Derek Pope has warned Hartlepool United will have to pay big if they want to lure Lee Bradbury away from the Hawks.
And the Westleigh Park chairman believes the Monkey Hangers ‘might fall over’ at the compensation package needed to make the former Pompey striker their new boss.
Pope refused to put a figure on what the Hawks will be looking.
He hasn’t heard from Hartlepool since Bradbury was given permission to speak to them about their vacant position.
With that in mind, he remains in the dark how talk of compensation will go down with their National League rivals if the former Bournemouth boss makes the move.
He’s also appealed to Pools director of football Craig Hignett to make his mind up so the Hawks can move forward and fully concentrate on their league survival.
Pope said: ‘If Hartlepool want him they will have to pay us a large sum of compensation.
'It is written in his contract and they might fall over when they find out how much.
'Whether that will prove to be a stumbling block remains to be seen.
'We gave them permission to speak with Lee after they approached us.
'I was a bit surprised that he flew up the next day to meet them, but that's football.
'They have had the chance to explain what they have on offer.
'Since then we have not heard a dicky bird and no-one knows what is happening.
'Obviously, we would like it resolved sooner rather than later because it is a bit unsettling.
'Once we know what is happening then we can get ourselves into shape to move forward.'
Bradbury was appointed Hawks boss six years ago, replacing the sacked Stuart Ritchie.
In his first full season in charge the club missed out on the Conference South play-offs on goal difference.
The following campaign saw them lose out to Boreham Wood in the play-off semi-finals.
Disappointment followed in 2016 when the Hawks were surprisingly relegated to the Ryman League.
The chairman and board, however, stuck with Bradbury and that faith was rewarded with two successive promotions.
This season - the club's first in the National League - Bradbury's side have battled hard to stay just above the relegation zone.
Ideally, Pope would like Bradbury to remain at the Hawks.
'I think everybody at the club wants Lee to stay,' added the chairman.
'But it is his choice. It will be down to Lee and whether he gets offered the job and decides he wants to go.
'Hartlepool is a long way away at the other end of the country.
'However, these events will now probably put him in the picture for other jobs that might come up.
'This is something that we will have to speak about.
'Until we hear anything definite, however, we will carry on business as usual.'