Wolves owners Fosun International have been ranked as the best owners in the Premier League.
Radio broadcasters talkSPORT have placed the Chinese investment firm, owned by Guo Guangchang, top of the 20 clubs in a list based on performances on and off the pitch.
The article was compiled in the wake of the failed takeover of Manchester United by Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has reportedly given up in his bid to buy the club in a £4billion move.
The Glazer family, who own the club, have refused his attempts to purchase the Old Trafford club, despite the huge sum on offer.
But in ranking Wolves’ owners as the best, talkSPORT are highly complimentary in their assessment of how they perceive things are going at Molineux.
“Fosun International, owned by Guo Guangchang, bought Wolves in the summer of 2016 and have taken them to the brink of European football in their first season back in the Premier League,” they said.
“With the day-to-day running of the club left to (chairman) Jeff Shi, and with help from super agent Jorge Mendes – who has no official title at the club – Wolves romped to the Championship title last season to secure a return to the top flight.
“They made some of the greatest signings ever seen in the Championship, and bought a host of top class players for the current Premier League campaign who have performed excellently.
“Given what they have done for Wolves so far, many expect Fosun to keep investing in the Molineux club to make them one of the best teams in England, while youngster Morgan Gibbs-White shows they’re keen to produce young talents, too.”
Fosun have certainly transformed Wolves. In the near three years since they bought the club for a £30m investment from Steve Morgan, they have broken the transfer record five times and spent around £70m last summer alone on new players.
Promotion, via winning the Championship title, was clinched in their second season of ownership, the first under head coach Nuno Epirito Santo. That upwards trajectory has continued this term, with the team highly likely to finish seventh and with an FA Cup semi-final to boot. Either way, Wolves are guaranteed their highest placing since 1979-80, when they finished sixth and won the League Cup.
Contrast that with Fulham, who were also promoted with them last May. The Cottagers spent around £100m last summer on new signings and have been relegated back to the Championship.
Wolves have also been backed emphatically at the turnstiles. They have been watched by crowds of more than 30,000 in every home League game – the first time that has happened since 1949-50 and only the third time in the club’s history – while average gates are at their highest since 1969-70.
Season ticket sales are at 22,000 – an all-time high – and there is now a 5,000 waiting list. Little wonder then that the club are pressing ahead with plans to rebuild Molineux to cater for the extra demand.
Development plans for two sides of the ground are in place to increase capacity from 31,700 to around 46,000 over two phases.
Molineux’s oldest structure, the Steve Bull Stand – which will be 40 years old this summer – is set to be rebuilt and extended this time next year, from its current 9,500 capacity to around 11,000, to continue the two-tier build from the Stan Cullis Stand, followed by the doubling in size of the South Bank (officially called the Sir Jack Hayward Stand) from 5,200 to 10,000 in the summer of 2022.
1 Fosun International (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
2 John W. Henry (Liverpool)
3 Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Manchester City)
4 Gino Pozzo (Watford)
5 Mike Garlick and John Banaszkiewicz (Burnley)
6 ENIC International (Tottenham Hotspur)
7 Tony Bloom (Brighton and Hove Albion)
8 The Srivaddhanaprabha family (Leicester City)
9 Roman Abramovich (Chelsea)
10 Dean Hoyle (Huddersfield Town)
11 Maxim Demin (Bournemouth)
12 Gao Jisheng (Southampton)
13 Steve Parish, Josh Harris and David Blitzer (Crystal Palace)
14 Vincent Tan (Cardiff City)
15 Shahid Khan (Fulham)
16 The Glazer family (Manchester United)
17 Farhad Moshiri (Everton)
18 David Sullivan and David Gold (West Ham United)
19 Stan Kroenke (Arsenal)
20 Mike Ashley (Newcastle United)