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In a move that came as a surprise to many, Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney bought a football club in north Wales. Here's how much they paid for it.
Football has been in the news a lot more than usual recently, thanks to England's Lionesses (opens in new tab)' impressive Euro's win. And the beautiful game is about to be at the forefront again as a new Disney+ documentary Welcome to Wrexham follows the journey of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney to becoming owners of Wrexham AFC.
Among other Disney+ films (opens in new tab) that have got viewers excited - including the highly anticipated arrival of Thor: Love and Thunder (opens in new tab) - Welcome to Wrexham has been eagerly awaited since Reynolds and McElhenney first bought the club. And alongside the many questions fans have around why two high-profile celebs would want to buy a Welsh football club, many want to know how much did Ryan Reynolds pay for Wrexham Football Club?
How much did Ryan Reynolds pay for Wrexham football club?
Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought Wrexham AFC for £2million, completing the takeover on February 9 2021. The club was Wales' first ever professional football team and was founded in 1864 by members of the town's cricket club.
In September 2020 the club announced it had been approached by two "extremely well-known individuals of high net worth" who wanted to buy it. It was later revealed that the two stars were Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, with both saying that their goal was to return the club to the English Football League.
Wrexham was demoted from the English Football League to the National Football League in 2009, and two years later was sold to its Supporters Trust. The Trust was able to clear the debts that had come about from long-running financial problems, but unable to make any improvements. However, the Trust wasn't looking to sell when they were first approached by Reynolds and McElhenney.
The pair have said they have four goals as part of the takeover: reinforcing Wrexham’s values; expanding the club’s identity; awarding loyalty of fans; and a shot at success.
Why did Ryan Reynolds buy Wrexham AFC?
In an interview with The Athletic (opens in new tab), Reynolds explained that it was Rob McElhenney's idea to buy a football club, but the pair decided on Wrexham AFC together.
Reynolds said "One day Rob sends me an email that outlines his plan to buy a lower-league club and grow it into something more resembling a global force ... I just thought it was so unexpected and so interesting and I love building businesses and this is a business."
In another interview with This Morning (opens in new tab) presenter Alison Hammond, Reynolds said when asked why they decided to buy Wrexham AFC specifically "It seemed like an interesting proposition. We were looking at a bunch of different teams and the thing for me that really struck a chord about Wrexham was how intrinsically tied communities are to their football club."
In the trailer for Welcome to Wrexham, one fan asks Reynolds and McElhenney "What was the connection between you and Wrexham Football Club?" McElhenney replies, "We had no direct connection. It was just a feeling."
A message from our owners-elect...Welcome to Wrexham AFC, @RMcElhenney and @VancityReynolds 🥳🔴⚪️ #WxmAFC pic.twitter.com/ho1vV8cvryNovember 16, 2020
What league are Wrexham in?
Wrexham AFC are currently in the National League, which is the fifth tier of the English football leagues, below the Premiere League and the three levels of the English Football League.
In May this year, Wrexham AFC narrowly missed out on being promoted to the Football League in a play-off match against Grimsby. The defeat marked the sixth time that Wrexham has been unable to secure promotion via the play-offs and means it now faces its 15th season outside the Football League.
What do Wrexham fans think of Ryan Reynolds?
Despite the recent disappointment, Wrexham football fans are supportive of Ryan Reynolds, especially after the team reached the FA Trophy final.
The Canadian actor was serenaded by fans following a 2-0 win over Stockport County in April 2022. Following the match, fans in the stadium could be heard singing 'there's only one Ryan Reynolds'. The win sent Wrexham AFC to the FA Trophy final for the first time since 2015.
How many times has Ryan Reynolds been to Wrexham?
Ryan Reynolds has visited Wrexham at least three times. Once in 2021 and twice in 2022, and two of the visits were with McElhenney.
The pair's first visit to the Welsh town was in October 2021. They had originally planned to visit that August, but had been prevented from it by Covid travel restrictions.
While there they attended Wrexham's home match against Torquay, and also visited Maidenhead four days prior, where they went to see their first game since becoming the club's owners.
Reynolds also visited Wrexham in February 2022, his first time back since the previous October and exactly one year after he and McElhenney took over the club. It is believed that Reynolds spent much of his visit at the ground, chatting with players and staff at the club.
In May 2022, both Reynolds and McElhenney returned to Wrexham to watch their disappointing defeat against Grimsby in the play-off semi final.
What else does Ryan Reynolds own?
Ryan Reynolds also owns US mobile virtual network operator Mint Mobile, and he used to own Aviation Gin.
In August 2020, Reynolds sold his premium gin brand Aviation American Gin to Diego - the world's largest spirits and beers producer - in a $610 million deal. Reynolds had originally purchased a stake in the gin brand in 2018.
Now, Mint Mobile is also up for sale and could reportedly sell for between $600 million to $800 million. Reynolds bought a part-ownership stake in the prepaid carrier in 2019.
Ryan Reynolds: Net worth
According the the Daily Star (opens in new tab), Ryan Reynolds was worth £109million in 2021. Celebrity Net Worth (opens in new tab) estimates his current worth to be $150million - roughly £127million.
What with his success in numerous Hollywood movies such as Deadpool, as well as a few lucrative business ventures, it's no surprise that the Canadian actor is worth a huge sum.
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