Express & Star

Wolves 1877 Trust outlines stance amid season ticket price fallout

Following fans’ anger at the season ticket price hikes, Wolves 1877 Supporters’ Trust chair Daniel Warren has written for the Express & Star to outline his stance.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

It’s been more than 10 years since a long gold and black banner was first draped across the Stan Cullis stand. It marked the start of a campaign that began in the third tier of English football, following two successive relegations.

The banner, which read “This is our love and it knows no division” (thank you Toaster), reflected the feelings of many Wolves fans as they readied themselves for a season playing the likes of Carlisle, Rotherham and Stevenage.

They didn’t care who the games were against. Molineux was their home and they would be there to roar on their team. And there they were. That season, Wolves’ average attendance was almost 21,000, the highest in the division and higher than many of the clubs in the Championship that year.

Yet this week, that loyalty and the loyalty that Wolves fans have shown in the ups and downs since, is being sorely tested.

The price rises the club slipped out last Thursday (no announcements were made, telling you all you need to know) have created an anger among fans that I haven’t seen since Wolves tumbled down to League One back in 2013.

Let’s be clear here – the price increases (which appear to start at around 18 per cent and go north from there) are exploitative and unnecessary.

The Wolves 1877 Trust, a group set up to represent the voice of Wolves fans and which has regular conversations and meetings with the club, spent the spring telling Wolves officials as much.

When we polled supporters, many of whom find themselves in the teeth of a cost-of-living crisis, most wanted a price freeze. Performances in the last third of the season cemented that idea for many.

We warned the club that above-inflation increases would drive many away and create bad blood among those who felt they had no option but to pay. But they didn’t listen. No wonder there is anger.

Some have suggested that if Wolves need to do a better job at balancing the books they should look a little closer to home for the £2-3m the increases will raise.

The club has spent more than £13m on agents fees this season, even though signings have been thin on the ground.

Daniel Warren

Of the seven costliest players still with the club, four are out on loan.

Julen Lopetegui, who resigned after he felt that the goalposts were moved on him once too often by the club’s officials, almost certainly didn’t pay for his own bus fare out of Compton.

For many fans, it feels like they are now being asked to bear the costs of others’ mistakes. It feels that their loyalty – unshakeable and unquestionable until now – is being exploited by people who don’t have the first idea what the club means to the people of this city.

Added to the increased cost are inconvenient kick-off times set by TV broadcasters, VAR and a complete lack of investment in an increasingly tatty-looking Molineux – with some stands no longer fit for purpose.

We at the Trust certainly feel that the time for words has passed. We are asking for Wolves fans to act and to make their voices heard. Until the price increases are rolled back, we are calling for fans to:

- Boycott the season ticket renewals process. The more fans who don’t renew immediately, the more the club will listen

- Sign the petition organised by fan groups

- Boycott the club’s merchandise – including any new kit launch

- Sign up to become a Trust member so that we can be united in our opposition to moves like this one.

I will be putting money where my mouth is – I made a decision this weekend not to renew my season ticket. Jeff Shi doesn’t see me as a loyal fan, only a supporter number and it’s felt that way since Covid.

Our love for Wolves may know no division but neither are fans stupid. Many are fast falling out of love with the way the club is being managed by out-of-touch owners.

Today they need to listen to supporters and cancel these greedy increases.