Open Letter to Jeff Shi

How you doing Jeff? You good mate? First…let me apologise for a few posts where I kind of let my angst fall out of my arse. I’m not really one to lose my temper over much and a few blog posts were definitely a bit edgy. Sorry about that. Very rude. I had been on Social Media a lot when those posts were written and I am afraid Social Media had got totally into my mind. That’s what happens when you are an empathic kind of a bloke like me. The bitterness on the SOCMED Platforms had seeped into my consciousness and made the whole zeitgeist one of tangled messages, choked narratives and threatening wordsmithing. Not totally blaming the ‘geist’ of Wolves fans on Twitter and Facebook et al but man, they can take some of the blame.

The dickheads you chose to increase the brand thing were a good laugh. I’m not going to cuss them too much now but bloody hell Jeff where did you get them doughnuts from? As a selection of the Fosun chosen brand growth international market vibe you are throwing off these scruffy gits sat around the table with Johnny Phillips (God bless him) were not a good look. They are a rag tag bunch of no marks that’s for sure. The U-turns on policy, tickets etc is also funny. You know you would have more respect if you just stuck to your guns you know and stop listening to the rhythms of Social media. This was where that Independent supporters thing would have been good here. I had set up some right clever gits to sit at the top table. Pro’s Jeff, marketing, construction, finance, local government, National government, artists, experts on culture and Wolverhampton. These people could have offered absolutely invaluable advice to you. Confidentially. Alas. Now you can enjoy talking to the other lunatics that have decided to set up trusts. Good luck with them Jeff

In all, I don’t think you have done a bad job since you arrived. It must be hard being dumped into the middle of a mental asylum like Wolverhampton especially with a Sino mindset underpinned by Fosun brand dogma. Extrapolating what you have learned academically in business with Gary from Bloxwich must be a tough thing. I can see that. We are not the brightest around here in terms of branding and commercial possibilities but we do have a lot of common sense and again it’s a shame that some dialogue never occurred between us but we will muddle along I’m sure.

I know that you have to keep certain issues quiet, I know that some plans have to be made that will annoy the fanbase somewhat. Growth is always a painful thing as we feel our shell becoming tighter and tighter…the shell of course that protects us against many things in our immediate environment. An environment that we have become comfortable with. Ticketing, Covid, revenue, the brand, the need to find funding, the need to spend that funding as effectively as you can. We grow as a club and as a fanbase and we evolve for sure but the growing pains and the need to put a crack in the shell so we can expand a little is a harsh, upsetting, emotional and difficult time. Mistakes have been made on both sides that is a fact. But I still think we are growing together in many ways…and Jeff even though I may throw some shapes in your direction (and Fosun) I suspect those shapes were just fear and trepidation. When you have a void of information from our club we feel like filling that void with our own madness and thoughts. Sometimes those thoughts are passionate and a little violent and that is how it should be because we are extremely passionate about our club and your Stewardship of it.

You see Jeff, we have a relationship you and us. We are connected whether you enjoy that relationship or not. In every relationship there are rocky parts where either you or us explode in a flurry of social media posts….us normally moaning and you releasing a video of players new or old, or another missive from your scruffy additions to project Wolves plonked in front of JP for a corporate ‘grilling’ which to be honest felt like a Xmas party in an Insurance office. To me at least. But if you make mistakes the results can be catastrophic. We make a mistake and all we get is a Twitter ban and some angst from the flakies on Molineux Mix.

I don’t think you are doing too bad Jeff, honestly. Nobody hates you at all. In fact we like you a lot but we don’t really get too much of a chance to show it. We lack a relationship Jeff. You are becoming a ‘trope’ or a ‘meme’ to us rapidly. The way to stifle this narrative is to open up a little, talk to us. Tell us of your difficulties in running the club. Tell us about some of the obstacles you face. We will listen and we will support you Jeff, but you have to tell us first. If we are prepared to change the whole way we support the club, for the good of the club, then you have to change a little too.

In a broad sense we supported the idea that Nuno had to move on. Nuno was a God to us and all we had in terms of information about why he was moving on was half discussed rumours and tales. We didn’t know anything and still don’t. Bruno Lage replaces him but who is Bruno? What is his outlook and Philosophy? How will he galvanise a great looking team into an unstoppable force in European football? Well I suppose YouTube filled the gap a little. Some did the research and regurgitated into tweets or blog posts but it’s still extrapolating bits of information from third party sources. There is still a void and we are filling it with our madness. Here’s a tip. Get JP to sit down with Lage for an hour and just talk about football and himself. Let him tell us who he is and what he stands for, what his football ideas are and how he sees himself within the Fosun machine. Let us see him Jeff, and listen to him.

This season is going to be a weird one, I can feel it in my bones. There may be some extremely dodgy moments to come when you are going to need our support and maybe even our ideas, who knows? In this relationship we can say it’s like a marriage of sorts. We are going to have times when we hate each other and times when our love will be solid and strong. That ebb and flow is what makes relationships fantastic and never dull. We will argue and we will fall out but every morning Jeff you will still have a nice cup of tea to wake up to because even if Wolverhampton has an ‘edge’ or an atmosphere of horribleness, we are still, deep down. nice people, loyal, friendly and helpful but always ready to start flinging punches when the need arises.

Mad times Jeff but dude. While you may be getting pelters from us and you may feel it all getting a little horrible….as soon as another team or the press get on your back we will be there for you. That’s the Wolves way. We hate each other in this fanbase, it’s always been the same stretching back to the 60’s. There has never been a ‘One Pack’ mentality when it comes to either the Board or the supporters. Between ourselves we are a family. That family argues constantly, slamming doors, throwing stuff and saying things we shouldn’t but when we are threatened from outside this club then we all get closer together. That’s the pack mentality Jeff, that’s the One Pack zeitgeist.

Do what you have to do Jeff, you know best. We will try to muddle along the best way we can over the next few years. Some days will be pure hell and some will be like a heaven on earth and that’s what makes football such a glorious fucked up thing and we love it with all our hearts.

I will be popping into Molineux next week with something for you. A peace offering. I hope you accept it in good faith. It is in part an apology for losing my sense of humour and writing horrible emotional things about your Stewardship of the club. Sometimes in the confusion of a brawl often a punch will land on a friend.

God Bless