This is how two Hollywood actors who knew nothing about football helped Wrexham AFC win their first promotion in 15 years.
Ever since Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought Welsh Football Club Wrexham AFC in November 2020, the club has undoubtedly improved in a myriad of ways.
Reynolds and McElhenney have invested a lot to help this club reach success. And after two and a half years, though their story with Wrexham is far from over, the club has given them a Hollywood-befitting ending to their most recent season.
These are five ways Wrexham has changed under the leadership of two actors (who may or may not understand the offside rule).
Wrexham now has money to spend
For a long time, before the Hollywood takeover, Wrexham truly struggled to stay afloat financially.
In fact, one of the club’s oldest fans told The Athletic a story about a young boy coming into the club shop, offering his pocket money to donate to the club, because their financial state had become a public concern for their community.
Today, with Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney leading the ship, the state of the club’s money has definitely improved.
Apart from the millions that the two actors have invested from their joint company, they have also received support from big-name sponsors, such as TikTok and Expedia. On top of this, the increase in the club’s global publicity has given rise to the sales of tickets and merchandise.
Wrexham has become a tourist destination
Five years ago, a traveler looking for a new city to visit might have looked at Wrexham and not given it a second thought. But now, it has become a tourist destination.
Famous figures such as Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell, David Beckham, Hugh Jackman, Blake Lively, and the cast of Rob’s hit show, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, have all been to Wrexham’s home turf, the Racecourse. You’d think they were playing in the Premier League, and not in the league four tiers below the top.
Wrexham has the world’s attention
Before Rob and Ryan took ownership of the club, you would have been hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Wales who knew the team Wrexham AFC. Now, they are one of the most talked-about clubs in the world, even among non-football fans.
On top of this, for a relatively small team, they have big matches ahead of them.
During the league’s summer break this year, Wrexham will be competing in friendly matches against two of the biggest football clubs in the world: Manchester United and Chelsea. And fans are already ecstatic to see how this small club fairs against the best.
They’re getting promoted
After buying the club in November 2020, Rob and Ryan’s efforts have led Wrexham to the championship of the 2022-2023 season of the National League, guaranteeing them promotion into League Two after 15 years.
They say that the National League is the toughest league to get out of, but Wrexham has done it. Moving up one tier in the United Kingdom’s football pyramid means more funding, better access to better players, and an even better chance to improve as a club.
It’s not just a promotion
When Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds first wanted to buy Wrexham AFC, the big question was, why Wrexham?
Their shared sentiment was that they not only wanted to help the club become successful once again but to also uplift their entire community.
Apart from the promotion being a huge boost for the team, it is also a huge boost for the entire city. The fans who have stuck by this team, especially throughout the period of time wherein they struggled financially, so much so that they thought every game might be their last, are a huge part of this success.
While the road is still far from over, especially now that Wrexham has bigger goals they will be shooting for, Rob and Ryan can already take pride in what they have given this small town.
Banner image from AFP.