Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club /ˌwʊlvərˈhæmptən/ (commonly referred to as Wolves) is a professional association football club based in the city of Wolverhampton, West Midlands. The club was originally known as St. Luke's FC and was founded in 1877 and since 1889 has played at Molineux. They compete in the Championship, the second highest tier of English football, having been promoted from League One in 2014 after a solitary season at that level.
Historically, Wolves have been highly influential, most notably as being founder members of the Football League, as well as having played an instrumental role in the establishment of the European Cup, later to become the UEFA Champions League. Having won the FA Cup twice before the outbreak of the First World War, they developed into one of England's leading clubs under the management of ex-player Stan Cullis after the Second World War, going on to win the league three times and the FA Cup twice more between 1949 and 1960. It was during this time that the European Cup competition was established, after the English press declared Wolves "Champions of the World" following their victories against numerous top European and World sides in some of British football's first live televised games.
Wolves have yet to match the successes of the Stan Cullis era, although, under Bill McGarry, they contested the first-ever UEFA Cup final in 1972 and won the 1974 League Cup, a trophy they lifted again six years later under John Barnwell. However, financial mismanagement in the 1980s led to the club's very existence being under threat as well as three consecutive relegations, before a revival and back-to-back promotions under manager Graham Turner and record goalscorer Steve Bull saw them finish the decade in the Second Division, winning the Football League Trophy along the way.
Despite the financial backing of then-owner Sir Jack Hayward during the next decade, they were unable to regain a place in the top flight until 2003, when manager Dave Jones ended their nineteen-year exile but only for a solitary Premier League season. The club returned for a three-year stay at the top level after Mick McCarthy led them back as Football League Championship champions in 2009, but his dismissal in 2012 preceded relegation back to the Championship. The following season saw two further managers dismissed as the club then suffered a second relegation, ending up in League One. However, in the following season they gained promotion back to the Championship where they currently reside. The club's current head coach is Paul Lambert, who took charge in November 2016, within months of the club being taken over by the Chinese investment group Fosun Group.Close