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Jez Highlights Fans' Support

PUBLISHED

10:10 15th April 2014

CEO's thoughts on promotion success

Wolves have pinpointed the reconnection with their fans as a significant achievement of their historic promotion-winning campaign.

Two days on from securing a return to the Sky Bet Championship with the victory at Crewe, the club yesterday welcomed a big turn-out of supporters to an open training session at Molineux - a fitting example of the hard work that has gone in to building bridges since the fraught times of the previous two seasons.

And Chief Executive Jez Moxey is happier more than anything else about how the gold and black masses have fallen in love with the club again.

"The season has been a tremendous success and we're delighted with how the team has played," he said. "But it has been more about trying to re-establish the relationship with supporters.

"It is all about the fans, doing it for the fans and of the future of the club - and this has been a good job achieved.

"We were in a dark place after two successive relegations and you can't be successful unless you have the backing of your supporters. We have got them back and the scenes at Preston on the first day and the Milton Keynes day out will live with me for a long while.

"And, of course, at Crewe on Saturday, seeing our fans celebrate was the culmination of a really good season."

Wolves now have the opportunity to go on and secure the Sky Bet League One crown and are relishing the prospect of Friday's game against high-riding Rotherham at a packed Molineux (3pm).

Matches away to Leyton Orient and Coventry then follow before Carlisle visit the Black Country on the final afternoon and an extra chance for toasting Kenny Jackett's side comes with Jody Craddock's testimonial game on Monday, May 5.

The club are planning to use that occasion for some kind of lap of honour if they are crowned champions in the meantime but are keen not to be seen to be over-egging the climb out of a level they admit they should never have sunk to.

"All our players and coaches will be there to support Jody and it's a chance for the fans to celebrate again if they so wish," Jez added. "We think it's fitting, not over the top.

"We are going back to the Championship. We didn't want to be in League One and we have dealt with it professionally. If we win the title, it's something else to be added to our history.

"We think this (some kind of acclaim for the team at Jody's game) is a proportionate response. It's getting the tone right. We didn't want to let the fans down and do nothing else."

The Chief Executive is keen that Wolves now build on the magical long-term loyalty of fans who endured painful lows almost 12 months ago, mainly with the home defeat against Burnley that left the club on the precipice and then the defeat at Brighton the following weekend that condemned them to League One.

From a far higher starting point, it was a depressing throwback to the three consecutive relegations of the mid-1980s and meant for sky-high stakes when Wolves, with Kevin Thelwell in as a key part of the recruiting process, were choosing a successor to Dean Saunders last summer.

"It was general discontentment," Moxey added. "Everyone was numbed by it. There were some really dark times and many a genuine tear was shed. We've now righted a wrong. We've repaired the damage but the journey needs to carry on.

"We feel we have reconnected with supporters on so many levels.....through appointing a head coach who recognises the importance of the fans, the players recognising them and doing more in the community, clapping them after every game win, lose or draw, reducing prices when we can and listening to them on things like booking fees which we have scrapped for on-line ticket purchases.

"But the biggest way to reconnect is by winning games and the players have done that. Kevin Thelwell said we'd need 27 wins for automatic promotion and we've got it with 28. That's what helps reconnect more than anything else.

"The players want to have a relationship with the fans. That doesn't necessarily pervade through at higher levels, where there is a detachment with stars in Ferraris, sunglasses and wearing headphones. But players like Danny Batth, Liam McAlinden and Jack Price are local and have been here since the age of nine. They have been part of the family. Going into the Championship, they will be the same......connecting with the fans."

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