Wolves withdraw from South Korea tour, cancelling matches against Celtic and Roma

Wolves have announced that they have had to withdraw from their planned pre-season tour in South Korea due to financial concerns surrounding the promoter. The English Premier League side were scheduled to play Scottish Champions Celtic and Italian side Roma on their tour which back in May they described as “the most commercially lucrative pre-season tour in the club’s history.”

Today Wolves explained the reasons why they have had to pull the plug on their pre-season tour to South Korea.

“With great regret, Wolves can confirm that the club has been forced to withdraw from its pre-season fixtures and tour to South Korea next month.

“The withdrawal from the scheduled matches, which were set to take place at the end of July, comes after numerous financial and logistical obligations were not met by the tour’s promoter, Stadium X/USG.”

Wolves are now making alternative plans and will be arranging friendly matches more locally to avoid further disruption ahead of the new season.

A Wolves spokesperson said via the club’s official website: “I feel incredibly disappointed that we’re not going to be able to fulfil the commitments that we made in South Korea this summer, not only for our partners and suppliers, but, of course for Hee Chan and all of our fans.

“We are absolutely gutted to not be going to Korea. We’re all devastated because we had so many different things planned for supporters that we’re now not going to be able to fulfil.

“To the supporters in Korea, we want reiterate to you that we are committed to the Korean market and we hope to find a way to demonstrate that to you, in spite of the disappointing news about the upcoming tour and matches.”

He continued: “It’s not just Wolves who have been affected by this, it’s all three clubs that are part of this tour. The tour was brought to us by a well-respected and established group, so it gave us confidence that this would be a really exciting tour and at no point whatsoever did we think we’d be in the position we are right now.

“We have been in close dialogue with the tour promoters for the past two months as they sought new investment, following the loss of the original tour investor, but unfortunately, and despite numerous promises, they have not delivered.

“We’ve not taken this decision lightly and have explored every avenue thoroughly in an attempt to not let our fans down, including numerous conversations with other local promoters.

“Of course, this decision is a big blow to the club from a commercial perspective, but I am fully aware of the most important reason for pre-season, which is the preparation for another important Premier League campaign. Because of this, we have to move on quickly from this disappointment. We have to adapt, and will find a European solution to ensure the best possible preparation.”

This obviously has implications for Celtic who now have lost their opponents to play in South Korea on the second leg of the Summer Tour of Asia which starts in Japan with matches against Yokohama F. Marinos and Gamba Osaka.

Brendan Rodgers will be looking for an alternative fixture at the end of July to replace the now cancelled friendly against Wolves in South Korea. Whether Celtic will still be heading to South Korea after the two matches in Japan is obviously now a major doubt, especially if there is a financial question mark over the promoters and of course there is currently no opponent.

Celtic’s tour in Japan ends on 22 July and currently there is no fixture until the James Forrest Testimonial at Celtic Park on 2 August. Whether Celtic will travel to Korea, stay longer in Japan or head home to play an alternative fixture closer to home, is likely to be decided imminently.

Wolves pulling out of the tour match against Celtic due to issues with the promoter mirrors the situation last November when Celtic ended up playing Everton in Sydney rather than theRangers who didn’t fancy paying second fiddle to Celtic who clearly had the backing of the Australians due to the Ange Postecoglou factor. His first match in charge of Spurs is coincidentally going to be in Perth, Australia.

Celtic so far have not commented on the news that Wolves have withdrawn from the friendly match against the Hoops that was scheduled to take place at the end of July but is now cancelled.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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