Jack Hayward was a philanthropist, patriot, and football supporter. He bought Wolverhampton Wanderers, stabilised it and developed the ground. And, judging by the tributes and anecdotes, he did what he did for the good of the club and not to make money or boost his ego. It sounds as though he was the epitome of a fit and proper owner. The Guardian summed him up like this:
“He put in a lot of money, did not take a lot out and always managed to look as if it was the club doing him a favour rather than the other way around. You do not see much of that sort of class in football any longer.”
On the other hand, Carson Yeung’s conviction on money laundering charges means that the Football League (FL) no longer considers him a fit and proper person to own a football club. FL regulations stipulate that he cannot be a director or own more than 30% of the shares. Yeung does not own more than 30% of the shares but appears to be in an alliance with other shareholders and acting as a shadow director. So the FL have written to the club, asking if he is effectively acting as a director.
I would not expect all Blues fans to agree on what they want the FL to do now. With hindsight, a lot of us wish that it had had a stricter interpretation of what constituted a fit and proper owner that would have prevented Carson Yeung ever being involved in the ownership of our club. But you can’t undo the past and now we only seem to have the choice between two evils. The first possibility being that the FL decides that they don’t have sufficient evidence to prove that Carson Yeung is acting as a shadow director so they don’t intervene and the affair drags on. The other possibility is that they do intervene and impose some sanctions that damage the club. I think if I was given the choice I’d accept a points deduction, relegation and administration if that meant we ended up with better owners but I won’t be given the choice. There is no guarantee that new owners would be better. I doubt there are any like Jack Hayward waiting in the wings.