It looks like ticket prices are rising. We are getting linked heavily with beautiful players, there are plans ahead for the club that boggle the mind to be honest. It’s a confusing time. Are we being forgotten? Are ‘us’ the great unwashed being pushed gently to one side in favour of those with free cash and a desire to support a succesful team? Of course we are. It’s the nature of the beast. Much has been written about other clubs losing the heart of the club. Much better writing than I could hope to replicate, and I’m sure you don’t want to sit and plough through all that shit again.
But it’s only really a symptom of what Wolves and other teams have been striving towards for a long time, maybe 30+ years. Jack Haywood had some inkling about the way things were going but bad advice and a rigid dysfunctional management ethos at Molineux put paid to that. Jez Moxey and Morgan tried to instigate the same but those commisions had to be paid, the bonuses were all important. Lip service was paid to dynamism and growth but the only growth was in Moxeys bank account I suppose. Now the Fosun machine have the reins. Garglypimple has gone, he was a Moxey man, too redolent in the Morganisms of that period. Of course he had to go eventually, I would love the truth to come out over what happened and I daresay it will at some point but in the Fosun ‘Year Zero’ there is either re-education or death. Garglypimple didn’t work hard enough in the fields and he went to sleep on jets, flying across oceans on Wolves business, listening to the tap tap tap of Chinese never resting fingers on smartphones as they grew their influence 24-7. Nah Laurie probably had too much of the Moxeyite in him. The revolution didn’t want him that close.
I wrote a 250 page book about Fosun last year which I decided not to publish. The feeling was that well…we were beating these teams, things were happy and jolly. Why should I publish an expose when things are happy? It’s still on my hard drive rotting. I don’t think I will ever publish it. Why? Well…it’s nothing to do with me any more. I know Fosun are a growing company. I know who their main people are. I know they spend 20 hours a day in conference calls. These people are in almost continual touch with the HQ and Chinese Government entities. The business algorithms they use are high powered things, sculpted in the best Business Schools and Universities in China. They are tested continually against current trends in Business by ultra fast computers locked away in climate controlled industrial units in the Chinese countryside. It’s all data, all computed. Fosun are the Borg in many ways and that strategy has been succesful for them and others.
Fosun will continue to utilise all the public relations acumen they can buy. The messages will be layered in subliminal meaning we can’t quite understand. We will only really understand the sharp ends of policy. The expensive shirts, the merch, the ticket prices, the cost of refreshments. We are part of the algorithms now and there is no escape. The cost of a beer in the Southbank will be computed and analysed until they have a price which you can just about handle. Your demographics are part of a computer code now. But hey…you have great football to watch, right?
But that’s part of life now in the digital age. Your seat will be taken by a dude who earns 80k a year and can afford all the trappings which he thinks will make him a Wolves fan. He will want the success of the club to rub off on him and his two kids. He can wax lyrics of banterness at his workmates. Talk about football he barely has a clue about. Yeah man things will change massively and are changing fast. I intimated in my two books about Wolves that we should embrace the change and we can until the algorithms decide that we aren’t really useful to the club any more and we watch our team on pub TVs wearing shirts from three years ago.
I had an emotional outburst about Fingles again. I ranted and shouted that him standing in front of the subway with a broken nose and all his shirt buttons on the floor was a bigger part of what Wolves was about than what it is now. Most people like me aren’t succesful. We struggle from day to day trying to survive. Me by writing and others any way they can. We can’t comment on things we have no concept of. What do I know about Fosun really, or success? Nothing.
I do understand however that any great abstract entity like Fosun must have a creative and dynamic part of it’s algorithms. Basically it needs us. We are the ones that understand that taking the piss is integral to atmosphere. The songs, the stickers, the laughter. We are the ones that create identity. No matter how many flags you put on seats and how many fireworks are blasted into the John Ireland stand…if you ain’t got us it’s simply another Rod Stewart concert with people aimlessly walking around in a daze of consumerist madness.
