Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wolves experienced sporadic

Wolves experienced sporadic form during the early part of 2002–03, and thus were never in contention for the automatic promotion places. The team turned the corner with a thrilling 3–2 FA Cup win over Newcastle United, going on to lose just two of their 20 league games after this, securing them 5th place and a play-off semi-final clash against newly promoted Reading. Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B battery

Victory in both legs earned Wolves a place in the Play-off Final against Sheffield United, their first play-off final at their fourth attempt. In the Millennium Stadium-staged final, three first half goals from Mark Kennedy, Nathan Blake and Kenny Miller, respectively, were enough to earn Wolves a long awaited place in the Premiership, after 19 years in the lower echelons of English football. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B battery

Their debut season in the Premier League was tough, with key players Matt Murray and Joleon Lescott injured for the entire season, and several others absent from the start. Their spending power to strengthen the team was relatively low as Hayward instead opted to put the club up for sale. Sony VAIO VPCYB3V1E/R Battery

Despite these setbacks, Wolves overcame their seven game winless start to eventually achieve some commendable results, in particular a 1–0 win over Manchester United. However, failing to win a single away game meant that their relegation battle was ultimately lost, and they finished bottom of the table on goal difference, bracketed together on 33 points with the two other relegated teams. Sony VAIO VPCF23P1E Battery

Despite hopes for an immediate return to the top flight, their 2004–05 campaign began dismally, and at one point the side sunk as low as 19th place. Following a 0–1 defeat at Gillingham, a side Wolves had beaten 6–0 just eighteen months previous, Jones was sacked at the beginning of November. Sony VAIO VPCF23N1E Battery

Another former England coach was hired the following month, as Glenn Hoddle was appointed on a rolling one-year contract. Under Hoddle, Wolves lost only one of their final 25 league games, but drew 15 to finish ninth in the final table – not enough to qualify for the play-offs. Wolves then finished a disappointing seventh in 2005–06 as fan discontent grew, Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery

disenchanted with the lack of passion and pride from the team, including from Hoddle himself who had not moved to the area. Though the board expressed no displeasure with Hoddle publicly, with Jez Moxey affirming his faith in the under fire manager, the season had been frowned on by both local media and the fan base. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/G battery

However, few had anticipated Hoddle's sudden resignation mere moments before England's World Cup quarter-final clash with Portugal.

Following the exit of Hoddle in pre-season in 2006, Wolves staged a complete clearout, stripping the squad and wage bill down and appointing former Republic of Ireland and Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy. Sony VAIO VPCF24M1E battery

Wolves therefore commenced the 2006–07 season with only the bare bones of a first team squad and with the lowest expectations around the club in years.

McCarthy acknowledged the challenge, stating to local media "The initials MM on my top stand for Mick McCarthy, not Merlin the Magician",and quickly scraped together a squad, Sony VAIO VPC CW2MFX/PU Battery

largely from the club's youth ranks, out of contract players and loan signings. After an inconsistent first half to the season, an impressive run of form followed and the club eventually made the play-offs, despite earlier expectations. They were paired with local rivals West Bromwich Albion in the semi-finals, where they lost out over two legs. Sony VAIO VPC S11V9E/B Battery

There was further change when businessman Steve Morgan took control of the club for a nominal £10 fee in return for a £30million investment into the club, resulting in the departure of Sir Jack Hayward (who remains as Life President and Club Hall of Fame member) after 17 years as chairman. Sony VAIO VPCB119GJ/B Battery

The protracted takeover was finally completed on 9 August 2007, upon which the club set out their future ethos:

It is intended that the new capital, over a period of time, will be used to help re-establish Wolves as a Premiership club. Sony VAIO VPCB11AGJ Battery

Although this is a significant amount of money there will not be an ’open cheque book’ approach to signing players; instead the club will build on the current strategy of steadily and progressively developing a team of young, hungry and talented players. — Club Statement Sony VAIO VPCB11AVJ Battery

Despite Morgan's arrival, the 2007–08 season ultimately brought more disappointment as the club failed to match the previous campaign's playoff finish. Poor form around Christmas saw them slump to mid-table and only a late rally, aided by the goal power of new signing Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, put them back in the promotion hunt. Sony VAIO VPCB11V9E Battery

They finished just outside the final play-off spot on goal difference, one goal short of Watford.

