Hollywood superstars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have bought 156 year old Welsh football club Wrexham AFC but you might ask yourself why? Well, this is the reason.
American investors of English clubs is no new thing but traditionally the interest is in high profile clubs such as Manchester United who have the Glazers, Liverpool who have John Henry and Arsenal who have Stan Kroenke.
The reason Americans are so interested in European football teams is because they hold far greater profit opportunities than American sports franchises.
So why have ‘Deadpool’ actor Ryan Reynolds and ‘Always Sunny’ creator Rob McElhenney decided to invest in a 5th tier Welsh team that, lets’s face it, aren’t very good? Well this is why.
— Rob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) November 16, 2020
First thing you need to know is Wrexham is a fan-controlled team since 2011 so Reynolds and McElhenney had to submit an initial “vote of interest” to the Wrexham Supporters Trust who voted 97.5% in favor of their bid.
After being approved to present their case for ownership, the Hollywood duo held a group video call with the 2,000+ members of Wrexham’s ownership group to present their financial offer.
So here’s what they’re offering. Reynolds and McElhenney will invest $2.6m into the club to pay for players and facilities as well as sign a 25 year stadium lease for $150k a year.
The best part is since Wrexham is fan-owned, they can acquire the club upfront with no cash needed but what’s better is what they plan to do once they claim ownership.
A message from our owners-elect…
— Wrexham AFC (@Wrexham_AFC) November 16, 2020
The duo plan to create a “Netflix-style” documentary series which will follow their purchase, investment and hopefully the story of Wrexham’s journey back to success. Such was their confidence of being successful they even filmed their presentation to the Wrexham members to use in the series.
Once the series is filmed and ready to be released the duo will receive $400k per hour of content which means an 8-part series will make $3.2m with a profit margin of 25% earning the new owners $800k in profit. That $800k in profit would instantly make Wrexham a profitable investment.
Aside from TV deals, the simple fact that the new owners are globally famous means their celebrity exposure and endorsements will help drive revenue towards merchandise, sponsorships and ticket sales.
A lot of people still can’t quite understand the logic around the purchase and think it’s just two rich American’s splashing some spare cash but don’t forget, Ryan Reynolds sold “Aviation Gin” for $610m, meaning if anyone understands the power of celebrity audience and distribution — it’s him.
By Nageem Nawor