Wolves might be third in League One but they are “miles ahead” of the rest of the division.
That’s the view of boss Phil Parkinson, in charge of tomorrow’s opponents Bradford City.
Wolves have managed to keep star players Kevin Doyle and Bakary Sako on Premier League wages while keeping £20,000-a-week Jamie O’Hara in exile.
Much of their ability to keep their big names is down to the £16m parachute money they are receiving from the Premier League.
To put that advantage in perspective, there are some League One clubs whose weekly wage bill isn’t as big as O’Hara’s pay packet, at a time when League One neighbours Walsall’s latest accounts show they paid £2.3m across 71 members of staff last year.
“They’re miles ahead of anyone in the division because of the parachute money they’re still getting,” said Parkinson. “Nobody can compete with them.
“That adds to the challenge. Kenny (Jackett) has already shown that he’s got the resources to keep getting players.
“Two years ago there was a three-division difference between the clubs.
“That shows you how quickly football can change.
“We’re in the same league now. They’re a big club at this level, and like with Preston, this is one of those games we’ve worked so hard to reach.”
Parkinson insisted Bradford won’t be fazed by playing Wolves tomorrow.
But he believes their much superior budget puts a huge pressure on Kenny Jackett and his squad to deliver.
“We’re not to be fazed by the name Wolverhampton Wanderers,” said the former Charlton and Hull chief.
“We’re playing the players not the name of the club – Bradford City are a big club.
“But with that comes expectancy and pressure. You’d never say anyone would walk the division but obviously they’re strong favourites.
“We’ve taken on some big names in the past at Valley Parade and given them good games.
“We’ve got to make sure we do the same tomorrow.
“If we can take the same work ethic we showed against Preston on Tuesday, then we’ll give them a test.
“I’m looking for that same determination and commitment and competitive edge to our game.
“They’ve got some threatening players like (Kevin) Doyle, (Leigh) Griffiths and (Bakary) Sako and you’d expect that with the resources.
“But we’ve got some dangerous players ourselves.
“We’ll give them the utmost respect because they deserve it.
“But equally I’m sure Kenny has watched our DVDs and will be concerned at the impact one or two of ours can have on a game.
Parkinson knows all about one of Wolves’ star performers this season – Carl Ikeme.
He had the 27-year-old keeper for a month’s loan spell at Charlton in 2009-10, when Ikeme played five games for the Addicks.
But he believes the shotstooper needed to establish himself at Molineux or another club for the sake of his career.
“I thought he was a good keeper but he’d had too many loan moves and needed to nail down a first-team place either at Wolves or elsewhere,” he said.
“He seems to have got that now and he’s got all the tools.”