The 2008–09 season saw the club's strongest start since 1949–50, as an opening day draw preceded a run of seven consecutive wins. Fired by the goals of Ebanks-Blake and new signing Chris Iwelumo, Sony VAIO VPCB11X9E Battery

the club hit the top of the table for the first time in years by the end of August and never left the automatic promotion spots after. A second run of seven consecutive wins tightened their grip on the lead by Christmas.

Despite a dismal start to 2009, the equally faltering form of their rivals allowed Wolves to retain the top spot. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/P Battery

March saw a return to form with 13 points from a possible 15, strengthening their position at the top of the table that they had led since October. Promotion to the Premier League was finally confirmed on 18 April 2009 with a 1–0 win over Queens Park Rangers. The following week, Wolves clinched their first divisional title since the 1988–89 season. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/R Battery

The club's return to the Premier League saw their highest league position in 30 years, with a 15th place finish granting survival. This marked the first time Wolves had survived a season at the highest level since 1981. This achievement was built on a solid defensive element to the team, countering its lack of goal-power, despite the addition of striker Kevin Doyle for a club record fee. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/W Battery

Their second consecutive Premier League campaign saw a closer brush with relegation, as they finished only one place above the drop zone. Wolves survived on the final day despite suffering a defeat, as relegation rivals Birmingham City and Blackpool both lost. However, despite being more seriously threatened by relegation, the overall points total was an improvement on the previous season. Sony VAIO VPCCW19FJ/W Battery

The 2011–12 season was a poor one for the club, ending with the team in last place and relegated back to the Championship.[1] Manager Mick McCarthy was sacked in February 2012 after a five-and-a-half year reign[3] and replaced for the remainder of the season by, Terry Connor,[4] but Connor failed to bring any upturn in their form, failing to win any of his 13 games in charge. Sony VAIO VPCCW1AFJ Battery

The day before Wolves' final game of the season, the club announced that former Copenhagen managerStåle Solbakken would take over for the current season.[35]

Early in the 2012–13 season, after just one league win in four games, Assistant Manager Terry Connor had his contract terminated by the club. Sony VAIO VPCCW1AHJ Battery

The first badge to be worn on Wolves shirts was the coat of arms of Wolverhampton City Council, usually worn on special occasions such as cup finals. In the late 1960s, Wolves introduced their own club badge consisting of a single leaping wolf, which later became three leaping wolves in the 1970s. In 1979, Wolves changed to the now modern wolf-head badge. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E Battery

The club's traditional colours allude to the city council's motto "out of darkness cometh light" with the gold and black representing light and darkness respectively.[37] In the club's early days the team sported various versions of these colours including gold and black stripes and gold and black diagonal halves. It remains one of the most famous and recognisable strips in British football today. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/B Battery

Wolves' traditional away colour is all white, although the current away kit is a teal outfit reminiscent of their iconic 'wolf head' design from the mid-90s.

Wolves began as St Luke's FC in 1877 and, two years later, after merging with the local cricket and football club known as The Wanderers, they became known as Wolverhampton Wanderers. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/L Battery

Wolverhampton Wanderers have played atMolineux, Whitmore Reans, since 1889. Their previous home was in the Blakenhall area, and although no signs of the ground remain, a nearby road is called Wanderers Avenue. The Molineux name originates from Benjamin Molineux, a local merchant who built his home on the grounds. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/P Battery

Northampton Brewery, who later owned the site, rented its use to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1889, who had previously lacked a permanent home. After renovating the site, the first ever league game was staged on 7 September 1889 in a 2–0 victory over Notts County before a crowd of 4,000.

