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Wolves fans: Promotion out of reach next season

More than 90 per cent of Wolves fans believe promotion to the Premier League will be out of reach next season – and opinion is split on owners Fosun.

Wolves fans aren't optimistic about their promotion hopes next season (Photo: AMA Sports)
Wolves fans aren't optimistic about their promotion hopes next season (Photo: AMA Sports)

Almost 7,000 voters – around 800 more than last year – have had their say on a variety of subjects after what’s been a tumultuous first 10 months for the new Chinese owners.

Wolves spent £27million on transfer fees alone but had to survive a relegation battle before finishing 15th under Paul Lambert.

With the managerial situation still up in the air – and Nuno Espirito Santo the hot favourite to replace Lambert – fans don’t fancy Wolves’ chances of ending the club’s five-year Premier League exile next season.

Only eight per cent believe that Wolves will win promotion in 2017/18, with 77 per cent believing it will take between two and four years to reach the top flight.

Of the Wolves hierarchy, sporting director Kevin Thelwell comes out worst in our poll. A total of 83 per cent aren’t happy with the job he’s doing, while Jeff Shi and Fosun get an approval rating of only 44 per cent.

Managing director Laurie Dalrymple fares better with more than half (60 per cent) pleased with the job he’s doing.

As for boss Lambert, who looks set to leave the club in the coming days, a total of 68 per cent of fans in our survey want him to be in charge next season.

A smaller number – 57 per cent – have been pleased with the job done by Lambert in the past six months.

Despite the marginal approval rating for Lambert a big majority of supporters (74 per cent) were unhappy with the football served up in 2016/17.

And the influence of agent Jorge Mendes on the club is a concern to most fans. When asked about his relationship with Wolves, 69 per cent felt he had too much influence on Fosun and Wolves.

Just 22 per cent said they were pleased Wolves were utilising his many contacts, while nine per cent weren’t bothered either way.

A poor standard of players was highlighted as the main reason (47 per cent) Wolves didn’t reach the top six, ahead of poor recruitment (34 per cent), bad management (11 per cent) and bad ownership (eight per cent).

Two-thirds of fans think Wolves need to spend at least £15million this summer, with new strikers top of their priority list. Half of fans prioritised buying a striker over any other position, while 76 per cent said Wolves needed between four and six new players.

Just under 60 per cent are happy with ticket prices at Molineux and the academy prospect supporters are most excited about is Connor Ronan.

Ronan earned 50 per cent of votes cast ahead of Bright Enobakhare (23 per cent) and Morgan Gibbs-White (11 per cent).

Unsurprisingly, the player of the season for the vast majority of fans was Portuguese record signing Helder Costa, who earned a whopping 76 per cent of a six-man vote.

Welsh international David Edwards, as at the Wolves end of season awards, was behind Costa on 18 per cent, with Conor Coady third on four per cent.

When asked if they would be happy if £13m man Costa was sold for between £15m and £20m – provided the money was reinvested in the team – 53 per cent said no and 47 per cent said yes.

Molineux attendances rose slightly in 2016/17 but the ground is often one-third empty. Only a winning team will lead the fans to return, said 81 per cent of respondents.

Just 15 per cent said cheaper tickets were the key to increasing attendances, with only four per cent believing more Saturday 3pm kick-offs would be the main reason to make a difference.

As for apportioning blame for Wolves’ poor season, many fans (40 per cent) believed all the key protagonists were responsible, ahead of Fosun (19 per cent) and the players (18 per cent).

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