Hollywood’s Reynolds and McElhenney found success at Welsh soccer club Wrexham. But there’s a warning for would-be copycats

by | May 8, 2023 | Financial

WREXHAM, Wales – May 2, 2023: Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, co-owners of Wrexham AFC, celebrate with the club’s men’s and women’s teams during a bus parade following their respective title-winning seasons in the Vanarama National League and Genero Adran North.Jan Kruger/Getty ImagesLONDON — When Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought Wrexham AFC, a small Welsh soccer club languishing in the fifth tier of the English league pyramid, many were skeptical that the two Hollywood stars would be able to give its long-suffering fans anything to cheer about.Not least because, by their own admission, neither had the first idea about soccer — or football as they would be forced to call it from then on — nor about North Wales, where the sport’s third-oldest professional club is based.The two actors completed their £2 million ($2.5 million) takeover of the club in February 2021, and last month, Wrexham won the Vanarama National League title, securing promotion back to the English Football League (EFL) system after 15 years in the wilderness.The club will next year compete in the EFL League Two and now boasts a re-energized local fanbase, a global cult following attracted by its A-list owners, and a hit documentary series. Its budget will likely dwarf that of many of next year’s League Two opponents, though the competition will be far stiffer.”The thing that strikes me is how wrong it could’ve gone. People are waiting in the wings to shoot this kind of thing down,” Sam Hollis, head of strategy at British management consultancy FutureBrand, told CNBC last week.”There’s a big …

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