Wolves owners Fosun are willing to sell part of the club in exchange for more investment to try to turn it into a super-power.
It’s understood the Chinese investors value Wolves at £350m and are willing to sell up to 20 per cent of the club. That would mean a £70m stake is up for grabs.
Fosun bought the club for £45m from Steve Morgan back in July 2016 and they have invested unprecedented amounts since. Around £228m has been spent on transfer fees alone, with the club record broken five times under them, the latest of which was the £32.6m permanent capture of Raul Jimenez from Benfica in July. The club lost £60m on the successful gamble to reach the Premier League, but the huge investment was rewarded with seventh place last season – the club’s highest position for 39 years – a place in the Europa League group stages and the FA Cup semi-final.
Plans are also well under way for the development of Molineux. The first phase will see the Steve Bull Stand demolished at the end of the season to make way for a continuation of the new Stan Cullis Stand which will increase capacity from 31,700 to around 36,000, with the eventual aim over three phases to turn Molineux into a 50,000 stadium. The massive improvements on the pitch have attracted huge demand off it, with Wolves currently holding a 7,000-strong waiting list for season tickets.
Wolves are expected to sell 100,000 shirts this season – a record number which includes 4,000 on the first day of sales, a 202 per cent increase on last year, and broke into China this summer with the opening of a megastore in Shanghai and the team winning the Asia Trophy, all of which improved the club’s profile towards Fosun’s ambition of Wolves becoming a global brand.
In May, Wolves chairman Jeff Shi revealed Fosun would back Wolves ‘forever’ after expressing the belief that the club is a special asset to the multi-billion pound portfolio.
“I think we can see that football is special. Fosun can have many assets in the portfolio and some of them are much bigger than Wolves, but you see Wolves can give Fosun a lot of marketing exposure to the media and public,” said Shi.
“Football is a special thing, and it’s special for us. We had a discussion with (Fosun) chairman Guo (Guangchang) and I asked him, ‘if Wolves win everything in the world, will you sell it at a good price?’
“He said ‘No, I will keep Wolves in Fosun forever.’ Now, it looks like Wolves will be becoming a kind of legacy for the Fosun group, so it’s not like something we buy and sell.”
Shi added: “In Fosun, we have some assets maybe where we’ll buy and sell, but some assets are very crucial assets which we’ll keep forever.
“I think Wolves now is in the group where we will keep it forever. So, if we keep it forever, it means we’ll try to keep investing, try to make the club better and better in the future.”