Wolves & Grasshoppers: Guo Guangchang’s wife buys Swiss club & that’s had an immediate impact at Molineux

Wolves & Grasshoppers

Links between Premier League side Wolves and Swiss club Grasshoppers have grown closer this week.

Wolves are owned by China’s Fosun Group, which is run by billionaire Guo Guangchang.

Guo Guangchang’s wife, Jenny Wang, has this week purchased control of Grasshoppers Club Zurich.

While there’s been recent business between Wolves and Grasshoppers with regard to transfers, this week has seen boardroom changes in the two clubs.

 

Fosun: Guo Guangchang’s wife Jenny Wang buys Swiss club

The Fosun Group, headed by Guo Guangchang, bought Wolves back in July 2016.

The Chinese company paid 45 million pounds to acquire the total shareholding in Wolves from Steve Morgan.

Wolves were playing in the Championship at the time.

Before the coronavirus halted the season, Wolves were 6th in the Premier League.

So will Grasshoppers Zurich enjoy the same success as Wolves have had?

On Thursday, Grasshoppers confirmed that Jenny Wang had bought 90% of the club’s equity from previous owners Peter Stueber and Stephan Anliker.

The sum behind Jenny Wang’s takeover investment hasn’t been confirmed.

Grasshoppers are the most successful club in Swiss football, however they are currently playing in the second tier after the club’s relegation last term.

 

How the takeover at Grasshoppers had an immediate impact at Molineux

For the sake of clarity, there’s no direct, legal link between Grasshoppers and Wolves.

While the Fosun Group own Wolves, the company which has purchased Grasshoppers is called Champion Union.

However, Champion Union are a subsidiary of the Fosun Group.

Athletic reporter Tim Spiers has confirmed that “there is no official link between (Grasshoppers) and Wolves… (they are) owned by separate companies and no official affiliation.”

However, the takeover at Grasshoppers has already affected the boardroom at Molineux.

Tim Spiers confirmed that “Wolves board member Sky Sun and European scout Bernard Schuiteman have both left Wolves to be president and sports director respectively.”

Previous dealings between Wolves & Grasshoppers

Last season, Wolves bought teenager Christian Marques from Grasshoppers.

Christian Marques is a 17-year-old centre-half who was born in Portugal, but grew up in the Grasshoppers academy.

Marques has played for the Swiss U16 side.

In January 2020, Wolves loaned 20-year-old defender Ed Francis to Grasshoppers until the end of the season.

 

MADRID, SPAIN – OCTOBER 02: Cristiano Ronaldo (2ndL) poses for a picture with his trophy as all-time top scorer of of Real Madrid CF with his son Cristiano Ronald JR, mother Maria Dolores dos Santos and his manager Jorge Mendes (L) at Honour box-seat of Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on October 2, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. Portuguese palyer Cristiano Ronaldo overtook on his last UEFA Champions League match against Malmo FF Raul’s record as Real Madrid all-time top scorer. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

 

Was Jorge Mendes involved in the Grasshoppers takeover?

Wolves fans are well-aware of the influence that Jorge Mendes has at their club.

Mendes, the super-agent of Cristiano Ronaldo, was a key broker in the Wolves takeover.

The relationship between Fosun, Jorge Mendes and Wolves has previously been investigated by the Guardian:

Mendes’s relationship with the Fosun conglomerate… goes beyond friendship and advice: they have a business partnership and Mendes has been central to Fosun’s moves into football.

Mendes has since taken a raft of his clients to Molineux, including manager Nuno Espirito Santo, plus players Diogo Jota, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho.

Should Grasshoppers now expect other Mendes’ clients to arrive at their club?

Swiss outlet Blick note that while there have been rumours that Mendes was involved in the Jenny Wang takeover, there is no official source to confirm that the super-agent brokered the deal.

Nevertheless, Blick claim that Mendes “probably let his relationships play into the deal”.

 

More things you should know about this story

 

Also see: Best Netflix, Amazon & YouTube football documentaries & movies to watch during coronavirus isolation

9 best football documentaries to watch on ESPN+ during COVID-19 quarantine


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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