Express & Star

How Wolves plunged to the lower leagues and nearly ceased to exist - Part 26: Light at the end of the tunnel

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 26, light at the end of the tunnel.

How the Express & Star reported the rescue deal

When Express & Star men Peter White and Andy Donkersley were invited to Molineux on August 18 1986, they could have been forgiven for thinking they had arrived at the wrong ground.

Two days earlier it had been revealed that Wolves had been saved, their status in the League secured, and they would begin their first campaign in the Fourth Division with a home game against Cambridge United.

Jack Harris's consortium, backed by Ken Wheldon and Sir Jack Hayward, had emerged victorious, seeing off the late challenge from George Clark and the Richardson twins, but the details were still sketchy.

White and Donkersley were invited to Molineux the following Monday to flesh out the details of who would be running the club. And while the identities of those behind the consortium were hardly a secret, it must still have seemed strange to arrive at a Wolves press call only to be greeted by the chairman and vice-chairman of Birmingham City.

"Wheldon steps into the Wolves arena!" ran the Express & Star headline, with the new Blues supremo insisting he was there only in 'an advisory capacity'.

The new regime arrives at Molineux - including two Birmingham City directors

His former Walsall director Jack Harris would be club chairman, responsible for unravelling the numerous problems facing the troubled club. But the face that posed the biggest puzzle was that of Blues' newly appointed vice-chairman Dick Homden. League rules would clearly not allow him to hold a controlling role in both clubs, so what was he doing there? Blues fans as well as Wolves supporters would have had plenty of questions about what was going on.

It emerged that Homden's time at Blues would be fleeting, the Shrewsbury-based businessman departing St Andrew's to become joint chairman at Molineux with Harris. Sir Jack Hayward, who was also part of the consortium in a supportive role, would become club president.

Jack Hayward would also be an investor