It always makes me feel a little uncomfortable when all of a sudden you get an article appear on the interweb concerning Wolves. Especially when it’s some sort of Wolverhampton Council-Express and Star mash up with fat quotes and very little content. It stokes moods straight away and the blunter thumbs start to grow the meagre informations into grand stories.
So the Council top arse gasket Tim Johnson (an Everton fan may the Lord forgive him) has decided to leak a little of the information he has out to the wider scumbags like me and you. I looked at it this morning anew really because I knew about the bridge idea last year but was told to shut up, which was pointless really because I promptly forgot about it until this morning. But there you go.
Now any information like this will provoke a couple of knee jerk responses. One of them will be that the Subway underneath the ring road which links Molineux to the City Centre is an iconic, legendary piece of late sixties early seventies Bauhausian architecture as well as a cultural centrepiece for most Wolves fans. The other response is that it’s piss smelling, dark and dank, maybe a dangerous thing and should be smashed to pieces for a funky new bridge like thing that reflects the changing face of the new Fosunhampton that’s going to be splurging fat arsed dickheads in concrete stained High-Vis jackets all over the place before we know it.
My childhood was spent playing in and around the subway and Molineux and to be honest I could stick 50k words up here about the stories I could tell. Most of them involve skateboards, sleeping in the fucking thing, getting a knee trembler in there (Hey Stephanie! X) and getting a few kickings (and giving a few out). I’m not going to bore you with that crap today but discuss what I think about it, which probably amounts to piss all in the scheme of things.
As I said yesterday in my post about Fosun, I discussed how they were pretty hardcore in the way they do things business wise. Add to that mix a fairly dysfunctional Council and you get a good grey mix of who knows what’s going on? From conversations with people in the know, I do know a few things. One of them is that due to FFP legislation and a key Fosun directive the new stadium is going to have to be self financing to a large degree. This means the Casino, restaurants, theatres blah whatever are going to have to be used and used a lot when there aren’t any matches on. They are there to bring in money to the club. There are probably other partners to satisfy financially but the whole idea is that Molineux will be a focal point for a new Wolverhampton entertainment quarter. The revamping of the Civic Halls will be another jewel in the crown of the City. The Civic halls brought a lot of people into the City to spend money and I think Wolverhampton has greatly missed that source of revenue due to unforeseen (perhaps) asbestos problems. Whatever.
The main bugbear of any infrastructure project is getting people in and out of the City safely once they have splodged their cash on the crap people spend their money on. Now if you think about it the majority of people coming into the new Molineux Entertainment Quarter will be people who have no idea about the football stadium nestled quietly to one side of the whole quarter. They don’t care about football or the club, they want the cinema or the casino, the places to eat and drink that will spring up around there. They will want to come into the quarter with some semblance of safety, in an environment that is non threatening and brightly lit. They want to be those photoshopped drongos on architectural mock ups laughing hand in hand as they sip their Corpo-Coffee and eat Soylent Green baps.
You are not going to get that feeling walking through some dank subway with some funky plastic sheets screwed to the walls so you can’t see the marker pen art of cocks, tits, fannies and street poetry that involves the words ‘shit’ and ‘fuckoff’. They don’t want to see the bloke with the Staffy (who incidentally drives a better car than me) stuffed up the wall looking all grim and sad. All that shit has to be swept away so that those doughnuts with free cash feel happy spending it. Now all this cash being spent gives me a bit of a hard on weirdly enough because it means that Wolves will have money to spend on sexy players with expensive haircuts that will propel us to the higher regions of football madness. Yes it is great having that ‘birth’ experience as we are squeezed together singing in the subway, the condensation dripping off the walls, things are a bit claustrophobic but there! The end of the subway, light, and the magnificence of Molineux as we burst out of the darkness. Oh my days, the battles in there…
But really, it’s shit. It’s only really lively on match days and other days when you walk through it by yourself it is a scary experience. Ask Charlie Nicholas somebody, he got a kicking in there once. I know a few women that have been attacked in it. When there are no crowds to protect you in that mask of anonymity a large number of people tend to provide when walking through there is very shit. I can’t see Mr and Mrs Worrell-Snout from Shrewsbury walking down it to eat and catch a film in the new quarter enjoy a couple of Roadmans from Reans taxing all their Credit cards and cash off them. I can’t see it. As romantic as it is thinking back to the days when the subway was a centre point for naughty goings on those days are past, gone, done and dusted. Everything about the subway now is just a memory and stories told by people who wouldn’t be seen dead walking down there at 1am on a Saturday night.
I haven’t got a clue what a bridge will look like spunked across the ring road and the subway filled in, I haven’t got a clue what the Metro spur will look like either as it deposits those cash cows onto the slabs around the quarter. What has it got to do with us any way? Absolutely nothing. Nobody has asked my opinion on it, have they asked you? The only way we can save a bit of the subway now is by talking about it, writing about it and sharing stories with everybody we know so that they know too. Yes the subway is part of our history but one that can’t be allowed to stand in the way of ‘progress’. Redevelopment will bring in a lot of jobs for sure. It may galvanise Whitmore Reans which would be a good thing, an excellent thing. Yes, fill it in if you want but don’t forget it’s polite to ask people what they think about it first and not to parade some Everton supporting arsewipe at the Council in the local press telling us what he thinks about it.