Tag Archives: Wolves

The make-or-break nature of Championship promotion

In recent years, the Premier League has flourished as one of the best leagues in the world, and with its success, the financial implications of the league have grown exponentially. Clubs have started to be managed as international businesses, and team crests have become commonplace icons across all cultures throughout the globe. TV rights have skyrocketed, with the Premier League’s current deal agreed in 2015 worth a humbling £5.14bn.

With all this considered, the gulf in profitability between the Premier League and England’s second division, the Championship, is unnerving. The Championship is considered by many as an unpredictable league, with a handful of teams every year making a push for promotion. However, for their team to compete amongst England’s best, club owners are required to get their cheque books out.

Reports have shown that clubs that successfully achieved promotion from the Championship in recent years averaged losses of £550,000 a week. Current holders of the Championship title, Wolverhampton Wanderers, took the league by storm in 2018, ending their campaign on a colossal 99 points. However, their dominance came at a huge cost, with the West Midlands side reporting a loss of £59.7m throughout the season, an average of over a £1m loss per week.

Similarly, after Newcastle’s promotion back to the top flight in 2017, the Magpies suffered a heavy loss of £59m during their journey back to the Premier League. Add on top the current predicament of Bolton Wanderers and their financial issues regarding players wages, it is apparent that the Championship is an economic wasteland for club owners.

The reason behind such huge losses for Championship clubs seems to lie in the cost of wages and transfer fee amortisation. In 2017/18, Wolves, Birmingham City and Reading all paid more than twice as much in wages and amort than their seasonal income. With the Royals finishing in a disappointing 20th position that season, it beckons the question over the sustainability of a Championship club when promotion is out of the question and such heavy financial investment has been made.

When teams are spending so much in a push for promotion, it seems that going up is a make-or-break situation for clubs in the Championship. However, the rewards for a promoted team are staggering. During the 2017/18 season, the smallest amount of TV rights money earned by a club was the £95.4m granted to West Brom. This figure alone trumps the seasonal income of the highest-earning Championship side in the same season, with Aston Villa reportedly making an income of £68.6m.

A disheartening correlation can be found when comparing the income of clubs in the Premier League, and the losses of clubs in the Championship. The income of Premier League giants is ever-increasing, with Liverpool’s expected profits reaching the eye-watering heights of £100m after their Champions League success last season. In contrast, the combined operating loss of Championship clubs since the 2014/15 season is spiralling out of control. The combined loss of Championship clubs in 2014/15 was £288m. That number has increased annually, eventually resulting in the £391m collective loss in 2016/17.

With the Premier League increasingly becoming a profitable international franchise, should more care be taken with Championship clubs in their pursuit of top-flight football?

Sean Fisher @seanfisher1502

Could​ Wolves swoop for this England International?

After promotion to the Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers have been making big noises in the transfer market after the signing of Portugal international Rui Patricio. The club with the envy of many Championship teams last season as they were able to attract high profile players such as Ruben Neves and Leo Bonatini to name a couple, and went onto win the league title. Now in the big time, they will be looking to improve on their already talented playing squad to ensure they are playing in English footballs top flight for many years to come.

With this in mind, the club is linked with England international Jack Wilshere.

The Sun is reporting that Wolves are one of a number of clubs who are linked with the midfielder. Since announcing he is going to leave Arsenal the other week, there has been plenty of speculation as to where he will be playing his football next season with West Ham one of the early front-runners for Wilshere, but reports in the Daily Star today suggest there is a stumbling block as the ‘Hammers’ are only willing to offer him a one-year deal.

If Wilshere isn’t willing to sign a one-year contract with West Ham, then Wolves should look to advantage and make a swoop for him. Despite the club already blessed in the midfield with the likes of Ruben Neves and Romain Saiss, having a creative midfielder with Premier League experience could prove crucial next season.

Wolves fans would you like to see Jack Wilshere at Molineux next season? Let us know in the comments section…

 

The Best Fans in the Championship

It is always going to be a long winded and hotly debated topic when any kind of ‘best fans’ argument is in place. Here we will be taking a look at what we think the best fans are in the Championship. There are some big clubs in the Championship, plenty of whom have all been in the Premier League in recent years. This list is in no particular order and not ranked in anyway. 

Leeds United

Leeds are a big club and Elland Road creates a sensational atmosphere when they get going.  Leeds have had a very good start to the season but the truth is, even when they were mid-table mediocrity, they still consistently had the highest numbers away from home selling out everywhere they go, including a massive 7,000 to Fulham away on a Tuesday night last season.

Sheffield Wednesday 

Hillsborough can always be an intimidating place to go and a great atmosphere. Despite their failed attempts to get to the Premier League and a disappointing  start to this campaign, they still take large numbers wherever they go. A big, former Premier League club themselves, they are a club like Leeds that the Premier League needs back.

Sheffield United

Wednesday’s bitter rivals Sheffield United have had a real time of it in recent years with year after year of disappointment at getting out of League One. Despite this the Blades have stayed loyal and faithful to their side and were rewarded with promotion finally last season. They haven’t had the best reputation so far this season in terms of causing trouble but they take consistent numbers away from home and get Bramall Lane.

Aston Villa 

After a very disappointing start to life in the Championships and generally a terrible last few seasons, the Villans really have a passion for the club and still travel in huge numbers and make a big noise going away and at their proud home at Villa park in the famous Holte End.

Wolves

On to Villa’s West Midland rivals. Over the years Wolves have taken big numbers away from home, even when they surfaced to League One. Whilst they aren’t the most consistent in terms of numbers their famous south bank at Mollineux with creates a fantastic noise for away fans to compete with.

I will take this opportunity to apologise to every other club in the league that unfortunately aren’t here! I will give a special mention to Derby, Forest, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Sunderland who could all arguably be on this list. Derby especially who get great numbers. 

Let us know in the comments below who would be in your top five!