Wolves benefited this season from being close to one of the top management agencies in the game, and some other clubs in the Championship have a problem with that.
The Championship season is winding down, and barring a collapse in the final stretch, Wolverhampton Wanderers will return to the Premier League. They currently hold a six point lead on first place, and this season is already a huge improvement over the last one, where the club finished 15th out of 24 clubs.
But it hasn’t been without controversy. Fosun International, the Chinese investment company that took over Wolves in 2016, has close ties with super agent Jorge Mendes and his agency, Gestifute. Wolves claim that they haven’t broken any rules, but their link with Mendes has still drawn criticism from officials at Aston Villa and Leeds United.
Andrea Radrizzani, the owner of Leeds United, took to Twitter to voice his opinion of the situation. He claimed that Wolves has an advantage that the other 23 teams in the Championship don’t have, and said that all 24 teams must play with the same rules and opportunities.
He later clarified his statements and voiced his respect for manager Nuno Espirito Santo and the Wolves team, but stood by his opinions about the Championship needing a level playing field. Leeds isn’t the only club to have a problem with Wolves’ ties to Mendes, however.
Derby County and Aston Villa were also named as clubs that want to open an inquiry about the matter, and Villa CEO Keith Wyness made a more subtle statement on Twitter.
The article that he Tweeted is about Paul Lambert being sacked after seven months in charge of Wolves, allegedly because of disagreements over the club’s transfer strategy and connection with Mendes. According to the article, Lambert wanted to sign more British players and felt uneasy with Mendes’ influence over the club.
The EFL met with the clubs on Thursday to discuss the matter, and Wolves are also set to face scrutiny from the Premier League about their relationship with Mendes.