100 Owners: Number 73 – The Bhatti Brothers (Wolverhampton Wanderers)


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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4 Responses

  1. chris h says:

    A good article detailing the terrible times all Wolves’ fans had to endure in 1980s.Factually there is one error that I can see: the manager who returned and then quit stating he would not be a party to the destruction of a once great football club was Bill McGarry not John Barnwell. We all live in hope that the new owner does not leave us with a legacy similar to that of the Bhatti Brothers,but things don’t look so good right now.

  2. Ian says:

    Cheers Chris, and quite right. That’s my 1 in the morning subbing for you. Have updated it accordingly.

  3. Do-ohhh says:

    what really sticks in the craw NOW is that Morgan has either no excuse, or is dishonest, in his treatment of the club and its assets. The Bhatti’s either didn’t have the means, or want to spend if they did, being brazenly interested in an asset strip (which was rife in those Thatcher years). We all soon realised that, they made little attempt to hide it. Back then property developers were only interested in developing OTHER businesses on football sites, or flogging a destroyed or evicted club so that they could make other use of the site (where are you based NOW after 20 or more years of hurt Brighton, Chester and a dozen or more other clubs?) Today a property dealer, say like Wolves again have, can realise vast profit without kicking out the club, such is the money sloshing around the top division… and for four years, around clubs recently demoted from it… like Wolves. Unlike 30 years ago there was no need to play untried youth players to make up numbers, no need to allow as atmosphere of deep depression cause the majority of fans to boycott the club – because that’s what was happening when attendances sunk so low. Morgan – and the club – had the means to ensure we were not in the mess we were, players should’ve been acquired, or churned, during at least the last three transfer windows, but Mick was sacked after a fruitless January window, Solbakken was effectively given three days a month into the season to replace departed stars with what was left of the available talent, then Saunders was allowed one loan signing in the first window, then two belayed ones at the very end of the long loan one… nothing at all to change the direction of the club, a club in profit yet again. First priority should be, ensure the playing (level) safety and success of the club, without bankrupting it. Second should be selling the no-longer-good-enough-for-our-purpose
    leftovers, now not needed, thanks. Unfortunately the first, second, third and fourth priority at wolves is, profit, profit, profit. That Morgan and Moxey can take as much profit for the next three years in division three, as they could from Premier League football, is their bottom line, not success. Once again, fans not turning up would seem the only way for the message to eventually sink in. As someone who paid £29.50 (ahh, that extra ‘booking fee’ for buying a ticket… so appreciated – I’d prefer the ticket just said £29.50 and the club stopped openly treating me like a mug) to watch that non-performance at the abomination known as the Burnley game, I know that it SHOULD be easy to just walk away… but unlike the owners and CEO I’ve been a fan all my life, and as any fan of any team knows, it’s not looked at in terms of profit-return, it’s looked at in terms of love and desire for success.
    Dohhhh, i’m all confused. But I’m increasingly of the opinion that, in the context of times, the Bhatti’s were more honest than Morgan and Moxey. And THAT is saying something. Shockingly so.

  4. Frank Daly says:

    It’s worth remembering that Wolverhampton Council have retained ownership of the land on which Molineux stands from 1986 right up to the present day. They lease this to the club for nothing on a 999 year lease. The same terms are in place for the training ground at Compton Park. Wolverhampton Council are a silent partner with Steve Morgan and should also be held accountable for the recent double relegation.
    Like many Wolves fans I’m glad the council stepped in to save the club in 1986 but Wolverhampton tax payers cannot continue to pay the club’s rent. By way of comparison, Manchester Council charge Man City a reported £3 million per year to use the Etihad stadium. For 27 years of generosity, the least Wolverhampton tax payers are owed is free entry to all home matches.

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