There will come a point when we are all priced out of Molineux. It’s coming for sure. There will be a hardcore of course that have disposable incomes so they can jet off all over the world watching us play. We may even catch the odd match if someone we know can’t attend. It might have been a while since we went and we may be a little shocked to look at the faces around us and not recognise anyone.
But what can we do? Enjoy it while it lasts of course. Have a couple of seasons of mad success and jollity as we carve a path through the European teams and solidify our position as a bonafide English great again. Enjoy it while it lasts. But there will come a time when simple economics dictates that the season ticket is not justifiable any more. You will see your friends drop out during the next few years maybe. We will find other things to do I suppose…moan probably.
You see there’s two ways to go about being priced out of the game. You can accept it and move on or adapt. Here’s an analogy. In the early days of any sport there is some point where it has no money in it. In mine you could get the kit you need to partake in the pastime but you will never be succesful in a financial sense doing it. There are no sponsors, no big comps, nothing. I remember one comp I went to where I got second place and the prize was a can of energy drink (which I’ve still got). But the scene was always dynamic, it always felt like something new was going to happen every day. Some madness from some lunatic that would turn everything you knew about the thing you loved to do on it’s head. It was that insanity and creativity that grew the whole sport or pastime you were involved in. Soon the competitions were getting big sponsor packages, TV bollocks was happening, media shizz and all the crazy stuff that money brings to the sport. But we got priced out. Our insanity wasn’t wanted any more. Now the sport is for athletes and kids rich enough to fly all over the world and do their thing in other countries.
But we survived. We just moved into a slightly different shape. We adapted because we were creative. It’s the same with the Wolves team, we win games because we can adapt quickly, we are creative with skilful players who can see other aspects of the game other teams can’t.
Wolves fans should adapt too. I want to scream against the monolithic and abstract entity that Fosun is. They are not friendly. Uncly Jeff and Gang Wonglebong are not your friends, they just operate a business involved in that business you support. That business being Wolves. Our financial position as a club and our investment strength is waved around like a badge of honour sometimes and I think it’s funny some days and on others very sad. What voice have we got against the Fosuns of the world. Not a lot mate. But we have got one weapon in our armoury. We can change too. We can be a little bit more focussed as Fosun are, that focus should be on making money, starting a business, getting together with your mates and coming up with ideas to get that fucking season ticket money and the Euro money and we will probably end up in China at some point. How fucking brilliant is that? Instead of moaning about how we are being priced out of the game why don’t we start making our own money.
I will say this, most of the people I know with loads of money are either very thick or very clever. They have one skill and that’s either turning up every day at work for 25 years and doing your shit with minor complaints, and through the years they roll up the promotion ladder through sheer fucking impetus. That’s why you spend twenty minutes with a Manager on 70k a year and you are surprised he can tie his own fucking shoelaces, you look down at his feet and he has slip ons. But you have the other dudes who were just a bit clever, a bit creative and they decided to make their own money, their own way. But the clever lads are the ones I grew up with who have seen the hardest of times growing up. The thick ones I went to University with.
Let’s stop moaning about costs and start thinking about profits and how you are going to make money to pay for these trips abroad with Wolves. Let’s start working hard and real like those cunts who run Fosun. Let’s be like them bastards and start to gather some kind of a winning mentality instead of starting blogs and moaning that you can’t afford to go. It’s time for Wolverhampton to stop staring at it’s fucking feet and start to look up again, proud, successful and beautiful. Grab opportunities, change mentalities be like Gong Wanglebang and Uncle Jeff instead of being content to wallow in the same memetic ruts in the journey we are on.
Yes, Fingles was important holding is fists up to 3000 Manchester United fans by the subway in 1976. How dare these bastards come around our end etc etc. But Fingles used to sell T-Shirts and Jeans, sweatshirts and all manner of stuff on the Coaches. He made his money. We should do a Fingles, remember who we are and be proud but let’s make money so we can stay on the crazy train.