This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Our operating model could become the blueprint for future success......

Discussion in 'Molineux Mix' started by WolfLing, Dec 7, 2017 at 10:43 AM.

  1. WolfLing

    WolfLing Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    3,694
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    I've touched on this point in other threads recently, but the way Fosun have structured our operating model with regards to player recruitment is nothing short of a masterstroke.

    For teams trying to break into the top half of The Premier League, a huge barrier to sustained success is attracting and retaining players. One great season can often be followed by a frantic summer trying to stop your best performers leaving and renegotiating contracts.

    So teams like Albion can get a Lukaku on loan and his goals can help fire them to 8th place, but they are almost guaranteed to lose him the following season when he returns to his parent club, or is sold to another club of higher status. Their replacement is often sub-standard and the next season becomes a struggle as they narrowly avoid relegation finishing 17th. Similar things have happened to clubs like Leicester and Southampton, albeit not to the same extremes. Some of their best players leave and their team is weakened by sub-standard replacements.

    Out of the clubs mentioned, Southampton have done particularly well to keep identifying and replacing their talent with players of equal ability or potential.

    Up until this season, I thought that the Southampton 'way of life' was the best existence a club of our current status could aspire to.

    But the way Fosun have structured our operating model has changed that opinion.

    Here's why.....

    A huge power shift has occurred in recent years, where the players, or more specifically the players' agents, hold all the power when it comes to deciding where they play their football.

    Fosun have stated publicly that their vision for Wolves is to take us into The Champions League. I think Fosun foresaw that 'player power' or 'agent power' could be a huge barrier to achieving this vision based on what's happened at other clubs. You can't just rely on being 'the next Leicester' and hoping everything falls into place for one perfect season.

    So Fosun's way of overcoming this barrier was to do what no other club has done before and have one agent central to everything they do in terms of player recruitment and retention.

    Not any agent either, the agent widely regarded as the most influential in world football. Like I say, a masterstroke from Fosun.

    We all know that at some point, we will see the other side to our relationship with Jorge Mendes and some of our best players will be sold for a lot of money.

    But unlike teams who struggle to find a suitable replacement, we can sleep easy in the knowledge that if Jorge moves someone on, he probably has a replacement equally as exciting already waiting in the wings.

    It is this model that can lead to the sustained success of Fosun's vision, rather than just the occasional good season.

    If this current season ends up as successful as it appears it's going to, other teams will look to our blueprint for that success and build similar structures.

    Agents aren't going away any time soon. Clubs need to start using them to their advantage rather than fighting their influence within the game.

    Luckily for us, Fosun were the first to see this and got the best agent out there on board.
     
  2. glorybox

    glorybox Groupie

    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    66
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Good post Wolfling. We are extremely ahead of the curve here and with the recognised best agent the future looks very bright. As mentioned many times before though...getting the right manager was one of the biggest masterstrokes. Selling the vision to him and the players was key and hopefully in the short term we can retain all of them but unfortunately its folly for any of us to suggest we can keep them if the recognised biggest teams come calling.
     
    portugaletc and WolfLing like this.
  3. Chisels_n_ommers

    Chisels_n_ommers Senior Member

    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    384
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Take away Jorge for a moment as he has a business interest with Fosun away from Wolves.

    But it can't become a model, because you're then relying on an agent to be loyal to a club. This is not only a conflict of interest for the agent in regards to his clients but also is quite a big leap of faith to think an agent won't be dealing with the highest bidder and would restrict himself to one club

    So if a Southampton does badly one year, then that agent is likely to go and work with, say a Leicester.

    So Wolves is a unique situation because of the business interest between Jorge and Fosun.

    Just out of interest, does anyone know what dealings Jorge has had with other English clubs this year regarding his players? Or has he totally become our exclusive agent?
     
    portugaletc likes this.
  4. WolfLing

    WolfLing Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    3,694
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    Yes, it is unique at the moment, which was kind of my point! Jorge Mendes has no official job title or role at our club, but he has a loyalty to Fosun as a business partner and therefore an indirect loyalty to us as Fosun's club. There's nothing to stop other clubs replicating this model by buying into an agency to gain that loyalty.

    He's definitely taken Bernardo Silva and Ederson to Man City and Andre Gray to Watford. Not sure about any others.

    I don't think any agent would ever act exclusively for one club as that would cripple their business and in this case, would make the whole operating model ineffective.
     
    portugaletc likes this.
  5. Chisels_n_ommers

    Chisels_n_ommers Senior Member

    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    384
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    It can't become a blue print... You can't build a blue print on unique circumstances and situations.

