Express & Star

How Wolves plunged to the lower leagues and nearly ceased to exist - Part 13: The Doc departs Molineux

In more detail than ever before, the Express & Star tells the full Bhatti brothers story – a troubled era that saw Wolves plunge to depths of the lower leagues and face financial oblivion. In Part 13, Doc leaves the building.

Wolves fans protest over the lack of investment from the Bhatti Brothers during the height of the club's troubles in 1986

On July 4, 1985, Tommy Docherty was finally fired, almost exactly two months since the club had been relegated to the Third Division.

The flamboyant Scotsman was characteristically loquacious, reacting to the news by cracking open the champagne.

Sipping bubbly at Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, Docherty told the Express & Star: "I'm not here to celebrate. This is my way of commiserating.

Tommy Docherty marked the end of the road with a glass of champagne at Wolverhampton Tennis Club

"I feel very sad, but most of all I am worried for the future of Wolves and their players," he said.

"Whoever takes over from me, whether it is Brian Clough or Lawrie McMenemy, they will still face the same problems as I have had."

He said he believed the only future for Wolves would be for the Bhattis to sell to 'someone who is interested in Wolves', such as the construction giant Tarmac.

He lambasted the Bhattis for their secretive regime.

"How can you work for people you never see? Howard Hughes and Martin Bormann could be found more easily than the people who owned Wolves."

Express & Star man David Harrison wryly observed that whoever Docherty's successor was would be taking on a job with a difference.

"He will be in charge of a club with no apparent policy, no real identity, and no direction," said Harrison.

"He will be employed by owners who prefer to remain hidden from the public gaze and unaccountable to the people whose support they seek.