Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have completed one of the most unlikely takeovers in sport after finalising terms to buy non-league Welsh football club Wrexham.
Reynolds and McElhenney have acquired 100 percent control of the National League club from the Wrexham Supporters Trust, making a £2 million ($2.76 million) investment in the club under the terms of the deal.
In a statement issued by the Supporters Trust, the actors said funds will be made available immediately and “first-team player identification will be a priority”.
Further money will be spent to enhance the women’s football programme, community initiatives and the Racecourse Ground.
“It is a special day for the two of us to become the latest stewards in the long and storied history of Wrexham AFC,” a statement from Reynolds and McElhenney said.
“Together with the players, the staff, the fans, and the local community, we can now pursue our goal to grow the team and return it to the EFL in front of increased attendances, and in an improved stadium, while making a positive difference to the wider community in Wrexham.”
A statement from the WST welcome the arrival of their famous new owners: “The Wrexham Supporters Trust Board is pleased to announce the completion of the sale of Wrexham AFC to RR McReynolds LLC.
“We urge all supporters to unite behind our new owners, the club and the team as they look to return Wrexham to the heights we have all dreamed of.”
While actors investing in sports teams is by no means new phenomena, the alliance between high-profile Hollywood actors and non-league minnows operating outside the professional football pyramid is an unusual one.
Wrexham are based in north Wales but they play in the fifth tier of English football – far removed from the glamour and worldwide reach of the Premier League.
That did not deter Deadpool star Reynolds and Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor McElhenney from purchasing the club, saying they wanted to turn the team into a “global force”.
Supporters Trust members voted 98.6 per cent in favour to accept the offer in November, but the takeover was still subject to approval from the Financial Conduct Authority.
The actors made a donation to the club to help in the January transfer window while they waited for the takeover to be authorised.
Wrexham are currently seventh in the National League as they chase a return to the fourth tier for the first time since 2008.
They have never played above the second tier, achieving their best ever finish when they came 15th at that level in 1979.
Wrexham’s most famous victory came in 1992 when they knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup third round at the Racecourse Ground.