    Also, the magnitude of Jorges influence will decrease as we rise up the football food chain. It was relatively easy for him to flood us with a decent level of players guaranteed to play etc. He's the largest agent in the world and we were a decimated Championship side.
     
  6. Hanbury_Wolf

    Hanbury_Wolf Groupie

    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    227
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    An agent acting for one club in a league or country would not be to the best interest of his clients (players) and Mendes does not do this

    A club only using one agent for buying players would be very limited in transfer targets. Wolves do not do this

    I would suggest neither of these are the current model and Mendes is simply a conduit to a very talented player base.

    Mendes simply influences his clients on the Wolves project and gives us access to players our current scout network may not have seen. I'm sure if one of them told him "Actually, I want to join the Villa" he'd sort it out. I'm sure if we had lined up a free transfer that Mendes had never heard of, we'd sign them anyway.
     
    portugaletc and WolfLing like this.
  7. WolfLing

    WolfLing Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    3,694
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    A unique set of circumstances and situations that would be quite easy for any football club to replicate! Therefore a blueprint

    Why couldn't any other owner (or owners) of a club buy a stake in any other football agency? Sorry, am I missing something here?

    I think you're right here. We would probably start to see highly quality of players, but less frequently.
     
    portugaletc likes this.
  8. ccpnumber5

    ccpnumber5 Groupie

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    220
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    The key, as you allude to here, is don't build your side around loan signings from big clubs, unless you plan to make them permanent signings. And if you do sell your best players, sell as big as possible and use those funds to continually build your club into a contender.
     
  9. Shifnal Wolf

    Shifnal Wolf Senior Member

    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    531
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    And all needs a man at the helm to put the team together and get them playing.

    Said it before - Nuno is the best thing to happen to us this season!
     
  10. Stafford

    Stafford Senior Member

    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    415
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    You can't just go out and get a super agent.
    We are the chosen ones.
     
    NorthWestWolf and WolfLing like this.
  11. rincewind

    rincewind Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    5,384
    Likes Received:
    793
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    There are pro's and con's to Mendes involvement but I have no doubt that Jota, Neves etc would not be here without him. They probably hadn't even heard of Wolves until he told them this is the place to further their careers.
     
    portugaletc likes this.
  12. Ulfhednar

    Ulfhednar Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    2,954
    Likes Received:
    549
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    It's like a custom racing engine, it might be blueprinted cuz it's so professional, but it's probably a blueprint beyond others means, on too rare an engine with too rare components for it to be replicated, at least here. I imagine Fosun will take some of their learning and apply it elsewhere though, like China.
     
    Living at other WWFC likes this.
  13. Berlin Wolf

    Berlin Wolf Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    933
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    A good OP and read WolfLing, thanks for that.
     
    WolfLing likes this.
  14. Konda

    Konda Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    59
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Fosun made it clear from day one they looked at a lot of clubs before they made their decision. The model is to bring on new players through the academy, find good players through our scouts, and also have close contact with a top agent to help find players that the club might ordinarily have problems getting. They seem to understand that the magic needs to run through all levels of the club, from the youngest child who is getting his first touch of the ball at the Academy, to the star of the day in our first team. The magic only happens because they understand what they do not know, and that they need to recruit the best people who do know. Our first team does, very much, look great. But the stuff happening off the pitch looks amazing. They are investing there, not just in Nuno but in all aspects of management, rather than just throwing their money at team. They have money to spend, but they know they have to spread the money so it gets into places other than the fee of the latest signing. Players are saying now that they love living in Wolverhampton and want to stay here. I doubt it is because of the nice market in school street, or our local architecture. I am sure it is because of where Fosun is spending its money on the backroom staff making sure that the players have a great experience whilst playing for the club. We are amazed that we seem to be having a bit of luck when it come to injuries, and again that is a credit to Fosun and their backroom staff making sure that not only the minds, but the bodies of our players are kept tip top.

    This is what is making the team, the club and their business so great. That is the model.
     
  15. Chisels_n_ommers

    Chisels_n_ommers Senior Member

    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    384
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    If Man Utd went out and bought a stake in an agency, it kind of rules out that agency doing any deals with a large proportion of clubs (competitors). And Man Utd can't do that with the largest agent in the world...Jorge, because he's with us. And Jorge has clubs who are competitors of Man Utd, there were no competitors to Wolves in his portfolio.
    We were a decimated Championship club that the largest agent in the world has bought his "stock" to.

    How could a similar club, Derby County do this with their current ownership?

    Football clubs cannot be football agents - it's a conflict of interest and nullifies the agents position. Our agent was bought in as part of a new ownership in a unique scenario and Wolves were so ineffectual to Jorge's position (the largest agent in the world) that it rules out conflicts etc...ie a perfect storm.

