Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) are card-carrying Wrexham patrons. What began as a riveting anonymous contribution soon turned into something more: a £2 million business investment and the opportunity of a lifetime. The two founded their own company, RR McReynolds, and purchased Wrexham AFC mid-pandemic with 98.6% of fan-owned Wrexham Supporters Trust eagerly supporting the bid, fully realizing their soccer fantasy. Reynolds and McElhenney are now the proud owners of the third-oldest football club in the world — the oldest in Wales alone. “We want Wrexham to be a global force,” Reynolds was quoted to have said last year, and a global force it has become. FX just green-lit a nonfiction documentary series about the Red Dragons’ major-league celebrity repossession, with Reynolds and McElhenney executive producing.
Welcome to Wrexham recounts the rip-roaring true story behind Hollywood’s unofficial acquisition of one of the most distinguished clubs in English football, and the hopes and dreams of working-class Wrexham along with it. Nick Grad, president of original programming at Disney-owned FX Entertainment, writes: “Rob McElhenney has been an all star on Team FX for years and now has partnered with the formidable Ryan Reynolds to bring glory to the ‘Red Dragons’ in the docuseries Welcome to Wrexham. Rob and Ryan will take fans inside the sport as never before, pairing their genuine love for the game with the welcome challenge of building on the heritage of this club.” The studio already rubber-stamped two seasons of Welcome to Wrexham ahead of pre-production. Boardwalk Pictures is producing.
Wrexham currently plays non-League football. Ryan Reynolds’s newest buy is one of 24 men’s association English football clubs competing in the National League, the highest possible tier as a non-League participant and the fifth division overall. The Red Dragons are proud fifth placers this season, but if all goes according to plan, they could get bumped up to League Two, the designated fourth level in the pyramid. On the other hand, if the club performs poorly in the National League, they could suffer relegation just in time for the next season.
The Ryan Reynolds team wasn’t always in the non-League. The team was promoted to League One, the third division, for the 2003-04 playoffs and placed 13th. They were relegated to League Two, the level just below One, for 2005-06 matches after placing 22nd the year prior. Wrexham continued to qualify for League Two for another three more years; finally, it was relegated a second time for the 2008-09 Conference Premier and has since played exclusively for the National League. The club is highly respected in the field for its decorated history; unfortunately, patrons and team members haven’t had much luck in recent years, with Wrexham perpetually coasting between the National League and League Two, and never further. The team originally trained in Colliers Park, in the club’s native Gresford in North Wales. Wrexham currently shares its new training spot in Stantsty Park with Welsh Premier Division team Lex Glyndwr. The club’s official stadium is located in central Wrexham, at the Racecourse Ground.
Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have a packed 2021 ahead. The Deadpool star has about twenty new projects lined up for 2021 and 2022 alone, with the long-awaited sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard coming out in June. McElhenney spent the months before COVID-19 playing a soldier in the last season of Game of Thrones. As of last year, he’s headlined the Apple TV+ comedy series Mythic Quest, as main character Ian Grimm and the show’s co-creator and executive producer. Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet goes impressively in-depth into the day-to-day operations of the game developing business; the titular Mythic Quest is an MMORPG created and run by the main cast. Anthony Hopkins, Snoop Dogg, Jake Johnson, and Cristin Milioti have guest-starred in the show. Fellow It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia actors Charlie Day and Megan Ganz co-created Mythic Quest with McElhenney.