It really is quite unbelievable that two Hollywood superstars want to invest their money into Wrexham AFC and turn them into a “global force”.
I should be really excited as a lifelong supporter of the club. However, I also happen to be a proud socialite with a healthy dislike of plastic club created by money. I am happy supporting a club in the lower leagues and have little interest in giving my support to a manufactured outfit.
To be fair to them, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney gave a good performance in the virtual meeting at the weekend. Details of this meeting can be found below, but as a historian who is compiling a book looking back at the club’s years in the Football League from 1921-2008, I am finding it difficult to welcome radical new investment that will fundamentally change the nature of being a Wrexham supporter.
There are many positives that come with the proposed investment, but there are also a few drawbacks. I am not a hypocrite and cannot support a club that is artificially fueled by filthy lucre. Having said that, I would be happy to speak to Reynolds and McElhenney to give them a greater understanding of our club.
To me, I am not really interested in winning at all costs. Sure I want to see good football being played and the club restoring their Football League status, but give me mid-table obscurity in the lower leagues any day, as opposed to flying high just because we can afford it.
Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds wants to turn National League club Wrexham into a “global force”.
Reynolds and fellow actor Rob McElhenney want to buy the club from fan owners Wrexham Supporters Trust.
Deadpool star Reynolds and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s McElhenney shared their vision with members of the trust on Sunday.
“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.”
He was speaking during a virtual presentation to trust members, after which the duo issued a mission statement in which they pledged to “always beat” arch-rivals Chester.
Reynolds and McElhenney also 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 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 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 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.”
Reynolds added: “Our intention is to become part of the Wrexham story rather than Wrexham becoming part of our story.”
Reynolds also said he and McElhenney intend to attend games when work commitments allowed them to.
The pair set out their plans for the club at the virtual meeting after Trust members voted 95% in favour of holding talks with the pair.
They also answered fans’ questions during the online gathering and members of Wrexham Supporters Trust told BBC Wales they were impressed by the presentation.
One enthusiastic supporter of the proposed deal said: “They’ve done a lot of homework. The presentation was unbelievable. They said everything you wanted to hear as a football supporter. It’s like dreamland.”
Another member who is more sceptical about the deal said the meeting had been very “slick” with the two Hollywood stars giving a “good” presentation.
“I’m less negative, but am still worried about what happens when they leave.”
Club president Dixie McNeill was also positive about the proposals and impressed by the two actors.
“They’re pretty young, they are really alert about the football club and where they want it to go,” the former Wrexham player and manager told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast programme.
“They were positive and I think the fans were looking for that, they were talking about getting the club as global as they possibly can.
“After all the time we’ve been run by the supporters association, I think it’s time now for the club to move forward.
“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.”
Any potential takeover could lead to £2m being invested in the club, which has been in fan ownership since 2011.
More than 2,000 trust members can vote to decide the club’s future and for the resolutions to be approved, 75% of members who respond to the ballot must vote in favour.
Trust members had received voting packs ahead of the presentation detailing the next steps of the proposed takeover bid by The R.R McReynolds Company.
Members will be able to vote from Monday until Sunday, 15 November and a decision is expected the following day.
Director Spencer Harris would then expect the club could be in the hands of Reynolds and McElhenney within a few weeks.
“If the decision is to proceed with the sale then we will finalise a sale of purchase agreement,” Harris told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.
“They will need to go and get approval from the league and from the FA for the takeover to go through and I’d expect that all between sale and purchase to take a few short weeks and at that point a transfer of ownership would take place.”
Harris, like the rest of the board, is taking a neutral stance rather than giving trust members guidance on the vote. However he outlined to the programme his respect for the Hollywood pair and their approach.
“What I would say is that the people we are talking about build their careers based on reputation and that should give a lot of comfort to Wrexham fans,” he told the programme on Monday morning.
“As part of the deal we retain the headline lease of the Racecourse Stadium, so the Racecourse remains secure and long term within the control of the community. So there are many safeguards but ultimately these are two people who not only are successful in their day jobs as actors, but have very successful external business careers as well with Rob having just sold his Aviation gin business to Diageo for quite some many millions of dollars.”
The north Wales club, formed in 1864, play in English football’s fifth tier following their relegation from the Football League in 2008.