In 1953, the stadium became one of the first to install floodlights, at an estimated cost of £10,000. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/R Battery

The first ever floodlit game was held on 30 September 1953, as Wolves won 3–1 against South Africa. The addition of the floodlights opened the door for Molineux to host a series of midweek friendlies against teams from across the globe. In the days prior to the formation of the European Cup and international club competitions, Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/W Battery

these games were highly prestigious and gained huge crowds and interest, the BBC often televising such events.

The old South Bank at Molineux is also historically the second largest of all Kop ends closely followed by Aston Villa's Holte End, both of which regularly held crowds in excess of 30,000. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/B Battery

When Wolves were at their height of success during the 1950s (three League Championships, book-ended by FA Cup glory in 1949 and 1960) Molineux regularly held over 50,000 mostly standing spectators. By the time of their sharp decline during the 1980s, only the 9,500-seat John Ireland Stand (now the Steve Bull Stand), built in 1979, and the much reduced South Bank (15,500) were in use. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/L Battery

This reduction in capacity was due to the fact that the other two stands were wood-built and declared unsafe following the Bradford City stadium fire, in which a wood-built stand caught fire and killed 56 people in 1985. In the days before theTaylor Report, which required British football stadia to provide seating for all those attending, the ground had a capacity of over 60,000; Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/R Battery

the record attendance for a match at the ground is 61,315 for a game against Liverpool in the First Division on 11 February 1939.

Between 1991 and 1993, Molineux was comprehensively redeveloped. The Waterloo Road stand was replaced by the all-seat Billy Wright Stand, Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/W Battery

the North Bank terrace was replaced by the Stan Cullis Stand, and the South Bank terrace was replaced by the Jack Harris Stand. By the 1993–94 season the Molineux had a 28,525 all-seated capacity making Molineux the twenty-sixth largest in English football. But by the time of the 2003 promotion, Molineux was the fifteenth largest Premiership stadium. Sony VAIO VPCCW26EC Battery

In the previous decade, many of the smaller stadiums had either been expanded or replaced to hold a capacity of between 30,000 and 67,000 seated spectators.

As a result of Wolves' promotion to the Premier League in 2009, Wolves reinstated the temporary seating stand in the southwest corner of the stadium (officially titled the Wolves Community Trust Stand) raising capacity to 29,195. Sony VAIO VPCCW26FX/B Battery

This had previously been employed between 2003–2006, after their previous promotion to the top flight (then known as the Graham Hughes Stand).[40]

Wolves lease the land on which their current stadium stands from Wolverhampton City Council. In 2010, the club extended this peppercorn rental agreement from 125 years to 999 years.[41] Sony VAIO VPCCW28EC Battery

Plans were announced in May 2010 to begin an extensive multi-million pound programme of redevelopment to enlarge the stadium's capacity and develop its facilities.[42] The project has four potential phases in total, but only the first phase of the redevelopment has currently been confirmed and set a definite timescale.[43] Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/P Battery

Phase 1, the demolition of the Stan Cullis stand to be replaced by a new two-tier structure that extends into the north-east corner (seating 7,798) began in May 2011. The bottom tier was ready for use from mid-September 2011, lifting the stadium's current available capacity to 27,828.Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/R Battery

The upper tier was completed in August 2012 and was officially opened on the day of the club's first competitive fixture of the 2012–13 season on 11 August.[45] The new stand increased the stadium capacity to approximately 31,700.

