CHAIRMAN Andy Straker says the decision on the AFC Totton team manager’s job needs to be made “sooner rather than later”.

Current boss Steve Riley’s two-year contract runs out at the end of the season and he has indicated that he would stay on.

Under normal circumstances talks would have already started. But this has been no ordinary campaign for the cash-strapped Stags. On the field, Riley’s young, inexperienced side seemed doomed in the first half of the Southern Premier campaign.

But a miraculous 2014 turnaround so nearly saved them before their fate was finally sealed with a 3-0 defeat at Stourbridge last week.

Off the field, club members have accepted that the only way to clear Totton’s debts is to sell their Testwood Stadium ground and lease it back.

Two separate consortiums have come forward with proposals to buy the three-year-old stadium and talks are on-going with the memberships’ preferred option.

Should a deal go through it would allow the Stags to pay their creditors, remain a members’ club and have a playing budget next term.

Regarding the manager’s job, Straker said: “Steve is on a two-year contract which is about to run out, which is why we need to discuss it.

“But we couldn’t really talk to him while we still had a chance of staying up and, also, we’ve had to concentrate on curing the club’s problems.”

Straker added: “The effort this season has been superb. It took time to settle into it (the Southern Premier), but the team we’ve got now could stay in that division. ”

Asked his thoughts on next season, former Bashley boss Riley said: “It will be nice for Totton to have some stability behind the scenes. “I like a challenge and I’ve enjoyed this season, especially the last two months. When you’re getting results and playing well, it gives you that extra spring in your step.

“I don’t know if I’m wanted for next season but if the chairman wants me to continue I would.”

Totton round off their home campaign against fellow relegated side Bedford tomorrow.