When Wolverhampton Wanderers, who welcome the mighty Bolton Wanderers to Molyneux this weekend were taken over by Guo Guangchang, the chairman of Fosun Group, I wonder if even the most die-hard Reebok Roar equivalents in their fanbase foresaw what would become of them.
An overhauled squad has taken the league by storm, winning their last four.
That said, they’re a shadow of the side they were a year ago, and some might say a shadow of the club they once were, too. It’s a funny coincidence of life that the club is currently sponsored by some company or other called “The Money Shop.com”. Megalolz.
So where should fans draw the line between blind adoration and acceptance that their club has sold their entire history down the swanee for a passing shot of Premier League mediocrity?
I fully accept the whining sounds coming from my keyboard here, being a supporter of club who have one oar firmly ensconced in shit creek. Our chairman is a polarising figure depending on which website you read, and we have barely a single cup to piss in, never mind a pot.
Wolves, meanwhile, have enjoyed the luxury of breaking the league record twice in recent months, spending £12.8million on Benfica for winger Helder Costa in January, then laying out £15.8m to Porto for Ruben Neves in the summer. To the surprise of nobody, they are two of the best players outside of the top flight.
Meanwhile, we are relying on Sammy Ameobi and Gary Madine - two hardworking players, but who operate on a completely different level to their Wolves counterparts.
For a club whose annual revenues are so modest it’s hard to see how they will avoid breaching Football League financial fair play rules. Then again, we shafted League One last year with our financial gymnastics, perhaps that’s par for the course in modern football. That said, the worst thing that would happen to the club is that they would face a fine which Premier League riches, nevermind their billionaire Chinese backers, would make it easy to pay.
Jorge Mendes, agent to Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho no less has been been a key part of this revolution. According to the Daily Mail, almost half of 25 incoming players in the past 18 months have been from his Gestifute stable.
So as fans of a struggling club, where would we draw the line? Would you forget about the fact that your club is unrecognisable from itself a year before if you were faced by glamorous signings, entertaining football and the prospect of playing in the Premier League? You have to admit that it is attractive, but I’m not sure exactly how I’d feel about it should the same happen to us.
That said, if there are any Chinese investors around that fancy a crack at doing the same with Bolton, then I’m willing to find out.