The second stage involves the rebuilding of the oldest stand at the stadium, the Steve Bull Stand (built in 1979), which would raise the stadium capacity to around 36,000. Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/W Battery

This two year project was initially set to begin in summer 2012,[42] but has since been postponed with no revised start date yet set.[46] Phases 3 and 4 are potential phases only with no timeframes yet confirmed, that involve the redevelopment of the Jack Harris and Billy Wright stands.[42] Sony VAIO VPCCW29FJ/W Battery

The Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground, opened in 2005, is a £4.6 million development located in Compton, Wolverhampton. The modern two-storey building stands approximately one mile to the west of the stadium, and features five high-quality under-soil heated training pitches, eleven changing rooms, a fully equipped gymnasium, Sony VAIO VPCCW2AFJ Battery

and a hydrotherapy pool – one of only a handful of English clubs to own such equipment.The training ground's medical and physiotherapy facilities made it the first (and so far only) British sports club to establish a fully accredited professional sports laboratory, based on AC Milan's Milanellomodel.[48] Sony VAIO VPCCW2AHJ Battery

In July 2011, plans were announced for a redevelopment of the Compton Park area, situated in the green belt, where the training ground is currently located that will enable Wolves to build a new indoor pitch and improve facilities to create a 'Category 1' Premier League football academy. The £50 million project involves the football club, the University of Wolverhampton, Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E Battery

St. Edmund's Catholic School, the Archdiocese of Birmingham, and Redrow, the construction company founded by Wolves owner Steve Morgan.

Molineux Stadium is a Championship football stadium situated in Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton,England. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/B Battery

It has been the home ground of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club since 1889, and has a long and illustrious history as the first 'new build' stadium in Football League history,[2] one of the first grounds in the country to install floodlights, as well as hosting some of the first European club games in the 1950s. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/L Battery

At the time of its multi-million pound renovation in the early 1990s, Molineux was one of the biggest and most modern stadia in England, though it has since been eclipsed by many other ground developments. The stadium has however hostedEngland internationals and, more recently, England under-21 internationals, as well as the first UEFA Cup Final in 1972. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/P Battery

Although currently a 31,700 seater stadium, the record attendance at Molineux stands at 61,315.

Plans were announced in May 2010 to rebuild two sides of the stadium by the 2014–15 season to increase capacity to around 36,000. The first stage of this project began in Summer 2011. There are also provisional future plans for a longer term redevelopment of every stand that could potentially create a 50,000 capacity. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/R Battery

The stadium is located a few hundred yards north of Wolverhampton city centre, at the far side of the city's ring road, and is a prominent building due to its size in an area with predominantly low-rise buildings. It consists of four stands: the Steve Bull Stand (formerly the John Ireland stand), the Jack Harris Stand, the Stan Cullis Stand and the Billy WrightStand. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/W Battery

Both the Billy Wright and Stan Cullis stands feature statues of each man in front of them.

The total seated capacity of the stands is approximately 31,500, with a temporary seating area lifting the present official capacity to 31,700. The current stadium design stems from the early 1990s when it was extensively redeveloped to become a modern all-seater venue in accordance with the Taylor Report, Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery

which required British football stadia to provide seating for all those attending.

In the days before seating regulations, the ground could hold more than 60,000 spectators; the record attendance for a match at the ground is 61,315 for a Football League First Division game against Liverpool on 11 February 1939. Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery

The 1940s and 1950s saw average attendances for seasons regularly exceed 40,000, coinciding with the club's peak on the field.

Molineux has hosted England internationals. The first was a 6–1 win over Ireland on 7 March 1891. England again beat Ireland, this time 4–0, on 14 February 1903 and lost to Wales 2–1 on 5 February 1936. Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery

The last was a 5–2 defeat ofDenmark in a 1958 World Cup qualifier on 5 December 1956. It has also hosted two England under-21 internationals (in 1996 and 2008) and, in 2005, hosted some European Youth Championship qualifying matches.