    What will Jorge do if we are say 10th in the Prem and then Man City or Chelsea want one of his clients (our player). How does he deal with that? Who does he look after, his client club or his client player?

    As we get higher, Jorge will have to retract.

    Perfect storms are not blueprints. Or maybe I'm missing something. Time will tell.
     
    HouroftheWolf and portugaletc like this.
  16. WolfLing

    WolfLing Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    3,694
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    But Man United have no need to do it, they are one of the top clubs in the world already. Jorge Mendes is not 'our agent' but his vested interest with our owners means he has more loyalty to us than he would normally.

    Mel Morris (Derby) has some money, but not a lot. He wouldn't be able to buy into a very good agency, but like our situation, it wouldn't be Derby County buying a stake in the football agency, it would be the owner or owners. I don't think there are rules stopping this otherwise how would Fosun be able to have a stake in Gestifute and own us at the same time?

    There are all sorts of Championship clubs that could set up and benefit from a similar type of arrangement.

    It may appear to be the perfect storm, but I think there's been a lot more thought and planning behind it than you are giving Fosun and Mendes credit for.

    Like I said in my OP, in that situation I think the player obviously wants to leave, so it's best for all parties if that happens. Fosun will know who they can and can't compete with and Mendes will make it clear that his player's interests have to come first. But with Mendes' involvement we can be safe in the knowledge that we will get top dollar for the player and he will be able to help facilitate a replacement.
     
    portugaletc likes this.
  17. portugaletc

    portugaletc Senior Member

    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    1,470
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2017
    Interesting discussion.
    For a while, I've been interested in talking about this. My idea was comparing Hull City and Wolves and why the fans are elated on one side and depressed on the other. But to do that, I'd like to learn more about the roles of Thelwell and Laurie. I mean, the Thelwell's role is easier to understand, I think he's there to be the guy with the knowledge of English football and I speculate Laurie is the guy who's there to connect to the culture of Wolverhampton. Can someone inform me on this?
     
  18. Ulfhednar

    Ulfhednar Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    2,954
    Likes Received:
    549
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    The main difference between Hull and Wolves, is Hull were a false construct as a big club. They didn't have stellar heritage (which indicates they've never had a big club mentality with the passion to make it happen), their Tiger was a modern invention, they're stripy.
     
  19. portugaletc

    portugaletc Senior Member

    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    1,470
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2017
    There are a lot more differences.
     
  20. Chisels_n_ommers

    Chisels_n_ommers Senior Member

    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    384
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Let me understand this, are you saying that Mel Morris would benefit by finding a nice friendly Football Agent, handing over money to them to buy a stake in their business (a minority stake) and then relying on that agent to go through their portfolio of players giving Derby first dibs?
    How likely is that to happen?

    Mendes was involved with Fosun on a business level before Wolves.

    How can it be done the other way round? How likely is Morris to find the right agent and that agent having the portfolio to accomodate his club....let alone the inclination?

    How likely is that agent to welcome an investment which could bar trade with other clients (if they swim in those waters)?
    Or alternatively are you talking about another huge agency that an involvement with Derby wouldn't adversely affect? And therefore why would such an agency want to discuss business with Morris or get involved with Derby?


    If it appears a perfect storm then no business model could follow it.

    This isn't detracting from Mendes or Fosun, quite the contrary. They have optimised their investment in perfect conditions that are difficult to replicate and have taken advantage of that situation for the benefit of all concerned.
     
    Living at other WWFC likes this.
  21. Ulfhednar

    Ulfhednar Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    2,954
    Likes Received:
    549
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    But they all come down to them only being a local working class community club. They weren't being 're-established', they were being inflated into a false construct. The owner didn't think it mattered because his intended market was Asia, he intended to rebrand them the Tigers and for them to be in the Prem just to exploit Asia for revenue. When the FA refused him the right to change the name from Hull to the Tigers, he lost interest.

    I'm not sure the East Coast model of English football club, the only clubs in their towns and traditionally very working class, really works as a big club in the modern World. I don't see the glamour for people outside their locality to associate with. Newcastle is the exception due to it's heritage, which they have cuz they're the real deal. But even then, they're just super concentrated in their own community.
     
    portugaletc likes this.
  22. WolfLing

    WolfLing Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    3,694
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    This is exactly what I've been talking about from the start.

    Why? For the same reasons Mendes is involved in our club. Ultimately, it's going to earn him a lot of recurring revenue.
     
  23. Ulfhednar

    Ulfhednar Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    2,954
    Likes Received:
    549
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    Mendes wanted to make friends with and be involved in the emerging football industry in China, so partnered with Fosun. That opportunity probably won't come up again. As someone already said on the thread it's a bit of a perfect storm, or 'happening', in hindsight everything was right for this to happen and it involved some rare / unique circumstances, ingredients & timing.
     
