Wolves unveil Ã‚40m Molineux plans
Wolves have unveiled plans for a £40million redevelopment of Molineux which would take its capacity to 36,000 in time for the 2014/15 season. The project, which will be submitted for local authority approval in late July, was made public to local residents for the first time on Thursday night as part of a consultation meeting. The club's vision comprises of four phases, although planning permission will only initially be sought for the first three phases. Phase one is scheduled to start with the demolition of the Stan Cullis Stand at the end of the forthcoming season, with a state-of-the art two-tier structure constructed that extends into the open corner of the Steve Bull Stand - starting a stadium bowl design. Phase two will then see a new two-tier Steve Bull Stand built over the course of the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons in time for the start of 2014/15 - taking Molineux's capacity from 29,303 to 36,000. Phases three and four respectively, which are subject to supporter demand and not included in the £40m figure, would see the Jack Harris Stand regenerated to match the first two stands and take capacity to around 38,000. With early plans also drafted to possibly redevelop the Billy Wright Stand to take the figure up to 50,000. Importantly, chief executive Jez Moxey insists the money set aside for the initial stage of the plans is ring-fenced and will not affect manager Mick McCarthy's transfer budget as he looks to keep Wolves in the Barclays Premier League. Moxey went on to stress the club's focus remains "all about the football" and firmly on building a squad capable of keeping the Black Country club in the top flight. Speaking about the iconic project, he said: "These plans represent an exciting vision for the redevelopment of Molineux, which our chairman Steve Morgan had when he first acquired the club in 2007. "His commitment to Wolves and his investment into all aspects of the club has helped us develop both on and off the field, culminating in the team retaining its Premier League status for the coming season." Capacity will naturally decrease while the proposed building work is undertaken, with plans being drawn up to cater for fans being moving around, but all other options in relation to building a new stadium and relocating elsewhere were exhausted. And, with Wanderers having recently been granted a 999-year lease for Molineux from Wolverhampton City Council, chairman Morgan is determined to build a stadium that not only increases revenue but improves facilities and the overall matchday experience for supporters - with fans being brought as close as possible to the pitch to create an intimidating atmosphere. Moxey added: "Redeveloping Molineux will provide a significant boost to the local economy at a time when the country is attempting to come out of a painful recession. "However, at the same time we need to set expectations. We intend to manage our plans in the same way we run our club - namely in a very sensible and commercially sound way but stadium redevelopment plans will not affect our plans to continue to invest in the team. "We must get this balancing act right if we are to be successful in the medium to long-term. "Today's announcement is the start of a long and challenging journey, which means the shape of our plans may change over time. "There are exciting times ahead but this is only the beginning of a long and difficult process."
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