi-finals, while the club's four-point deduction has left them at risk of missing out on the play-offs for the third year in a row.
Lindsay cited health concerns as one of the major reasons for his decision to quit the JJB Stadium.
"I am 66 and, as many people know, my health has suffered in the last couple of years," he said.
"My doctor has constantly stressed to me that I should take more care of my health. Therefore, it probably needs someone else to take the club forward for the next 10 years."
Lindsay said he had offered to leave with immediate effect, but had been asked to stay on until the end of the season.
I am sure that success is not far away
Wigan chairman Maurice Lindsay
"It is probably the right time to step down and let someone else continue," he said.
"There are lots of good things happening. We've just invested almost £2m in a new state-of-the-art training venue and our Under-21 and Under-18 sides are both having great success in their respective leagues.
"I hope that the next Wigan stars come through the ranks in the way that so many have in the past.
"My stay at the club has given me tremendous pleasure throughout my life.
"I have made great friends, not least my staff who have remained loyal and steadfast throughout. My friendship with past players has remained solid and true.
"I have so many memories of success. I will always remain a supporter of Wigan and I am sure that success is not far away."
Whelan admitted that Lindsay's departure could trigger a change in ownership at the club and said he had already receoved an approach.
"I did not intend to sell but if Maurice has made his mind up to retire then it is probably timely for me to consider my own position here," said Whelan.
"I will now consider the offer but I am pleased that Maurice will stay until the matter is resolved. I will only release my shares to someone who believes in Wigan as much as Maurice and I do."