Ryan Reynolds may have left his heart in Vancouver but he’s invested in the future of Wrexham.
The star of such films as Green Lantern, Van Wilder and Deadpool is now the co-owner of Wrexham Football Club. Reynolds and fellow actor Ryan McElhenney, the creator and star of the FX comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, announced their purchase of the long-standing Welsh side on Nov. 16.
Whether the Westgate Superbook will be offering action on Wrexham matches might still be in doubt. However, there’s no question that the worldwide profile of the club, which currently plays at the fifth level of English football in the National League will get a massive boost in both awareness and popularity.
“This is really happening,” Reynolds said via social media.
Reynolds and Mcelhenney revealed their acquisition of Wrexham AFC via a video announcement on the club’s Twitter feed, which begins with the duo making an impassioned pitch for Ifor Williams Trailers, the Welsh company that is Wrexham’s major sponsor.
“You may have never heard of Wrexham, or the Racecourse Ground, or Ifor Williams,” McElhenney said. “But you will.”
Wrexham a historic club
Founded in 1864, Wrexham is the oldest club in Wales and the third-oldest club in the world but the old fellow has retained a sense of humor. Noting that their first match under new ownership comes against Hartlepool United, the Wrexham twitter feed quickly pointed out the obvious “from Deadpool to Hartlepool” reference.
Reynolds is a football fan and a longtime supporter of the MSL’s Vancouver Whitecaps in his hometown. In a 2018 Facebook post, he noted that his “heart belongs to the Vancouver Whitecaps.”
When they submitted their proposal to the Wrexham Supporters Club on Nov. 8, Reynolds and McElhenney pledged to make an immediate cash investment of £2 million upon approval of their offer. The money will be spent on the club’s infrastructure, squad and facilities.
During a Zoom call with the WST, Reynolds suggested that Wrexham was a “sleeping giant. The sky is the limit,” he said. “We want to be great ambassadors for the club, to introduce the club to the world and we want Wrexham to be a global force.”
Wrexham is currently in 14th place in the 23-team National League. They’ve been outside the English Football League (EFL) since they were relegated to the fifth tier in 2008.
Wrexham Supporters Trust response
The decision by Reynolds and McElhenney to acquire the club was given a 98 percent approval vote from the Wrexham Supporters Trust. The WST is a supporter-controlled non-profit that has owned the side since 2011.
The WST released a statement in response to the sale.
“We are now in a position to confirm the result of the vote, which has been independently verified by Mi-Voice, the company assisting the Trust in the process,” the statement read.
“As such – subject to final agreement, league and FA confirmation – the RR McReynolds Company, LLC will take 100% control of Wrexham Football Club Limited from the WST.
“As Wrexham supporters, we would like to wish them the very best of luck in charge of our Football Club and look forward to what the future brings.”
Documenting the future
The new owners plan to combine their love of film and love of football to produce a behind the scenes documentary about Wrexham. It would be similar to the smash hit Netflix doc about English League One side Sunderland entitled Sunderland ‘Til I Die.
“That’s happened. We’re documenting it,” McElhenney said. “We should be thinking about Wrexham the way Man U (Manchester United) thinks about Man U. Engage in club, communities. What a great way to do it.”
Reynolds indicated he intends to attend as many Wrexham matches as he can possibly fit into his schedule. “We want to have a pint with the fans,” Reynolds said.
Supporters of the Welsh club are off the chain excited about where this could lead for Wrexham.
“They wanted a European club with potential, with history, one that was in a false position, but also one that was a huge part of the community,” WST member Chris Jones told The Associated Press. “So they sent out advisors to find a club that fitted their criteria. And it’s us.
“This is the absolute dream. We’ve always said we needed people who have hundreds of millions to come and buy the club.
“It has actually happened. It’s ridiculous.”