Writer: Bill McCai
Date:Thursday August 9 2007
Sir Jack Hayward has been in charge of Wolves for the vast majority of my Wolves supporting life. For me, he is intrinsically linked with the club. And although there were times when his sons were handed 'the reigns' it was quite obvious who was the real decision maker, the real power behind the throne. There is no doubt that Sir Jack has made some bad judgement calls during his tenure, but I don`t think any of us are in any doubt he has certainly 'given it a go'.
One Premiership season is a paltry return for ( an overall ) £40m loss, and you do wonder what would have happened if we'd have won the play-offs in 94/95. Could we have done a Newcastle, or a Blackburn? Who knows, there was certainly potential at Molineux at that time and it would have been interesting to see how Sir Jack compared to the Halls and Walkers, as opposed to the Abramovichs and cash rich clubs who belatedly greeted us in 2003/04.
Despite whispers to the contrary, the deal to transfer ownership of Wolves has now been done. It is a great gesture by Sir Jack, and those who have doubted his intentions will surely be penning their apologies this afternoon……..
Anyhow, we now have a new man in charge. He is wealthier than our outgoing Chairman but is not primarily a Wolves fan ( although he is a long term follower of the sport ). In an age when the foreign dollar is investing in English football, Wolves are being taken over by an English man with a genuine affinity for the game of ( English )football, who knows what it means to the man on the street. Whether this will count for anything in the long run is questionable. Do Chelsea fans care that Roman Abramovich only decided to buy a British team having seen a Man United match? Do Villa fans care they have an owner called Randy?
The ( supposed ) increased investment, and the takeover in general will inevitably lead to an increase in expectation - as seen in the many of the Hayward years. Can Morgan's Wolves embrace this heightened pressure ( a la Sunderland last season ) and really become the ( established ) Premiership club we all crave? It's an interesting question.
One thing is for certain, despite being a football fan, Steve Morgan is a ( very successful ) businessman. He will know as well as us that the only place to be in British football is the Premiership. I doubt he has come to Molineux to watch £30m wile its way down the drain for no return. How patient will Steve Morgan prove to be?
At what rate should Morgan be looking to invest? What is the £30m earmarked for? Is that the 'fund' to take us up, or is most set aside for when we reach the top division? Is the £30m merely the tip of the iceberg? There have been suggestions that Morgan might look to attract additional backers once he has established his short and long term strategies at Molineux. After the 'tap on/tap off' approach of the Hayward years it will be intriguing to see how our club progresses with a cold minded businessman at the helm.
As yet he seems to be sticking with the set up that was so refreshingly successful in 2006/07. Yet while I would agree Morgan will know the value of continuity - he will also balance that against a ( greater? ) need to establish Wolves in the top flight. The ball is firmly in the court of Jez and Mick. Lets hope they can build on the achievements of last season and quickly deliver promotion. I get the feeling Wolves under the guidance of Steve Morgan could be a very different animal to what has gone before.
Finally, I would like to thank the outgoing owner Sir Jack Hayward for his generosity and the service he has given to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Date:Thursday August 9 2007
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