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Wolves former partner club FC Jumilla goes bust

Wolves’ recent partner club FC Jumilla have gone bust.

Reports claim the club, based in south-east Spain, ceased trading after losing a court case against former captain Jorge Perona, who sued after they failed to pay social security costs following the termination of his contract in 2017.

The Spanish club, who were founded in 2011 but relegated to Segunda División B Group 4 – the fourth tier – last season, took nine Wolves youngsters on loan last term before the partnership ended during the summer. Wolves chairman Jeff Shi later said it was a ‘pilot scheme’ for link ups with other clubs.

Jumilla owner Steven Lee, also known as Li Xiang, was ordered to pay 400,000 euros in addition to other administration costs, prompting him to quit.

It’s a long story and happened several years ago,” Lee told BirminghamLive. “There’s a case and it’s very complicated. It happened three years ago before we had total control of the club. A former captain claimed we didn’t pay social security while he was at the club and sued us.

The court said we would have to pay his salary until he was 65 – can you believe that? It’s insane. It’s illogical. And we were told to pay all that money immediately. All of a sudden we owe 400,000 euros. We had no other choice but to walk away from the club.”

At one stage last season, four Wolves players – goalkeeper Jack Ruddy, midfielders Will Randall and Ben Stevenson and striker Donovan Wilson – featured in their starting line-up.

Since ending the agreement, Wolves have loaned three players to Slovakian outfit FC DAC 1904. Closer to home, the club has had close links with AFC Telford United.

Speaking in the summer, Shi believes Jumilla couldn’t offer a high enough level of football to be of use to Wolves. “At the beginning we thought it was the right level, the only way to know is to try it,” he said.

Wolves are growing very fast. If we were in the Championship or a lower-table Premier League team, Jumilla would be a fit for us. But in the future maybe we need a better partnership club to grow our young players.”