Wolves' path to double promotion can be fraught with danger

Kenny Jackett insists Wolves must be aiming for a second successive promotion when they kick off in August.

Wolves boss Kenny Jackett lifts the League One trophy
Wolves boss Kenny Jackett has already said he has targeted promotion to the Premier League as next season's goal.

But while Norwich and Southampton are recent examples of clubs who have gone from League One to the Premier League in double-quick time, history urges caution.

The bar was set by Paul Lambert’s Canaries, who stormed to the third-tier title with 95 points in 2009-10, before finishing runners-up in the Championship to QPR with 84 the following year.

However after stabilising in the Premier League in the following two years during which they finished 12th and 11th under Lambert, they were relegated this time.

Southampton, who finished seventh in League One the year Norwich went up, were promoted as runners-up to Brighton with 92 points in 2010-11.

The Saints repeated the feat 12 months later when they were second in the Championship, a point behind Reading. And they are perhaps the best example of a club rising from the ashes to stabilise back in the Premier League with finishes of 14th and now eighth in the last two seasons.

The other comparison Wolves should perhaps be looking to follow is the continuing success story in south Wales. Compared to Norwich and Southampton, Swansea have taken a longer route to the elite in a journey started by Jackett when he led them to the League Two title in 2004-05.

The Swans won League One in 2007-08 under Roberto Martinez and finished eighth in the Championship the season after, six points short of the play-offs.

Twelve months on, Paulo Sousa led them to a place higher and a point outside the top six. Brendan Rodgers then took over and in his first season, 2010-11, they reached the Promised Land via the play-offs, beating Reading 4-2 in the final.

Rodgers took them to 12th in 2011-12 before Michael Laudrup bettered it to end up ninth last season before Garry Monk secured them 12th spot this time around.

Other clubs of a similar size to Wolves have taken a little longer, such as Leicester, or in the case of Charlton, Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and Nottingham Forest, look as far away as ever to making the final leap up.

Leicester joined Wolves in the 100 points club this term to regain their Premier League place they lost 10 years ago, when they went down with the Molineux men.

And it’s been a rollercoaster decade for the Foxes that has included 10 managerial appointments, including the latest, Nigel Pearson, in charge twice. Since winning League One in 2008-09, Leicester have taken six years to reach the Premier.


After finishing fifth in 2009-10 when they lost in the play-off semi-final to Cardiff the year Blackpool went up, they had to be content with 10th and ninth in the next two seasons before ending up sixth last season when they again lost in the play-off semi-final, to Watford.

But if continued high investment has eventually paid off for Leicester, the same can’t be said of Charlton.

The team whose third-tier points record has just been broken by Wolves had high hopes of continuing their march only to be forced to settle for ninth last season and 18th this time around.

Jackett himself acknowledged the loss of the Addicks star players Yann Kermogant to Bournemouth and Dale Stephens to Brighton hit them hard.

The same year Charlton stormed to the League One title, Sheffield Wednesday – helped by a certain Danny Batth – were runners-up, led by former Wolves boss Dave Jones.

But they too have found it hard going in the Championship, finishing 18th last season and only two places higher under Stuart Gray this time.

Wednesday’s Yorkshire rivals Leeds went down from the Premier League with Wolves in 2003-04 and have been through turmoil in the dressing room and boardroom since.

They came up from the third tier as runners-up to Norwich in 2009-10 but missed out on the play-offs to finish seventh the season after and haven’t been as close since, ending up 14th, 13th and now 15th in the last three years.

Similarly, Nottingham Forest seem to have hit a glass ceiling.

After finishing runners-up in League One to Swansea in 2007-08, they have been forced to settle for 19th, third, sixth, 19th, eighth and now 11th.

Wolves have only gone up in successive seasons once in their history, when Graham Turner led them to back-to-back titles from the old Fourth to the Second Division from 1987-89.

The following season they ended up 10th, seven points off the play-offs in what’s now the Championship.

And the only other time they have been promoted from the third tier, 1923-24, they finished sixth the following season.

The bigger and ever-widening gap from the second tier to the top flight is shown by how Wolves have fared in their next season after winning promotion – 20th in 1932-33 (but avoided relegation as only two teams went down), 17th in 1967-68, 15th in 1977-78, relegated in bottom place in 1983-84 and 2003-04, and 15th in 2009-10.

But Wolves can worry about that when they get there, eh Kenny?

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Comments for: "Wolves' path to double promotion can be fraught with danger"


sensible article from the e+d for a change, lots of facts and figures and a delight for those inclined for statts.

but , to supporters all that info will be irrelevant if the lads do not put up any fight and passion for the shirt,club and supporters.

roll on august......u t w.


