Ambitious Jeff Shi on Wolves' 10-year plan: "Everything we do is for the long term"

Jeff Shi says Wolves' future is being built brick by brick as he stated: "Everything we do is for the long term."

Ruben Neves (aged 20) and Diogo Jota (21) are part of Wolves' future (© AMA / Sam Bagnall)
Ruben Neves (aged 20) and Diogo Jota (21) are part of Wolves' future (© AMA / Sam Bagnall)

Fosun have invested tens of millions of pounds into the club since buying Wolves for £30million in July 2016.

With 10 games of the season to go Wolves are edging closer to promotion, which would be a year ahead of Fosun's initial three-year plan to get into the Premier League.

But Shi said that all the work being done behind the scenes was about long-term success.

"I'm thinking about the next 10 years," he told the Express & Star in an exclusive interview. "Three years to get into the Premier League, so if we get promoted this year we're a year ahead of schedule.

"It's a 10-year plan. It's an achievement to have a small Premier League club but it's not our (ultimate) target.

"We want to build a strong team and it will take time with ups and downs.

"It's not like we're building a house to meet the requirements of being in the Premier League and after one or two years we leave the house.

"We're building not a house but a manor! Step by step, brick by brick. It's a different methodology and personally I think it's different from most other clubs.

"That's a new way. Some fans want to compare us with Manchester City or Chelsea but it's different.

"Every period of time, every era, we have to find our own way to do something.

"My knowledge of other industries is that you can never copy anyone else to do something good. You can learn from them but eventually you have to absorb all the experience and try to find your own way of doing it – that's what we're trying to do.

"For example if we get promotion, can we stay in the Premier League? Can we go to the top 10, top eight, top six? Can we build a young a strong team to be developed for a long time and not go up and change the whole squad?

"Every investment we've done we hope for a long term return. We're doing a different strategy compared to other clubs and it's long term.

"We're very ambitious for long term success. It's not easy.

"If you want steady, long term success for a club you have to build everything now for a foundation.

"Sometimes it's tempting to something in the short term for quick success. But everything we do is for the long term."

Wolves have invested in a host of young players including Ruben Neves, Ivan Cavaleiro and Helder Costa, while Diogo Jota is set to join in an eight-figure deal this summer.

Shi wants these players to develop with Wolves and be part of the huge culture change he and Fosun are implementing at Molineux at Compton Park.

The chairman explained: "Everyone wants to shoot at us because we're top of the league. I like this feeling more than before.

"You can see when Aston Villa won they were so happy. Okay – fair play to them – but it shows what we have done to win the praise of our opponents.

"I remember last season we won 2-0 at Newcastle, a fantastic game and we were very happy. But we were a weaker team and for one game we were happy.

"Now we're stronger and building a mentality of a strong team.

"It's not only about young players. The most important thing is the player should be our asset, no matter if he is 30 or 20 years old.

"He should belong to us, not just a loan player who goes back to his parent club. So for many loans we have the buyout option.

"The other thing is when judging a player, especially from Nuno, we don't judge just on the goals, the saves, in which league he plays in, whether he's proven in the Premier League, British or's not our key judgement.

"Our key judgement is mentality, skill set, suited to our style, things like this. It's not just on paper.

"Ruben Neves is very young, foreign, never played in UK...but he's adapted because he has a strong mentality.

"In recruitment we think it's about digging deeper to figure out which players are best for us. Not on shallow criteria that every club knows about."

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