Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey insists former owner Jack Hayward saved the club from possible extinction.
Boyhood Wolves fan Hayward passed away in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, aged 91 yesterday.
He bought the club in 1990 after they had returned to the second tier - following a triple relegation which had seen Wolves tumble into the Fourth Division in 1986.
Hayward sold Wolves in 2007 to current owner Steve Morgan for £10 in return for a £30million investment into the club.
And Moxey believes Hayward may have stopped the club folding after pumping in around £60million during his ownership.
"It may not be here at all is the honest answer, certainly not in its current patronage in terms of restoring Molineux and investing in the team," Moxey said.
"He perhaps regrets investing the money in the team in the way he did - but he kept funding it.
"I'm not sure we will see the likes of Sir Jack again but not just because of football, because of philanthropy, what he did for the country and Wolverhampton.
"We're compiling a list, he just never stopped caring about others. The world of football has been blessed by what he did.
"His first game was when he was five. He lived in Whitmore Reans, a stone's throw from Molineux, and used to climb under the turnstiles to watch his heroes. He went on to fulfil a lifelong dream of owning the club. It was a tremendous story."
Hayward appointed Moxey as chief executive at Molineux and the 51-year-old is grateful to his former boss. "I was at Stoke City as chief executive and I first met Sir Jack when we played here," he said.
"And 14-and-a-half years ago, Sir Jack brought me from a flat at Molineux to introduce me as his chief executive.
"I owe a great debt of gratitude to him personally. Since he passed the club on to Steve we have remained incredibly close. "Me and my family were only with him in the Bahamas last summer. He was a great figure, for me a mentor and a friend.
"We're really sad."
Matt Murray was in goal when Wolves won promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 2003.
"This club is the club it is today because of him," Murray said.