The local newspaper for Wolverhampton is warning that moving the club to a new stadium would “change it forever”, committing a “cardinal sin”.
The Wolverhampton Express and Star opinion piece says Molineux is their home and that the club knows how important the ground is not just to the club’s supporters, “but to the city, the players, the staff… basically everyone associated with the club” and that moving home would “potentially be the most divisive thing the club has ever done”.
The report praises the Chinese owners for the transformation of the club but that the decision to move to a new, bigger ground “boils down to history and tradition versus growth, modernisation, profit, progress. Perhaps that’s the way forward in a football world when money means everything. Fosun’s strategy has worked for businesses the world over – and it’s working for Wolves now. Look at how far they’ve come in two years.”
The report says, among other things:
“Molineux is absolutely dripping with history. The place reeks of the stuff, not to mention character, atmosphere, spirit, soul, the lot.
“Its location is key to the way people feel about it. In a football world where increasingly few grounds are based in the actual town/city where the club gets its name, Wolves are in Wolverhampton. Smack bang in the middle of it.
It’s the heartbeat of the city. Anywhere other than Molineux, it just wouldn’t feel like Wolves.
Other clubs have done it successfully, you might say. Plenty have in fact.
But can you tell the difference between flatpack Ikea-style identikit stadiums at Coventry, Reading, Doncaster, Southampton, Derby, MK Dons…they’re by a retail park, generally out of the city centre, they’re bowl-shaped and look exactly the same. And they lack atmosphere.
Club move new stadiums to progress. Sometimes it’s necessary, sometimes it works, but in doing so they sacrifice not just history, but the whole meaning of what it means to belong to a club, to a city, that unspoken feeling of attachment, of kinship, of warmth and comfort.
A home is a home.
Arsenal may have comfier seats to sit on, West Ham might be making a bit more money than before, but ask their fans if they preferred their current homes, or Highbury and Upton Park.
Fosun’s ambition is to be lauded in the strongest possible terms.
But some things…well, they’re just sacred aren’t they. Some things are more important than money.
And if Wolves did abandon Molineux, a part of the club would forever die with it.”