Wolves' success brings old gold rush for Wolverhampton businesses

Businesses in Wolverhampton are predicting a gold rush, thanks to Wolves’ promotion to the Premier League.

The feel-good factor for Wolves fans will help boost business in and around Wolverhampton
The feel-good factor for Wolves fans will help boost business in and around Wolverhampton

With the club set to bank as much as £140 million for participating in the richest league in the world, business is also set to benefit.

Wolves’ promotion is likely to have a financial knock-on effect for everything – from bars and shops to restaurants and hotels in the region.

Sam Kent, who runs the Billy Wright pub with his girlfriend, Skye Hughes, said: “It’s brilliant for the town, and brilliant for the pub trade without a doubt. It will be massive, you can’t move in here on match days.”

Sam added: “I think it will help businesses in the city a lot. It should be a good thing.”

It’s not just trade that is likely to benefit. Business owners say the ‘amazing’ atmosphere in the city on match days could also improve.

Wolves success has improved the city vibe, according to Basra and Charlie Kay

Basra Kay, who runs Charlie’s Fish Bar in the city centre, said: “Fans come here and they all mix with each other and it’s amazing. It’s so nice to see. I’m really hoping the home atmosphere gets even better.

She added: “This season, what makes me happy is the atmosphere in the town – it’s a lot better. I think it will continue.”

Mrs Kay’s husband, Charlie, added: “We need something to pick up the city. I would say we’ll get a five per cent increase in trade from promotion.”

Tracy Fleet, who manages Irish Mcghee’s bar, also praised the matchday atmosphere. She said: “We get ram-packed on a match day – the atmosphere is amazing. The support that the Wolves have is just amazing.”

Tracy also predicted promotion will bring benefits to businesses of all sizes. She said: “It’s going to impact the business a lot. It’s going to be great for the town centre and all businesses and small businesses.

She added: “I think trade will be 10 per cent higher. I can’t wait for next season, bring it on.”

Staff from several pubs in the city centre said they were already at capacity on match days as fans drink up their club’s success.

Angel Kelly, who works at The Hogshead pub in Wolverhampton, said: “At a recent fixture we had to close the pub for an hour. We literally had nothing left.

Angel Kelly says the The Hogshead gets rammed and at times sells out of drink

“We are absolutely rammed on match days, you can’t move.”

Bea Kaur, who runs the Duke of York pub, added: “We’re very very busy all day on match days.

“When Wolves played Birmingham, it was the most money I have ever taken.

“I was short-staffed that day and my customers even helped me out.”

Bea Kaur from the Duke of York had record takings from the Birmingham game

Bea, who has run the pub for two-and-a-half years, also noted the positive, non-confrontational atmosphere in the city.

She said: “The atmosphere is wicked and there’s a nice buzz in the town. People stay out longer, and there’s no trouble or anything.

She added: “Different sides of the town all bond together.”

Club chairman Jeff Shi recently unveiled his vision for a expansion of Molineux to bring the ground’s capacity up to 50,000.

If this were to happen, it could mean even more footfall in and around the ground which would bring with it knock-on effects for businesses.

Bea said: “Hopefully it will make town busier and with footfall picking up that can help retailers. It will be a city they want to visit.

She added: “I think it will help the little businesses as well as the hotels and restaurants.”

Karl Allen, who has run the Old Still pub with his wife, Sue, for 18 months, outlined the upturn in fortunes for his pub since head coach Nuno’s revolution.

Karl and Sue Allen from the Old Still have seen a definite upturn in trade

“On a Thursday night in December 2016 Wolves played QPR and there were about seven people here watching it.

“When they played Birmingham recently we had 100 people inside during the game. By 10am we were full.”

He added: “I remember the last time they were in the Premier League and the atmosphere in the town. It seemed to lift everyone. Karl said that although he was already at capacity on match days. He predicted more supporters in the city would help to fill those pubs which aren’t as busy.

“We’re at capacity at 11am until we close at 11.30pm and we’re still full then.

“The pubs that haven’t done much trade this season, they should see more footfall in to their pubs. It will help them.”

Underlining the importance of Wolves’ success to the city’s hospitality sector is one business owner’s claim that football match days account for half his entire turnover.

Dave Buck runs the Lych Gate Tavern in the city centre. He said: “About 50 per cent of our turnover is match days. It’s huge for us.

Sales on match days account for half my turnover – Dave Buck of the Lych Gate Tavern

“We can sell up to one thousand pints of some of our beers.

Dave, who has owned the pub for two years, added: “The feel-good factor is massive for everyone.

“Everybody has a massive boost.”

Jas Singh, who runs the Premier Lodge hotel in Wolverhampton city centre, added: “Being in the Premier League should help everybody. It should boost them up.

“It’s really good for the economy.”

Chairman Jeff Shi has also outlined the club’s dream to become a top-six Premier League team, which would boost the profile of the club – and the city – on a global scale.

Jas, who has owned his business for 16 years, added: “We have got a top team and if they get into Europe next year it could really help the city.

“It really would help Wolverhampton as a city, especially if we can go on a run in the cups and stay in the Premier League

“That will put Wolverhampton’s name on the map.”

And if Wolves’ transfer policy continues, Monica Ferreira, who runs Aromas De Portugal cafe in Wolverhampton city centre, might need to expand her premises to accommodate the club’s already strong Portuguese contingent.

Monica Ferreira from Aromas de Portugal regularly gets Wolves stars in

Monica’s eatery, which is the only Portuguese cafe in the city, is a regular haunt for Wolves’ Portuguese players and staff, including star man Ruben Neves and boss Nuno.

Monica has run the business for eight months, having lived in the UK for seven years.

She said: “They are very humble, they are really, really nice people.

“The other week they were having photos taken with everyone.”

Having previously worked in a bakery in her home country, Monica opened the business after moving to the region with her husband when the company he works for relocated to the West Midlands.

“I think the promotion is really good for the city,” she said.

“We’ll have more customers from other cities.”

Monica predicted her trade could increase by nearly a third following promotion.

She said: “I think we could be as busier as 30 per cent.

“I think it’s going to benefit everyone.”

That, of course, is just as long as top midfielder Ruben Neves knows his limit on the sweet treats!

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