Wolves hunting glory as Chinese owners follow scent of success

China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-21 09:04
Rui Patricio has starred for Wolves this season. [ACTION IMAGES/REUTERS]

Fosun investment and assistance from a super-agent have restored good times at storied English club

WOLVERHAMPTON, England-Wolverhampton Wanderers have only sporadically enjoyed European soccer since their golden era in the 1950s, but Chinese ownership and a connection with Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes have made them a force to be reckoned with again.

The club's three league triumphs are immortalized in statues to Wolves legend Billy Wright and manager Stan Cullis at either end of the club's Molineux stadium.

The side they led came to be heralded "champions of the world" by the English press for winning a serious of glamor friendlies that ultimately led to the creation of the European Cup.

Sixty years on, Wolves could be back in the Champions League next season via a top-four finish in the Premier League-potentially fifth should Manchester City's two-year European ban stand-or by winning the Europa League.

Nuno Espirito Santo's men are taking on another Chinese-owned side, Espanyol, over two legs in the Europa League's last 32 and sit just five points off the Champions League places in the English Premier League.

Just six years ago Wolves were a sleeping giant, rooted in England's third tier, but a takeover by Chinese conglomerate Fosun in 2016 and their close links to Mendes have transformed the fortunes of the club.

The appointment of Nuno as coach and a steady drip feed of some of Mendes' star-studded client list saw Wolves promoted in the Portuguese manager's first season in charge and finish seventh in their first campaign back in the Premier League.

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