Inside Hollywood A-listers’ $15.35m plan to make Welsh minnows a ‘global force’
It has been an unusual time for the entire world – but perhaps no more so than for non-league side Wrexham, who have been taken over by two Hollywood A-listers in Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor Rob McElhenney.
And suddenly the blue-collar town of Wrexham has been sprinkled with the stardust of two of the most recognisable actors in America, and that is just the beginning.
Wrexham, as Reynolds has claimed, are the third oldest football club in the world having been founded in 1864, but have been fan-owned since 2011 when the Wrexham Supporters Trust took control.
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Reynolds gets cheeky for club0:59
The club has struggled on and off the pitch in the years since however, with relegation from League 2 for the first time in 87 seasons seeing them become a non-league team not helping their finances.
But they were not actively seeking investment cap in hand to stay afloat so when Wrexham director Spencer Harris was approached by an intermediary about the potential sale of the club, it was very out of the blue.
And it was even more of a shock when a non-disclosure agreement was pushed in front of Harris and his fellow directors as it was revealed that the prospective investors were none other than Deadpool and ‘Mac’.
“This deal, we had to get it and land it while it was in the offing and I am delighted we’ve managed to do that,” Harris told BBC Sport Wales.
“These are ordinary people in an extraordinary job. They are very down to earth people.”
Wrexham raised the matter with their supporters, which is when the star duo’s identities were revealed to the world, with over 95 per cent of fans voting they should proceed with talks.
Reynolds and McElhenney have big plans for the club, promising to inject at least £2m into the club to help turn it into a “global force”.
“This is the third-oldest club on the planet and we don’t see why it can’t have a global appeal,” said Reynolds. “We want Wrexham to be a global force.”
Wrexham have overnight become one of the most talked-about football clubs in the world, with plenty of other A-listers tweeting about them and even Russell Crowe revealing his roots come from the North Walian town.
“Why Wrexham? Why not!” McElhenney said.
The fan ownership would have been attractive, with no money required to take control leaving plenty for investment into the club, while McElhenney said the “blue collar” town reminded him of his native Philadelphia.
Another clear enticement is the prospect of making a documentary about the duo’s ownership, with Amazon Prime and Netflix both thought to be interested.
According to New York Times chief soccer correspondent Rory Smith, the money generated from such a documentary series would transform the club and make it one of the richest in the league.
“The working theory seems to be that they want to make this documentary,” he told BBC Radio 5 live. “By all accounts Netflix pay somewhere in the region of £300,000-£800,000 an hour of content and selling an eight-episode series would make Wrexham profitable and that would transform them.”
Wrexham are currently just one point above relegation from the National League, which is the tier below League 2, but this could be the happy Hollywood ending they have all dreamt of.