Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside is desperate for manager Sammy Lee to end his rift with Gary Speed.
The People says Gartside - fuming at suggestions that he is taking sides - rates both Lee, the boss he hired, and Speed, the veteran he admires, so much that he does not want to lose either.
He is concerned that the spat over Speed stepping down as coach and being dropped from the side has escalated into a fight which could push the club closer to going down.
Gartside is keeping a diplomatic silence but a source close to the chairman pointed an angry finger at outside influences and said: "There are so many people who have left who could be bitter and could be trying to stir the pot.
"In situations like that it's important the people get together and work together.
"That's what a captain does and what a senior pro does."