Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Laurie Dalrymple and Jeff Shi were both speaking to the media ahead of Monday evening’s Premier League clash with Newcastle United and the hot topic for discussion was Fosun’s plans for a redeveloped Molineux.
With our home ground already having been the topic of some discussion about how we can grow the capacity and improve future commercial revenue and sponsorship returns to keep us growing off the pitch as well as on it, the duo told Sky Sports that the eventual long term aim would be a 45,000/50,000 seater ground but rather than massive redevelopment in one go, the preference would be staged improvements that caused less disruption both to the club and the more immediate area.
The message was again the preference was redevelopment and not moving to a new ground which has been a concern for some fans.
“I’ve got no doubt whatsoever that we’ve got enough space here to stay at Molineux and I see Molineux as being intrinsically linked, both with this club’s history, but similarly with the club’s future as well. We see a benchmark that this club could grow to a 45,000-50,000 capacity in the medium to long term if we continue on the trajectory that we’re continuing on. So that means bringing the right players in, getting the right development through the academy, getting the right results, performing at the right end of the table, having consolidated our position in the short term. And if we do that, we can see there is a clear pathway that will take us through to something that will be in the high 40,000s.”
The likelihood is work would begin on the current Sir Jack Hayward Stand.
“The most important thing is to have enough capacity. 40,000-50,000 is not a problem by my understanding. Wolves is like a sleeping giant. We have a long-term plan, of course. Regarding the long-term we want to be one of the best in Europe, but you have to do everything step by step. The first thing in our mindset is to stay in the league and build a strong team to compete next season. I think to develop the club to a high level we need time. In football, no-one can do everything in one day or one season.”
Shi reiterated that it would take time and patience and inevitably we’ll have ups as well as downs during our continued growth, but that’s to be expected and it’s about having plans in place to ensure the overall curve is always upwards with various benchmarks on and off the pitch and Dalrymple echoed that.
With plenty of excitement surrounding the club already, that will only grow (as will expectations) as each next step is completed but I imagine many fans will continue to take belief from the clear long term plan that is in place.