  24. Chisels_n_ommers

    Chisels_n_ommers Senior Member

    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    384
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    I get it..... all Morris has to do is find a massive agency involved with a multitude of clubs (but none in competition with any in this country) that is seeking a minority shareholding investment, is big enough to have a surplus of talent and trust that agency to attract players to Derby.

    Doddle....I don't know why they don't follow the Blueprint
     
    WolfLing likes this.
  25. Rhoswolf

    Rhoswolf Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    14,561
    Likes Received:
    5,164
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Thought we had the blue-print under Morgan & Moxey when first promoted or is my memory failing me?:confused:
     
  26. WolfLing

    WolfLing Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    3,694
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    No, that was a brown print.
     
  27. WW1963

    WW1963 Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    1,788
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Said the same the other week. We'll be playing Champions League football very soon as a result.
     
    Lawndog and WolfLing like this.
  28. portugaletc

    portugaletc Senior Member

    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    1,470
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2017
    I agree, but there's more to it. There's also the fact, for example, that it is a rugby town, and there's a lot of conflict because of that.
    Being a working class community club can be a platform for success, just look at Benfica in Portugal, they're the "club of the people", not of the elites (more of a cliche than reality).
    You make some great points, but all those differences are why I think it's worth the analysis. For instance, Wolves fans are okay with being called Wolves, but Hull City fans aren't okay with being called Tigers.
    Taking a look at those things would show what it is about Wolves success that is repeatable and what isn't, and by whom.
     
  29. Kingswinford Wolf

    Kingswinford Wolf Groupie

    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    112
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    The exciting thing is whilst at the beginning it was said we'd be a cog and at some point we'll be losing these players to other Mendes clubs, if we are a top 10 club in the prem then we'll be offering premier league football and probably better wages than all the other clubs in his stable along with making the most money in revenue. We could see players come in we've only dreamed of in the not too distant future.

    This means we'll only really lose players to top prem/european sides or maybe if there's a genuine desire such as Neves to return to Porto one day as he supports them but we're less likely to lose them to other Mendes clubs unless it's beneficial to us.
     
    WolfLing likes this.
  30. Ulfhednar

    Ulfhednar Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    2,954
    Likes Received:
    549
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    There were originally 2 different kinds of working class in English & Welsh culture. There were the places that evolved naturally into Industry & Commerce, like Wolves. Alongside being a merchant town for the wool industry (I think like Leeds also was in its area) Wolves metal working industry goes back many centuries before the Industrial Revolution, it had surface coal and many small foundries, the area even invented the Industrial Revolution. That kind of working class owned their Industrial revolution, were artisans & enterprisers rather than just 'labourers'. Leeds falls into that, Forest probably does too (either as a similar artisan background, or merchant). Liverpool FC, probably Manchester United. Those clubs tend to be naturally glamorous, enterprising, & heroic with their own distinct personality, there's something for non locals to find attractive & identify with, and they attract fans from beyond their local area.

    Then there's the places the Industrial Revolution made, that grew very rapidly with big companies owning everything, and the working class just being their labourers. That's most working class clubs, like the East Coast ones, like South Wales (Cardiff steal workers), like Everton (dockers), like the Man City part of Manchester (though the Arabs money shook that up). They're down to earth rather than glamorous, and their support tends to be local. I think those clubs have a glass ceiling in terms of the support they can attract, & I think it's most clubs.

    Imo, the only other ones out there with similar potential to use that aren't already on their feet, apart from Villa who should recover, are Leeds and Forest. Coventry too if it wasn't such a disaster.
     
    portugaletc likes this.
  31. Torcher

    Torcher Senior Member

    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    357
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2016
    This approach might not be so affective in the top flight, I think upon the seemingly probable promotion, Wolves should be less dependent on Mendes, which with all the Premiership money should be doable. I mean it's not so hard to get a bunch of players from his roster good enough to challenge for promotion from the Championship, but it won't be so easy, to do the same in the Premier league, as obviously it will take better players to do as such, and it's not just other clubs under his umbrella who are in competition for those players but other top clubs in Europe as well.
     
  32. Woburn Wolf

    Woburn Wolf Just doesn't shut up

    Messages:
    5,498
    Likes Received:
    572
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    The key to long term player retention is becoming one of the most successful teams in Europe which can only be achieved through sustained success in the Champions League. I am definitely not ruling this out with Fosun at the helm.
     
  33. Living at other WWFC

    Living at other WWFC Senior Member

    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011

Share This Page