Posted by: docdenbow | February 20, 2013

The Murder Of Wolverhampton Wanderers

It’s very easy for someone like me, and Wolves fans in general, to stand up and scream, ropes and burning torches in hand like a lynch mob, at Morgan, Moxey, Saunders and the players because of the situation the club finds itself in. Anybody can join a lynch mob – no invitations are required – but who has stopped to think about what has happened and how to fix it? It’s far too easy to cast individuals as villains. For example, are Wolves looking like relegation fodder because of Steve Morgan? Is it Jez Moxey’s fault? Aha! It must be Ståle Solbakken’s fault. Wait a minute, he’s not manager anymore, so it’s Dean Saunders’s fault? The players? Are the fans too negative?

Well in my opinion it could be anyone of the above so lets look at the suspects in the case of…………..


Steve Morgan – He’s the Chairman and the man with the money. In 2009 Sunday Times Rich List placed him as Britain’s 146th richest with an estimated £350million fortune, so he’s not short of a bob or two. I don’t think you can complain about how much money he has ploughed into the club, but I do question the huge investment in the stand when the club was not established in the Premier League.

Jeremy Derek “Jez” Moxey – Morgan’s Chief Executive, the man who controls the allocated budget. Although I don’t like him (face, hair, smuggittedness etc) I can’t really see that he is doing too much too badly. His job is to balance the books. He’s succeeded in doing that very well. Wolves are solvent and likely to stay that way. Where I do suspect his influence is in the contracts offered to players at the club and any potential new signings. The wage caps in place meant that even on promotion to the Premier League only unknown cheap players in the main came to the club. For all that, Doyle, Fletcher, O’Hara and Johnson were signed for pretty large (by Wolves’ standards) fees. Should we have signed  more decent “high” earners than the cheap tat that came? Dunno if Moxey was responsible for that.

Ståle Solbakken – A footballing manager at a club frankly devoid of what most people would call footballers was clearly riding for a fall. The results were not overly impressive and the loss to the mighty Luton Town led to his receipt of a P-45 (allegedly via SMS) Wrong manager at the right club? Right manager at the wrong club? Who knows? History.

Dean Saunders – I didn’t want the gurning gargoyle from the start. Successful as a player and as a manager helped Doncaster Rovers out of the Championship into League One. Nice one Deano. Full of soundbites and cliches about how the players are shit-hot in training. Yes Deano, but they’re playing each other.

So far I have given a Scottish style “Not Proven” verdict against the four suspects, there is no real evidence that proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

That leaves two more suspects.

The Players and The Fans

Football fans get a lot of crap from each other about what they should be doing and what they shouldn’t be doing with regards to their support of the team. At present. I am finding it very hard to support this team. I have grown up with the club from the Peter Knowles up until today and although Wolves remains a great club with a fine history we have very few players that are worthy of the Old Gold. Are the fans right to boo and catcall at the players as they head from the pitch after another defeat; or are they supposed to “keep a stiff upper lip” and curse the wretched luck of the Barnsley bounders for scoring two goals? But for all that I support the club and not necessarily the regime in charge or the players.

Members of one Forum roundly condemned the booing at Barnsley after to 2-1 defeat. Hmm, so if nobody boos because “it’s jolly bad form,” then I would proffer forth the suggestion that no one cheers or claps during games so as to not put off the delicate little flowers from their intricate work of losing all the time. The players need to be made to feel shame and if booing makes the players ashamed, then so be it. I have seen remarks suggesting that Solbakken “lost the dressing room,” I think the players are losing the fans.

So just who is responsible for the murder of The Wolves? Has the real villain slipped off to Ipswich with his evil partner in crime? Maybe his decisions and loyalty to crap players got Wolves relegated, but I do know we wouldn’t be on the slippery slope to League One if he had stayed.

