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By ESPN Staff

Wolves dismiss as 'fantasy' Mandaric takeover

Wolves owner and president Sir Jack Hayward has described as 'fantasy' fresh suggestions the club are in takeover talks with Milan Mandaric.

Wanderers benefactor Sir Jack has been bankrolling the Black Country club since May 1990 when he bought Wolves for £2.1million.

In his first 10 years of ownership, the Bahamas-based businessman spent £46million at Molineux before succeeding his son, Jonathan, as chairman in September 1997.

Sir Jack has since handed over the chairman's responsibilities to son Rick and promised to relinquish control of the club to anyone prepared to invest £40million.

Meanwhile, Mandaric has agreed to hand over ownership of Portsmouth to Sacha Gaydamak, although he may remain as non-executive chairman.

Sir Jack said: 'Milan Mandaric is a very nice fellow and I like him a lot.

'We were on speaking terms when Wolves were in the Premiership and I presume we still are on good terms.

'I don't know what his situation is, but I heard he sold his holding at Portsmouth having successfully redeveloped Fratton Park and he might stay on as a non-executive chairman.

'But as for him taking over here at Wolves, it's a fantasy.'

Meanwhile, chief executive Jez Moxey has called on Wolves fans to back new manager Mick McCarthy.

The 47-year-old McCarthy, currently on holiday in Portugal, has been appointed as the replacement for Glenn Hoddle, who walked out on the club last month citing a lack of financial resources.

Moxey, who confirmed McCarthy had been employed on a 12-month rolling contract, said: 'I think the job he did at Sunderland - where he took them into the play-offs following relegation, a season before winning promotion to the Premiership as champions - was one of the best jobs seen in the Championship for many years.

'He did that on a confined budget and with young, hungry players.

'Mick understands the challenge here and the budget he has to work with, but we're looking forward to him shaping a team which will be successful.

'But it's important for our supporters to get behind the new manager and his squad.

'Mick has got a tough task on his hands because we've only really got two weeks before the start of the season and he's still got to bring in a lot of players.'

McCarthy will arrive on Monday with Ian Evans as his assistant, meaning Stuart Gray, who was second in command to Glenn Hoddle and Dave Jones before him, will perform his last duty before leaving the club when he takes charge of the side in today's pre-season friendly at Swansea.

McCarthy's appointment has also precipitated the Molineux departure of chief scout George Foster and Hoddle's brother, Carl, who had held a coaching and scouting post.

Former England midfielder Paul Ince, who had applied for the manager's position following Hoddle's exit, has been offered a new playing contract.