Express & Star

How Wolves plunged to the lower leagues and nearly ceased to exist - Part 4: The Dougan era begins

In more detail than ever before, the Express & Star tells the full Bhatti brothers story - a troubled era which saw Wolves plunge to depths of the lower leagues and face financial oblivion. In part 4, Derek Dougan wields the axe, firing the manager and other club staff.

Last updated
Andy Gray pictured at Molineux in 1982

Wolves players turned up for training at Cosford on August 3 unaware that their manager had been sacked.

Andy Gray, who had made it clear he wanted to leave Wolves after his record-breaking move from Villa had turned sour, returned to Molineux at midday hoping to discuss his future with Ian Greaves.

He told Express & Star man David Harrison that the news came as little surprise.

"Everyone at the club more or less expected that," he said. "I had a good working relationship with Ian Greaves and I'm very disappointed to see he hasn't been given the opportunity to see his job through."

Mel Eves, who had been Wolves’ leading scorer the previous season, recalls the great sadness among his team-mates when they discovered Greaves had been fired.

"Ian Greaves was very popular with the lads, we were kind of sad to see him go," he said.

Derek Dougan wasted no time in getting his new man in place – but it wasn't the one people were expecting.

Fresh from sacking Greaves, Dougan and his co-director Doug Hope left Molineux for an unknown destination. Speculation was rife that Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner was about to be offered the role, but the following day Wolves unveiled his assistant as the new man in charge.