Like my Belgian colleague Hercule Poirot, I have been using my “little grey cells” to find out who has put the Wolves to the sword. I have concluded that like any business structure, the buck has to stop somewhere. Morgan is the owner, so he is unlikely to be going anywhere. Sad to say the Jez Moxey is a director and picks up a total package of £1.19 million a year. Would he quit? Would you? So they are immune from prosecution.

Solbakken, not guilty. Saunders, not guilty.

So who is guilty then? Obvious when you think about it…..

Mick McCarthy. (I am joking here)

He single handedly, with the hindrance of Terry Connor, Steve Morgan and Jez Moxey, took Wolves into the Premier League. Sadly he bought some ropey players when promoted and blew the budget. Losing to Liverpool which led to Morgan screaming at the players in the Molineux dressing room was the beginning of the end. Had McCarthy told Morgan there and then to get out  (as he should have done) things may have been different. That’s a great what if.

For all my disrespectful comments here I am not scapegoating MacCarthy. He did a fantastic job at the Wolves, make no mistake about that. I do feel, however, that Morgan and Moxey did not afford him sufficient financial support in the cut throat environment that is the English Premier League. As I mentioned Doyle, Fletcher, O’Hara and Johnson were signed for sizeable fees. I have always wondered how many more players MacCarthy wanted but was not allowed to sign. But that, like Solbakken, is history.

So what now? Morgan and Moxey have right royally screwed up in the past year. Not properly replacing MacCarthy. (Saying they wanted Terry Connor all along – oh please!) and then going for a manager who had no experience of the English game. Then sacking him after saying his role was to be a steady rebuilding. Giving Saunders the job, and the transfer window and then giving him no money to spend. So yes, I lay the blame for the Murder Of Wolverhampton Wanderers firmly at the feet of the Chairman and his Chief Executive.

Can they redeem themselves?

I truly believe they can. They have appointed a manager who perhaps is the type who should have had the job at the beginning of the season. He’s young, knows the English game inside out and has something to prove. (Especially to me) He needs time, perhaps lots and he needs to be given free rein to build a team, dump the junk, and have thefull backing of the Board to bring in the right players. I think that’s the only way. To dump him now or at the end of the season would not be the right thing to do. Stick with him, give him a REAL chance and have patience. You never know we may yet stay in the Championship. If we do then we need to have a busy summer in the transfer market.

What we need most of all is for Steve Morgan and Jez Moxey to learn from their mistakes, and they’ve made plenty.

Ciao For Now




  1. Reblogged this on @bilstonjay and commented:
    My first reblog, ever.

  2. This is the best post I’ve read on any blog about our current situation mate. I used to have a rule, never reblog, but this is reblogged. Very even handed and thoughtful man! That’s not seen very often when chatting about the Wolves. Last night I lost my mind about all of this, today I’m very clear. Players aint bothered and get paid regardless, the owner is a clueless scouser. Recipe for….. disaster? Yes, we are going down and if we stay up we’ll be here again in Feb 2014. But by Feb 2014 we’ll be fighting relegation in league 1. It’s the 80s all over again, I’ve even started listening to Jive Bunny again. (C,C,C,Come on everybody….. let’s do the twist.)

  3. its simple for me Moxey and Morgan are the reason we are where we are.
    Them two dont have a clue about football.
    first mistake
    Mcarthy should have been sacked way before he was to give a new manager time to acess players and bring in his own in the January window.
    second mistake
    not making bruce or curbishley manager.they bottled it.
    third mistake
    appointing connor. I wont even go there
    fourth mistake
    appointing solkbakken, especially in the champoinship, needed someone who knew the league and done it before.
    fith mistake
    appointing saunders. a manager yet again whos only stint in the championship is to take doncaster down.
    6th mistake
    wasting 18 million on a stand we didnt need, players were more important.
    7th mistake
    not getting a director of football in , someone like graham turner or graham taylor , ray wilking etc

    ok i think you get my point by now.
    oh and just incase anybody says its easy in hignsight, i swear on my life i was saying all this at the time.


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