Wolves left it late in their bid to avoid the drop last year and this season’s Premier League relegation odds suggest they will be scrapping at the bottom of the table once again.
Should they slip back down into the Championship for the first time since 2009, the club’s prudent approach will ensure that relegation will not have the same financial repercussions as it is having at the likes of West Ham and Birmingham.
The Old Gold have no debt and were one of only four Premier League clubs to post a profit for the year to May 31st 2010. What’s more, they actually have money in the bank to fund a stadium improvement programme.
According to Wolves chairman Steve Morgan, this “financially sound”, business-like approach should be used as a model by other owners.
He believes the blinkered, short-term outlook of some of his rivals often endangers their clubs’ long-term existence.
While this is undoubtedly true, the Wolves model of steady and progressive development also means that their relegation odds, which currently stand at 9/4, are unlikely to lengthen any time soon.
While manager Mick McCarthy bought big last summer with the captures of, amongst others, Steven Fletcher, Steven Mouyokolo and Stephen Hunt, the club are unlikely to countenance the sort of aggressive spending programme which could push them into the top half of the table in the near future.
As such, McCarthy will be under pressure to spend wisely to ensure his team have enough in their locker to preserve Premier League status for another year.
Jamie O’Hara, who spent some of last season on loan at Molineux from Tottenham, looks set to be the first addition in a £5 million deal.
Matthew Upson is also said to be on McCarthy’s radar as he seeks to beef up his defence, while striking additions will be another priority, with Fletcher, the club’s top scorer last season, managing only ten league goals.
With Norwich, Swansea and QPR all looking like they will be digging deep into their pockets during the summer transfer window, Wolves need to be careful they are not left behind.
After all, they are already fifth-favourites to finish bottom of the league next season at football betting odds of 9/1, with a successful punt on Wolves propping up the table set to yield new customers £250 if they take advantage of bwin’s £25 free bet.
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