“Hahaha……. Wait, seriously?” Those words sum up the reaction of the footballing world this week following the announcement that movie stars and close friends Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney had completed the takeover of Welsh club Wrexham AFC, subject to approval from the league and Welsh FA. The world’s third oldest football club currently ply their trade in the National League, the fifth tier of the English football. If the takeover is completed, Wrexham would receive an immediate £2 million cash injection.
The two stars shared their vision for the club with members of the current ownership, the Wrexham Supporters Trust.
Reynolds stated, “This is the third oldest club on the planet and we don’t see why it can’t have global appeal.”
“We want Wrexham to be a global force.”
Speaking during a virtual presentation to trust members this past weekend, Reynolds and McElhenney pledged;
- To protect the heritage that has made Wrexham AFC and the Racecourse Ground such a special place to watch football for the last 156 years.
- “To use our resources to grow the exposure of the club. Of course, this would be in concert with protecting the heart and spirit of a community-led historical icon. But why can’t the third-oldest club in the world have a global appeal?
- “To reinforce the values, traditions and legacy of this community. We understand and respect the intense loyalty and love for this club and how it’s woven into the fabric of the town and its supporters.
- “To reward the faith of the supporters who have stood by Wrexham AFC through its history by putting everything we have towards what all fans want most for their club, and that is to… win, win, win.”
The duo also pledged perhaps the most important thing of all, to “always beat” closest rivals Chester. Reynolds also said that both he and McElhenney will attend games when work commitments allow.
This is quite the step for these two young men. Football can be a ruthless business but Ryan Reynolds has shown in the past with his previous business ventures that once he commits to something, he will put absolutely everything behind it to make sure it succeeds, and that form will encourage Wrexham fans, who will be hoping this takeover helps them to return to the Football League for the first time since 2008.
Wrexham club president Dixie McNeill was positive about the proposals of the pair along with many of the club’s supporters.
“They’re pretty young, they are really alert about the football club and where they want it to go” said McNeill, before adding; “The Trust have run the club brilliantly but we’ve had no money and everybody knows in football you need money to move forward, to buy players, and this a great opportunity for us.”
There is understandable skepticism amongst some supporters, but almost everyone seems to be impressed by the proposals of Reynolds and McElhenney, as well as their knowledge of the club. This is a huge opportunity for Wrexham to make it to the big time if things go right, but in the short term, their hopes will just be to return to the Football League. For the pair of actors, it’ll be a difficult journey, with plenty of hurdles, but if it all goes well, they could help produce amazing memories for the fans of this historic club, while possibly increasing the global stature of the club to a level their fans could only have dreamt of previously. It’ll be a very interesting journey, but football does love a fairytale after all.