The Welcome to Wrexham docu-series shows just how immersed in the club Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are. A scene recorded on a movie lot shortly after Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney meet in person for the first time appear in an early episode of Welcome to Wrexham.
Recently approved as the new owners of a fifth-tier football club located in a working-class town in north Wales, The actors are seen admiring what appears to be a brass plaque on a studio wall commemorating the first film in which Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds appeared. A closer look and an impromptu act of minor vandalism reveal that the plate is made of cheap plastic and rubber, prompting McElhenney to gleefully observe: “This is just Hollywood to a tee; beautiful on the outside but just … shit.”
McElhenney, who had previously only met Reynolds through a series of mid-pandemic video calls during which they discussed and negotiated the purchase of Wrexham Football Club from its supporter’s trust, was the driving force behind the takeover. He couldn’t do it on his own and needed Reynolds’ “movie-star money,” which he has supplemented with lucrative stakes in Aviation American Gin and Mint Mobile.
Neither man had ever been to Wales, let alone Wrexham, nor the general concern among fans about the Hollywood duo’s unusual interest was that their star-studded stewardship and the documentary series that would follow it would be as goofy as the studio sign.
The questions are addressed in the first episode of their Disney+ series, which is halfway through an 18-episode run. In the first, McElhenney sets up his blue-collar credentials as the son of a working-class man who grew up in Philadelphia and claims an affinity for the Welsh town.
During his and Reynolds’ online pitch to the supporters’ trust, he tells his bemused audience that seeing his beloved Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl in 2018 was one of the top five moments of his life, ranking alongside marrying his wife and having children. He also emphasizes his fascination with the concept of promotion and relegation on different occasions throughout the series making no secret of his ambition to move Wrexham up to the Premier League.
McElhenney and Reynolds have given every indication that they are in it for the long haul, having completed a freehold purchase of the Racecourse Ground that includes a covenant ensuring that it will remain the home of Wrexham until at least 2115 unless the club outgrows it.
“I’ve only been the owner of a football club for a very short time,” says Reynolds, after Wrexham’s failure to make the playoffs under the glamorous new regime in May 2021, before he had seen them play in the flesh. “So far I’ve found it to be very time-consuming, emotionally exhausting, financially idiotic, and utterly addictive.”