I love Fosun and Jeff Shi. He’s a ruthless player of the game, part diplomat, part salesman. I’ve often wondered about writing a Biography of Nuno but I think that a biography of Jeff may make better reading. Maybe.
The Express and Star have been summoned to Molineux towers and been sat down in front of Jeff. ‘Of course moving the new development away is an option we have considered’.
Of course if you were that way inclined you could either join the torch wielding mob the large part (of which I would be among) The Sacred Order of Saint Derek Dougan. Or I would vent my injured angst on Social Media. Crazy times. We should make stickers and flags and demonstrate.
Or we could sit back and digest the zeitgeistyness. Jeff Shi is a fucking Jedi Master. There have bound to have been tentative below the radar pokes into the world of Wolverhampton land acquisition in the past 18 months. Maybe Jeff just had a look on Google for a minute see what was going on. Maybe he has a small crowd of degreed up to fuck Land Law specialists drawing up plan A-B-C-D-E and F for the tactics they are going to use. One of my mates is Chinese and he worked in the family Take Away after emigrating from China. He was a Lawyer for the local Land Registry a fine job. He left because he was given a case to arbitrate a land dispute that had been going on for 185 YEARS! Is Jeff Shi hardcore about this? I fucking bet he is. I bet you something else too. He knows how to deal with shit. You see I’ve met Jeff twice now. He hasn’t got a clue who I am. So when I looked at him past his PR face there is a bloke behind the smile who would hammer six inch nails into your head if it brought him honour and success within his company. He knows these battles to come.
At this stage all the redevelopment madness is in its initial birth phase. Ideas have been thrown out to consultancy teams to look at traffic flow and facilities, health and safety plans, evacuations, ways in and out, costs. Maybe they will love the idea of an environmentally sustainable stadium system. Hotels, shops, bars (not pubs)….it’s all exciting. The consultants would have found a group of Architects they like, maybe these Architects are commissioned to produce stadium A-B-C-D-E-F and to extrapolate all the information to potential sites 1-2-3-4-5-6. But Jeff probably has his hands behind his back and he’s looking out over the dingy car park and the top of Molineux alley. He knows Molineux is Wolves because he understands the magic of geography. He understands ‘Territory’.
Robert Anton Wilson once said that ‘The Map is not the territory’. He was right of course. but there are exceptions. Jeff and Laurie know that the real enemy they have to deal with isn’t the owners of the land. It’s the Council. Not the Councillors of course. They will get their snout in the trough at some point. You could move the Molineux to Telford for all they fucking care. But the politicians of the civic center do worry about votes. Voters wont be happy that the one jewel in Wolverhamptons Crown is about to be pawned off for a car park or fucking student apartments called ‘The MoliMews’ or some crazy fucked up shit. So the enemy Jeff is thinking about are Council Officers. These are the grey fucking suits of the Wolverhampton Kremlin mate. They wield great power behind the scenes and they are the ones Jeff has spoken to over the medium of our local newspaper. That fucking news was just for them wasn’t it Jeff. You wanted to have a little chat before the big files start to fly around the murky world of local politics and services. What a fucked up place. Would you put ‘Little’ Jeff Shi at war with these reptiles and lizards?
But Jeff isn’t daft. The name ‘Jeff’ belies what lies beneath my friends. Remember the six inch nails. Jeff has said ‘Hey guys, this is how it is and this is step 1 of the whole discussion. You give us a slice of the big city cake. We will build beautiful infra structure. Invest in jobs, build huge projects, change the face of Wolverhampton into a vibrant tourist attraction where people will watch great football and have great times looking at the things we have built…or we can fuck it off somewhere else. Your Councillors will face the abyss of disinterest in anything to do with Wolverhampton center. The couple of million squid Europe threw at us will dry up. Investment will be at an all time low. Social problems, the negative list is endless. What will the Wolves be without Molineux? Another Milton Keynes Dons. A manufactured entity for an easily beguiled audience across the world? How long before some billionaire then decides to start a new Wolverhampton team, call it Saint Lukes, Steve Bull would be on the board probably, maybe Planty as well.
Jeff ain’t going anywhere.
I bet, thinking about it. Maybe Jeff has got plans B-C-D-E-F tucked away on his hard drive somewhere or the FOSUNCLOUD a great fucking satellite computer in space. Who knows. But Jeff aint opening them. They are just the back up plan to show the Gonks at Fosun China that he has his head screwed on. What Jeff has read is Plan A at Location 1. The redevelopment of Molineux. This place fucking drips emotional history. It has soaked into the stadium and the surrounding areas, blood and soil I suppose. Or blood and tarmac. Jeff knows the power that idea of territory actually is. Because Robert Anton Wilson was right. The map is just a system of lines and angles on a piece of paper or a computer. Territory is something much deeper. It is a relationship to the land no matter how dysfunctional it seems. It is love and respect for that territory, because the territory holds all the fucking history. Does Jeff know this? Of course he does. The Chinese revere history, they learn from it constantly, history and the study of the past is reflected deeply within that culture. It is academic and metaphysical at the same time. It is a most successful model. Molineux is Wolves and Wolves is Molineux. We are rare that we still inhabit the same place we began all those years ago. Most of the other clubs in the Premier league do not have that. These grand renamed monobrand stadiums a spectacle but not spectacular.
I’m sure the whole tangled propaganda machine will keep spurting out claim and counter claim. Subterfuge on an industrial scale. Threats and counter threats. We will watch from afar like cowering humans as the giants hurl mountains at each other. Ah fuck knows. I do know we ay going anywhere. Tomorrow I will wax about the land around Molineux and all that shit.