On 24 June 2003, Molineux also became Wolverhampton's biggest live concert venue, with Bon Jovi performing in front of 34,000 people. Sony VAIO VPCF116FGBI Battery

Up until May 2011, the ground had a capacity of 29,400. However the 5,500 Stan Cullis Stand was knocked down for redevelopment and 230 seats in the lower tier of the Steve Bull Stand were taken out as part of the process taking temporary capacity down to 23,670. The lower tier of the new North Bank (holding 4,000) was opened for use in September 2011 for the home match against Tottenham Hotspur, Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery

this took the grounds capacity up to 27,670. The upper tier on the new stand will be completed by the end of the season taking capacity up to around 31,370. However the club have delayed the second phase of the redevelopment in rebuilding the Steve Bull Stand. Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery

The Molineux name originates from Benjamin Molineux, a successful local merchant (and a distant relative of the now extinctEarls of Sefton) who, in 1744, purchased land on which he built Molineux House (later converted to the Molineux Hotel) and on which the stadium would eventually be built. The estate was purchased in 1860 by O.E. Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery

McGregor, who converted the land into a pleasure park open to the public. Molineux Grounds, as it was titled, included a wide range of facilities including an ice rink, a cycling track, a boating lake and, most crucially, an area for football. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery

The grounds were sold to the Northampton Brewery in 1889, who rented its use to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who had previously lacked a permanent home. After renovating the site, the first ever league game was staged on 7 September 1889 in a 2–0 victory over Notts County before a crowd of 4,000. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery

Wolves bought the freehold in 1923 for £5,607 and soon set about constructing a major grandstand on the Waterloo Road side (designed by Archibald Leitch). In 1932, the club also built a new stand on the Molineux Street side and followed this with adding a roof to the South Bank two years later. The stadium finally now had four stands, which formed Molineux for the next half century. Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery

In 1953, the club became one of the first to install floodlights, at a cost of around £10,000. The first ever floodlit game was held on 30 September 1953, as Wolves won 3–1 against South Africa. The addition of the floodlights opened the door for Molineux to host a series of midweek friendlies against teams from across the globe. Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery

In the days prior to the formation of the European Cup and international club competitions, these games were highly prestigious and gained huge crowds and interest, the BBC often televising such events. A new taller set was later installed in 1957, at a cost of £25,000, as the stadium prepared to host its first European Cup games. Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery

The Molineux Street Stand (by now all-seater) failed to meet the standards of the 1975 Safety of Sports Grounds Act. The club set about building a new stand behind the existing one, on land where housing had been demolished. The new stand, designed by architects Atherden and Rutter, had a 9,500 capacity, Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery

equipped with 42 executive boxes, although sporting red seats in contrast to the club's traditional colours. When the construction was complete, the old stand lying in front was demolished. This new stand, named the John Ireland Stand (after the then-club president), was opened on 25 August 1979 at the start of a First Division game against Liverpool. Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery

In 1981, plans were unveiled for further redevelopment at the stadium which would have cost more than £4million and involved five-a-side football pitches, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and an eight-lane running track. However, these were soon scrapped due to rising debts.[4]

The pitch was not moved following this development and so the stand was some 100 ft from the touchline. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery

The project had cost £10 million and been one of the most expensive developments at any football ground and the cost of its construction plunged Wolves deep into debt and they narrowly avoided liquidation in 1982, when taken over by a group fronted by former player Derek Dougan. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery

By the time Wolves slid into the Fourth Division in 1986, the John Ireland Stand and the South Bank terrace were the only sections of the ground in use, after new safety laws implemented following the Bradford City stadium fire forced the closure of the North Bank and Waterloo Road Stand, which were very dilapidated. Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery

As well as that, attendances had fallen due to the club's on-the-field decline.

The club's perilous financial situation meant the stadium fell into ruin, with no funding either for repairs or to move the pitch. The club was saved from folding in August 1986 when Wolverhampton Council bought the ground for £1.12 million, Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery

along with the surrounding land, while Gallagher Estates, in conjunction with the Asda Superstore chain, agreed to pay off the outstanding debt – subject to building and planning permission for a superstore being granted. Although the stadium continued in use, the disused sections were never reopened. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery

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