Controversial Wolves takeover cleared by FA despite Jorge Mendes links

Mendes sold a stake in his agency Gestifute to a subsidiary of Fosun, who subsequently bought the west Midlands club

Jack Pitt-Brooke
Tuesday 13 December 2016 14:33 GMT
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The link between Fosun and Mendes raised concerns that Wolves were in breach of the FA regulations
The link between Fosun and Mendes raised concerns that Wolves were in breach of the FA regulations (Getty)

Wolverhampton Wanderer’s controversial ties to Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute agency have been approved by the Football Association.

Wolves were bought by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International in July for £45million, months after Mendes sold a stake in Gestifute to a Fosun subsidiary. Mendes then oversaw Wolves’ transfer market activity this summer.

This link between Fosun and Mendes raised concerns that Wolves were in breach of the FA’s intermediary regulations. In the section relating to ‘conflicts of interest’, the regulations state that intermediary organisations “shall not have an interest in a club”, and that a club “shall not have any interest in the business or affairs of an….intermediary’s organisation.”

Last November, Mendes sold a 20 per cent stake in his world-famous Gestifute agency, with ties to Jose Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez, to Foyo Culture and Entertainment, a Fosun subsidiary. This was announced as part of a major partnership between Mendes and Fosun.

When Fosun bought Wolves from Steve Morgan in July, they brought Mendes with them as an adviser on their transfer dealings. But the FA, when examining the takeover, looked into the matter and found there to be no issue. The formal ties between Fosun and Gestifute were considered to be so minor that they were not enough to represent a ‘conflict of interest’ under FA rules.


Since the takeover Mendes has led Wolves’ transfer activity. They signed Ivan Cavaleiro from Monaco, another club with very close ties to Mendes, and Silvio Pereira, who spent the last three years on loan to Benfica from Atletico Madrid.

Benfica have close ties to Mendes but also to Foyo, the Fosun subsidiary, and Wolves nearly pulled off two even more ambitious signings from the Lisbon club. They tried to sign veteran Brazilian centre-back Luisao and Brazilian winger Anderson Talisca, but Luisao stayed at Benfica, and Talisca joined Besiktas on loan instead.

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