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Wolves becomes latest football club to attract Chinese owners

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Wolverhampton Wanderers has become the latest European football club – a second team in the English championship – to be acquired by Chinese investors.

Fosun Group – which has interests in Club Med, Cirque du Solei, Folli Follie and Studio 8 – has taken 100 per cent of the shares in the club from outgoing owner Steve Morgan, who has been the team's custodian since 2007.

The acquisition has been fully approved and ratified by the English Football League (EFL) and its board of directors.

Headed up by chair Guo Guangchang, the group has earmarked reaching the Premier League as its priority.

Fosun has a football club board consisting of four people: Jeff Shi will become club representative alongside Sky Sun. Local businessmen John Bowater and John Gough will continue to serve as non-executive board members.

Current chief executive Jez Moxey will officially step down in three months as part of the boardroom reshuffle.

“Football is enjoying a huge growth in China and, of course, is England’s national sport,” said Shi. “As part of our strategy, it makes perfect sense to buy a great football club.

“Our goal is crystal clear: we will do our very best to help take Wolves back to the Premier League as soon as possible and to stay there. We believe the club and the fans belong at the top of English football and getting there is our first and top priority.”

Shi added that the group were also keen to “develop and enhance” the club’s academy and “keep it as one of the very best in football”.

In May, Wolves’ West Midlands rival Aston Villa was acquired by Chinese businessman Tony Jiantong, while a number of well-established European football clubs, including Inter Milan, Manchester City, Espanyol and Atletico Madrid have some form of Chinese shareholding.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers has become the latest European football club – a second team in the English championship – to be acquired by Chinese investors.
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Wolves have been in the Football League since 2012 when the club dropped out of the Premier League / Clint Hughes/PA Wire/Press Association Images
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