Wolves win over West Brom

Wolves made it 11 points from 6 West Midlands derbies this season and took a giant step towards Premier League survival at Molineux on Sunday. There have not been many sweeter days for Wolves fans in recent years than to beat their biggest rivals in such an important game. And they now probably need to win one of their last two games to secure another season of top flight football.

It was a susrprise team selection from McCarthy with Foley restored to right back, Guedioura on the right of midfield and Hunt on the left with the likes of Ebanks Blake and Jarvis on the bench. But the selection was completely vindicated in the first 40 minutes as Wolves totally dominated play and surged into a two goal lead. They were ahead after 15 minutes. Carson pushed a O’Hara free kick round the post and from the resulting Hunt corner the ball fell to Guedioura and then rebounded to Fletcher who swept the ball home. And the same players were involved after 28 minutes when another Hunt corner was headed back across the area by Fletcher and Gurdioura turned it in.

Ward headed inches wide from a O’Hara cross but Albion were edging back into it late in the half and Odemwingie went close with a cross shot. And Albion looked to have an extra fizz about them at the start of the 2nd half but from Wolves first move into their opponents half they were gifted a third. Foley’s through ball was missed by Meite which left Fletcher with just Carson to beat and he made no mistake. And there was almost a 4th as Guedioura’s shot was deflected just wide.

But Albion had a step back into the game when Guedioura felled Thomas and Odemwingie converted the penalty. And Wolves fans were getting nervous as Thomas hit the bar and then an unmarked Tchoyi headed wide from a good chance. But Wolves weathered the storm and Ward and sub Ebanks Blake both went close late on.

Fans Parliament: Standing

"Persistent standing in the Jack Harris Stand is still a problem," he said.

"We've tried everything, including writing to fans about the pressure we're under from the local authority. However, we're now at the stage where the local authority are on the cusp of enforcing a reduction in capacity, a minimum of 500 seats."

Wolves Chief Executive Jez Moxey followed up with a serious warning: "This is going to be a huge problem for those fans affected but no-one is going to be able to say: 'It's not fair, you didn't tell us.' Many clubs have forced reductions - now it is about to come to the Jack Harris Stand unless something is done quickly. It's now up to the fans themselves to decide, there's nothing more we can do.

"We're one of 92 professional clubs and we aren't going to be able to change Government policy or that of the football licensing authority on the issue of safe standing. It's not that we don't want to fight - we will continue to make strong representation at the Safety Advisory Group - but Wolves won't be able to stop reductions in capacity if they are imposed. The precedent has been set elsewhere.

"We're one of 92 professional clubs and we aren't going to be able to change Government policy or that of the football licensing authority on the issue of safe standing. It's not that we're being weak or don't want to fight but Wolves won't be able to stop reductions in capacity if they are imposed. The precedent has been set elsewhere. "

"The Club's message to our fans in the Jack Harris is that this is the last chance. Whilst Wolves will continue to speak with the Local Authority and the Safety Advisory Group, the solution lies with the spectators themselves.

"Persistent standing has to stop from this point onwards."

Fans Parliament: Cup Tickets

Gerry Collins raised what he called 'an old chestnut' by saying he was unhappy to be charged a £1.50 booking fee per ticket when buying cup seats on his credit card - especially as he bought a season ticket every year and then committed to extra matches as well through the cup scheme.

"There are three of us, so that's £4.50 and it rankles," he said. Lynne O'Reardon replied: "We're actually doing three transactions for you, not one. We still have a very transparent booking policy, which is £1.50 per ticket. The technology wouldn't support anything else. And the fee goes towards servicing our ticketing operation, whether that's on technology or paying the people in the department." Jez pointed out that booking fees were commonplace and said it was a policy which had been discussed many times. John Maslen-Jones said he used to be in the cup-tie scheme but now avoided the fee by going to Molineux to buy cup tickets.

Adam Bate said he knew someone who had paid £58 for two adult tickets and one for a child for the recent FA Cup tie against Stoke. It was pointed out that this was higher than for the replay against Doncaster, so Jez pointed out: "We thought the pricing for a Premier League side on a Sunday (rather than a Tuesday night) was the right one. But it was concerning that we didn't have a good attendance." Lynne said visiting clubs were looking to maximise profits from cup-ties and they had to agree to pricing levels.

Lynne wondered whether Wolves should publicise a table of preferred pricing levels at the start of a season. Then, if the actual prices differentiated from that, fans would realise it was at the away clubs' insistence. "It would make it clear what we wanted to charge for the Carling Cup and FA Cup and it's an idea we're discussing," she said. Jez added: "There's an enormous amount of pressure in the club to strike the right balance of special offers. Wolves 4 Family Football,

for example, is all about attracting young fans, so they catch the bug. Over 20,000 people have come here through W4FF and benefitted at just ten quid a time."

Fans Parliament: Season Tickets

Head of Ticketing and Membership Lynne O'Reardon said around 1,040 season tickets had been bought so far and that was on a par or slightly better than last year. In response to a question by John Maslen-Jones, she confirmed there would still be a week for season ticket holders to try to move seats if they wished. "I call it runaround week and it will still be there," she said. "But there will be very little choice as to where to relocate to."

Jez told Mark Cadman that there would be no alternative facility to the Terrace Bar next season while the Stan Cullis Stand was being rebuilt and had the same message for Anne Pearce when she asked about the disabled room. He stressed, though, that the new structure would provide improved facilities, especially on the concourses.

Ryan Leister enquired how the club would decide which fans would be accommodated in the bottom tier of the new Stan Cullis Stand next season if it were ready in time and useable. Jez said that matter was being considered but there was no guarantee seats would be released.

Lynne added: "The displaced season ticket holders will be consulted."

Fans Parliament: Stadium Renewal

With an eye on the stadium redevelopment that was recently given the green light, Mark Cadman said: "Fans of my age will remember that it nearly broke the club when we built what is now the Steve Bull Stand 30 or so years ago."

Jez responded: "That won't happen this time. Phase one of the rebuild is being funded from working capital. It won't be borrowed and there will be no debt. We're not going to put all our eggs in one basket. We have to balance the work properly with building a team."

Adam Bate asked whether phase two of the redevelopment - the demolition and rebuilding of the East (Steve Bull) Stand was inevitable. "We're not committed to phase two but Molineux would look awful if we didn't at least do phase two as well," Jez said.

"If we didn't think we had a bright future, I wouldn't be saying we should press ahead with it. Steve Morgan is very ambitious with the Regener ation of the city and it will require us to keep making profits to pay for the stadium work, so we're looking at the medium and long term. These plans have to be able to survive possible relegation and promotion."

Pages