Express & Star

Wolves face financial restrictions after relegation

[gallery] Steve Morgan says Wolves must meet tough financial rules in League One – or face a transfer embargo.


But thousands of fans may get a partial refund on their season tickets after the club said it would review prices following relegation to League One.

New financial fair play rules mean Wolves' £25 million wage bill will have to be slashed as they begin life outside the top two tiers of English football for only the sixth season in their history.

Off-field jobs at the Molineux club, which employs 300 staff, are now at risk as the club adjusts to a lower level.

Chairman Mr Morgan said younger players 'will play an essential part going forward' and added:?"These will be supplemented by recruiting players for the challenge."

He said he would make funds available for transfers but added they would be 'within the confines of the new Football League financial fair play restrictions'.

From August, League One clubs can spend no more than 60 per cent of their revenue on wages.

In their last season in the Premier League just a year ago, Wolves shelled out £38m on wages, 63 per cent of its £60m revenue.

That money will severely drop away next season as crowds and TV?revenue decline, although the club will still receive a £16m 'parachute payment' from its time in the top flight. When the League One fixtures are revealed on June 19, Wolves will face trips to the likes of Crawley and Stevenage, as well as a local derby with Walsall.

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Bosses are braced to fork out hundreds of thousands of pounds in refunds to fans who bought their tickets under the early bird scheme at Championship rates.

A total of 9,036 supporters signed up and no further tickets will be made available until the new price structure has been put in place.

Wolves became the first English club to drop from the top tier to the third in successive seasons twice as they fell to a meek 2-0 defeat at Brighton on Saturday.

And there are fears redundancies could follow, with Morgan so far refusing to be drawn on what the drop will mean for the 300 non-playing staff at the club. He issued a prepared apology to the club's supporters and the city of Wolverhampton after the game on Saturday, saying:?"We have failed our supporters and the city and for that I am truly sorry."

Despite relegation, manager Dean Saunders is expected to remain in his job.

He said:?"I will sit down with Steve and chief executive Jez Moxey in the next few days and start looking at things."

However, 74 per cent of the 6,300 voters who responded to an Express & Star poll said the manager should go.

Meanwhile, Wolves are counting the cost of their history-making decline, set at £5million by football finance specialists Deloitte.

High-earning players such as Roger Johnson and Jamie O'Hara are expected to leave, but if no other club buys them, they may be paid off by Wolves.

The fall mirrors the last relegation into the old Third Division on the same date 28 years ago, May 4, 1985 – again at Brighton.

For 13 pages of reports on the fall-out from Wolves' relegation, see today's Express & Star

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