Embed from Getty ImagesWho knew that on the 21st July 2016, it would take Wolverhampton Wanderers just three years to go from being arguably the midlands fourth biggest club (behind Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City) to becoming the leader of middle England’s football charge?
That date is significant because that was the day Chinese conglomerate group Fosun International purchased Wolverhampton Wanderers for a reported £45 million from previous owner Steve Morgan’s company Bridgemere Group. Following the purchase, Wolves involvement with super-agent Jorge Mendes was revealed after Fosun International had purchased a 20% stake in his Gestifute agency prior to buying the club which Mendes himself helped advise on. Embed from Getty Images
Wolves has always had a strong contingent of Irish players over the years, but super-agent Mendes link brought with it a sudden influx of Portuguese superstars to the fold.
China’s President Xi Jinping was also keen on the deal claiming he wanted to see more Chinese involvement in European football and thus all the pieces fell into place for one lucky English side.
Suddenly, Wolves were in the limelight with punters who try out Novibet benefitting from some great odds on the midlands club.
To say the Wolves owners are wealthy would be something of an understatement.
With an estimated combined net worth of $7.5billion, that puts the Wolves as richer than all but Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea.
The Fosun Groups wealth is estimated to be more than both Everton and Liverpool’s ownership combined.
Because of that, it is of little surprise to see Wanderers doing so well this season although few thought they would excel like they have done so soon.
So, just how far can Wolves go?
Based on the fact that Wolves have the third richest owners in the league who are not afraid to put their hands in their pockets, the signs are that Wanderers are more than capable of turning the top six into the top seven elite Premier League clubs.
Currently the club reside in seventh in just their first season back in the top flight.
If the Mendes link remains strong (there is no reason to suggest otherwise) and the 53-year-old manages to retain his ability to convince some of the best Portuguese talent to continue heading to the midlands whilst retaining the likes of Irish defender Matt Doherty, then the Wolves upward curve shows no signs of slowing down.
Word of warning
Wealthy owners out to cash in on top flight football is not always a recipe for success.
For every Chelsea, PSG and Manchester City, there is a QPR, Monaco and Anzhi Makhachkala (remember them?).
Owners who promise the earth, show short term success only for the wheels to come off is a reoccurring theme in football and one Wolves would be well advised to just keep a watchful eye on.
However, there is nothing to suggest that Fosun or Mendes has anything other than the club’s best interests at heart and that is only a good thing for the game in general.
It is exciting times for Wolves and one that could see them become European contenders much sooner rather than later with another team set to gate-crash the top four.