Ryan Reynolds is on a mission. And it has nothing to do with any of the films that the Canadian actor has starred in Hollywood. But he won’t stop until he does. And it is that, when in 2020 he announced the purchase, together with fellow actor Rob McElhenney, of the Wrexham A.F.C.a modest Welsh football club that competes in the English fifth division (National League), the objective was none other than to take it to the elite.
His arrival at the club caused a true wave of support by fans since the number of subscriptions and the sale of shirts has multiplied since then. And its stadium, founded in 1864 -the oldest field in the world that is still in use- is already attended by more than 10,000 spectators in matches of maximum expectation.
Now, the experience of the new owners has been immortalized in a documentary by FX, a subsidiary of Disney, Welcome To Wrexham, in which both recount the adventure of changing the big screen for another show so different. “If everything suddenly falls apart, hopefully it will be 25 years from now and we’ll be in the Premier League,” Ryan explains in a part of the documentary that includes The Sun.
“We love sports. We love telling stories through sport. You have to manage it like a business, but in most cases it is a business where you have to make a profit,” says the Canadian, who has invested more than two million euros in the project to which he decided to join for a reason very personal.
“The main area of life where I got the most support from my father was when he was good at sports. So I played sports way past the point where I was really motivated to do it just to get their buy-in. My father has been dead for years, but these things don’t go away”, he points out, although he does not think he would have agreed. “I would have thought this was all crazy,” she ditches.
And it is that as narrated in the documentary, it is about “putting Wrexham on the world stage”. “It’s a story of underdogs, and that is a story that I love”, he adds, although not the whole process is a fairy tale, since they have also had to face difficult decisions such as firing some players. “Many of them risk their lives. They don’t have those Premier League contracts to fall back on so they can retire tomorrow,” he says at another point in the documentary.
And purpose and responsibility are always very present. “The goal is to get out of this league, that’s all. If you don’t get promoted, it’s our fault. He has been the owner of a football club for a short time. But until now I have found it to be time consuming, emotionally draining, financially stupid and totally addictive.”. But Ryan Reynolds’ obsession has been on the rise since he took over the Welsh entity, as he recently recounted on Radio 4’s Today show.
“Now I’m obsessed with Wrexham. I admit he wasn’t skeptical at first, but he wasn’t as hooked as he is now. A part of me wishes I hadn’t found football, I feel like it’s a legal poison. My joy lives and dies on Saturdays when the club plays. I try not to get totally wrapped up in it, but I feel like it’s chewing up my organs and spitting them out every week, win or lose. It’s one hell of a ride”, he concludes.
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Ryan Reynolds: “Football is legal poison and a hellish ride”
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