LONDON (Reuters) – Even for a Hollywood script the idea of a couple of household name American actors investing in a fifth-tier British soccer club for no apparent reason sounds a little far-fetched.
Yet Wrexham, in North Wales, have confirmed that Ryan Reynolds, of Deadpool fame, and Rob McElhenney, creator and star of sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, are serious.
According to a statement from the club’s Supporters Trust Board on Wednesday, 97.5% of its members are ready to welcome the north American duo with open arms.
Asked why Reynolds and McElhenney would be interested in investing in the National League club, Trust director Spencer Harris told BBC Radio Wales: “I think that’s a question for them in good time. I would answer ‘why not?'”.
Wrexham are, Harris insists, the third oldest professional team in the world, the oldest in Wales and play at the oldest international stadium anywhere in the world.
They have played in European competitions, famously beating Porto in the 1984 Cup Winners Cup, but have fallen on lean times and have not been a Football League side since 2008.
With a superhero prepared to ride into the Welsh hills, however unlikely that might have appeared, hope is high that Wrexham might be primed for lift-off.
Reynolds was listed as the second highest-paid actor by Forbes in 2020 and has a Twitter following of 16.5 million compared to the 54,000 who follow Wrexham while Deadpool broke box-office records when it opened in 2016 with $264.9 million from 62 markets, the most for an R-rated film.
By comparison the tale of Wrexham is a gritty low-budget British niche drama, yet news of the possible injection of some Hollywood glitz has caused quite a stir.
“He’s a Hollywood actor, if he can play centre forward, I’m sure he’d be welcome,” Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said.
One fan was not quite so enthusiastic, however.
“Do we really want our historic club to be the plaything of bored rich kids on the other side of the world? I prefer ongoing mediocrity… plus integrity,” Richard Kelly said on Twitter.
The vast majority of Wrexham diehards are thrilled by a possible cash injection of a reported two million pounds from Reynolds and McElhenney. “Fantastic, exciting but bizarre nevertheless,” Bryn Law said.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)