When Promotion Didn’t Herald Big Spending
Sammy Chung has expressed his delight at Wolves’ climb back to the big league – but doesn’t envy their top brass the endless round of transfer-market negotiations that lies ahead.
Chung, a promotion winner at Molineux in 1976-77, subsequently oversaw Wolves’ comfortable survival in the First Division despite not signing a single new player until the mid-autumn.
That leave-be policy is in total contrast to now, with Mick McCarthy confirming today that he plans to spend every penny available to him.
“It’s much harder to stay up now, of course, with the way money has become so important,” Chung said.
“We had two of the best front men in John Richards and Alan Sunderland and had players like Kenny Hibbitt and Steve Daley scoring goals from midfield, so we had the basis of a decent top-flight side anyway.
“But I didn’t strengthen the team that went up until I brought in Paul Bradshaw in the October and Billy Rafferty about five months later.
“We stayed up by finishing a few places out of the relegation places and I hope Wolves are okay next season because I’m absolutely chuffed for them, I really am.
“Their result is still the first one I look for and always has been. I’m sure Mick is a good manager and he’ll know he has to replace certain players.
“Whoever has to deal with all the agents, though, has my sympathy! I never did that. There were no agents and I would only have wanted to speak to the player, maybe in the company of someone like his father, because I wanted to know what the lad thought football-wise.”
Chung, now over a long-term virus picked up when visiting his son in Philadelphia last year, has more leisurely football commitments these days after his ten years at Molineux, the first eight of them as coach to Bill McGarry.
He does some coaching work with young players at Minehead, the club near to his home on the Somerset coast.
“I get down to Yeovil and the Bristol clubs from time to time and we’re very happy here,” the 76-year-old added. “I did some scouting for Wolves when Dave Jones was there but I’m into bowling as well these days and still have a bit of that competitive spirit.”