Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney: ‘Why not dream big?’ Wrexham owners aim for Premier League

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney: ‘Why not dream big?’ Wrexham owners aim for Premier League

by Emily Smith
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Welsh names, penalties and celebrity fans: Wrexham’s Hollywood owners visit the RacecourseCo-chairman Rob McElhenney says Wrexham’s “big dream” would be to reach the Premier League.

McElhenney and fellow Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds are visiting the Welsh club for the first time since they were confirmed as owners in February 2021.

Wrexham have been in English football’s fifth tier since relegation from the Football League in 2008 and are currently 11th in the National League after a mixed start to the season.

“No one has gone from our league all the way up to the Premier League but some clubs have gone from the National League to the Championship,” McElhenney said.

“So we’re obviously going to try and go above that.

“Maybe this is just my own naivety, but what I would say to Humphrey [Ker, club director and comedian] ‘if the way that the system works couldn’t we theoretically get to the Premier League?’

“He sort of laughed and said, ‘Well yes, but that would never happen.’ And I don’t understand why.

“We clearly have the structure and system potentially to allow us to grow at that scale. Why not dream big?”

Reynolds and McElhenney attend first Wrexham gameTown ‘buzzing’ as Hollywood owners watch first Wrexham gameReynolds added: “If you don’t think like that then I don’t think you will ever go there, so why not.”

Reynolds once again said the aim was to make the club “more global than it is” and said the priority was to “expand and grow the club in every way we can”.

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney address the Wrexham playersThe pair made their much-awaited first appearance at a Wrexham game on Tuesday night at Maidenhead United’s York Road, which the Dragons lost 3-2 and McElhenney described the experience as “intense”.

“That was the first time we’d seen them live and unfortunately it didn’t turn out the way we were hoping,” McElhenney added.

“But just to see the club fight back like that was really inspiring.”

Maidenhead went 2-0 up before Wrexham’s Bryce Hosannah was sent-off in the 31st minute, but despite being a man down the visitors drew level before succumbing to a late goal.

Reynolds added: “Being at a football game like that and being as invested as we are was absolute torture.

“I loved every second of it but it certainly had its moments of agony. I loved watching the club out there and for a moment it was pretty damn exciting and they really showed their stuff, particularly in the second half.

“I just can’t wait for Saturday, it’s going to be exciting.”

Torquay United will be Wrexham’s opponents on Saturday for the owners’ first home game and McElhenney said the welcome they had already received had been “incredible”.

Reynolds said they had spent time “over a few drinks” with supporters at The Turf Hotel, the pub adjacent to the ground where the club was formed in 1864, where they had a “no-holds-barred chat”.

He also reiterated that involving the community was at the heart of their decision to buy the club.

“The fact that the club has been around for 160 years and will be around for another 160 years is really important to us,” McElhenney said.

“We want to win right now while we’re alive and we also want to set up the structure for the club to continue long after.”

Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds had a taste of a penalty shoot-out at Wrexham – with varying successBefore addressing the media, McElhenney and Reynolds had earlier met manager Phil Parkinson and some of the players during a training session at the Racecourse Stadium.

Reynolds said spending time with the staff and players had been “invaluable” and were hoping to spend more time with the first-team squad over the coming days.

Both the Deadpool star and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator McElhenney also took penalties, with varied success from the spot.

Reynolds’ effort struck the crossbar while his co-owner scored.

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