Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have bought one of the oldest football teams in the world and plan to document their first foray into the sport on a TV show on the fly.
In a pinch moment for Welsh club Wrexham’s success-hungry fans, Reynolds and McElhenney have completed a $2.5 million ($3.4 million) takeover of a team that plays in the fifth tier of English football.
“It’s really happening,” said Reynolds, a Canadian-born actor best known for starring in the Deadpool movies, at the end of a short video announcing the purchase of the 156-year-old club.
In a recent call with members of the club’s Supporters’ Trust, Reynolds and McElhenney described Wrexham as a “sleeping giant” and outlined their vision for making the team a “global force”.
“You may never have heard of Wrexham, the Racecourse Ground or (the sponsor) Ifor Williams,” Reynolds said then, putting on a Welsh accent, “but you will.”
To boost the profile of a club that languishes in 14th place in the National League and has been outside English football’s four major professional leagues since 2008, the owners-elect are set to use Wrexham in a TV drama.
” It happened. We document it,” McElhenney, an American actor and director who was the creator of the It’s Always Sunny TV show in Philadelphia, told his followers on the call last week.
“We should think of Wrexham like Man U (Manchester United) thinks of Man U. Engaging with the club, the communities. What a great way to do it,” McElhenney said.
Amazon Prime was among the first to respond to Wrexham’s takeover announcement on Twitter, sending its congratulations to the cast.
Wrexham, which has been a fan-owned club since 2011, said the ‘RR McReynolds Company’ would take 100% control – subject to confirmation by football authorities – following a vote among supporters at the during which more than 98% were in favor of the purchase by Reynolds and McElhenney.
“Gang buy North Walian football club,” read a tweet from Wrexham.
The club’s supporters’ trust said: “As supporters of Wrexham, we would like to wish them the best of luck at the helm of our football club and we look forward to what the future holds.”
Fans are currently not allowed to attend football matches in Britain amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Reynolds said he wanted to be at “as many matches as possible”.
“We want to have a pint with the fans,” he said, adding his intention for him and McElhenney to be “great ambassadors for the club” and to “introduce the club to the world”.
Wrexham, a town of around 65,000 near the north-west border of England, has hosted international games for Wales.
In 1992, Wrexham scored perhaps their most famous win when they beat Arsenal – the then reigning English champions – 2-1 in the FA Cup third round.
Wrexham had finished in last place in the Football League the previous season.