Slightly bamboozling and pointless article.

So basically if wolves get promoted, they can stop up, or get relegated.

And the same applies for every year they are in the premier league, stopping up or relegation.

Surely that's the same rule for 2/3rds of the premier league?


And let's suppose in a years time we are all celebrating reaching the Premier League again.

Do we assume that Mr Morgan will this time invest in keeping the club there, or will it be a quick 'taster' just like on the last two previous occasions Wolves have reached the Premier?

More Yo-Yo than Yam-Yam!


Personally I would be happy with a mid table finish next season with a view for the squad to mount a promotion push the following season having gained experience at this level.


This well written article demonstrates that splashing the cash is no guarantee to instant success. It highlights some teams that have gained successive promotions from league one to the premiership while others have languished in the championship for several years.

There's no substitute for quality, but other factors such as pride, passion, the striving for success by individuals are factors that ultimately make the difference. A lot of these factors were clearly displayed last season.

So, all this means is that Wolves have at the very least, as much chance as any other club in the championship to win promotion. But with a very successful season behind us, a talented young squad who will get better, an astute head coach at the helm, and a good back-up team, there's every possibility that promotion can be achieved.

The half empty glass brigade will probably dismiss the idea of promotion unless vast quantities of money are spent buying numerous players. They need to read the article again and fully digest it. There will inevitably be some new recruits to strenghten the squad, but they are likely to be in the "young and hungry" catagory, and not tired, old expensive pro's, seeking a last hurrah before retirement.

My glass is more than half full, and I will again be re-investing £10 out this years winnings on promotion. Cheers!

Nippy Lobo

This article doesn't establish a clear link either between transfer expenditure and a second promotion or between continuity and a second promotion. Certainly, what does seem to be disastrous is selling your best players. Probably the teams that have done well, like Southampton, Norwich and Swansea had a lot of continuity until after they reached the Premier League.

Norwich is a special case. They progressed well until the unfortunate row between Paul Lambert and the board. Probably we would have similar trouble after promotion to the PL if Kenny Jackett and the board fell out or if Jackett dumped us for, say, Everton or Villa. So, if we get promoted to the PL, it will be important to keep Kenny and to maintain the harmony between him and the board, which in our case means Morgan and Moxey. (As for the Canaries, the decision to replace Lambert with Chris Hughton always seemed a dicey one, with Hughton lacking the charisma and dynamism that seems necessary for PL managers.)

To sum up, what seems essential, if we want successive promotions, is for Morgan and Jackett to keep their good relationship and not to sell our best players, with just a few quality signings to avoid disrupting the team too much. If these conditions are met, there seems no reason why Kenny shouldn't emulate Lambert and Nigel Adkins or, if we have to wait a season or two, Brendan Rodgers at Swansea.

What is important is to go for it, so I like Kenny's upbeat attitude. Come on, you Wolves! Let's go!


Taking the PL in isolation, it annoys me when the media talk about the Championship play-off game being worth £60 million pounds to the winner. Well that's what they quoted last year, god knows what they will claim in a couple of weeks time..!!

The reason I get annoyed is that this leads to fans having unreasonable expectations. Let me qualify that......Firstly the amount they quote is normally spread over three years, so the clubs will not be getting that money overnight. Secondly all the PL clubs get the same basic amount and then the top teams obviously get more related to performance, results etc......but if you take the top 7 or so clubs to one side the rest pretty much get the same, so for the likes of the Tescos it doesn't really matter that they will get about £70 million this year because all the teams around them get nearly the same. So what I am saying is it's not unique to each club so they are competing on a level playing field financially. However where the advantage lies is over the clubs outside of the PL. The timing of Wolves recent demise could not have been worse.

Having said all that simple mathematics applies when you realise that if you were to take the top twenty teams in the world and they played in a league, one team would finish top and one team would finish bottom irrespective of how much was spent.

For all of Abromovich's money Chelsea won exactly the same as 35 other clubs this year.......sod all....unless you feel a top 4 place is "winning".....

This is my Love, it knows no Division......UTW..!!


There simply is no choice. It's Catch 22 for all clubs.

Splashing the cash may not guarantee success, but to reach the highest levels of the Premier League and gain entry to the Champions League, which has to be the aim of all home clubs, it cannot be achieved without it.

So some will boom and some will bust. That's the law of the game. Whether we like it or not, the longer we are outside the Premier League the more difficult it is to compete with the clubs already in there.

We have to get back as quickly as possible or it's bust eventually anyway.

This IS our love and it DOES know no Division, but our club has to strive to be the best or else there is no point in competing. That's what sport is all about.

It is no coincidence that the clubs spending the most are the most successful.

Kev in Mallorca

Or it will not!!


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