It’s been a funny old year hasn’t it? And, one of the more unbelievable stories of this past year has to be the joint bid by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney to own Wrexham AFC, the third oldest football club in the world and the oldest in Wales.
A message from our owners-elect…
— Wrexham AFC (@Wrexham_AFC) November 16, 2020
Voting took place on Monday 9th November with 98.6% of those who voted in favour of this new deal and new ownership (1,809 approved, 26 were against and nine abstained).
Ahead of the vote, the two comedic acting stars released the following mission statement -that makes fun of the rather bitter rivalry between them and local English club Chester – that seemed to have done the job:
To the supporters, staff, players, friends and family of Wrexham AFC:
We’re two people who’ve made a career of never taking ourselves too seriously. However, we realise taking stewardship of this great and storied club is an incredibly serious matter and something we don’t take lightly. With that in mind, we wanted to take you through our Goal, Principles and Promises.
Our goal is to grow the team, return it to the EFL in front of increased attendances at an improved stadium while making a positive difference to the wider community in Wrexham.
If permitted, we’d chase that goal guided by four essential principles.
1. To protect the heritage that has made Wrexham AFC and the Racecourse Ground such a special place to watch football for the last 156 years.
2. To reinforce the values, traditions and legacy of this community. We understand and respect the intense loyalty and love for this club and how it’s woven into the fabric of the town and its supporters.
3. To use our resources to grow the exposure of the club. Of course, this would be in concert with protecting the heart and spirit of a community-led historical icon. But why can’t the third oldest club in the world have a global appeal?
4. To reward the faith of the supporters who have stood by Wrexham AFC through its history by putting everything we have towards what all fans want most for their club, and that is to…
WIN, WIN, WIN.
Everything we do will be informed by these four principles and never one without the other. We want to be part of Wrexham’s story, not drag the club into ours.
Provide comprehensive financial support for the manager and his coaching team. Build a sustainable model which will attract the best players and best staff to the Racecourse Ground.
Always beat Chester.*
Explore the renovation of the Racecourse Ground and improve the venue for the club, for International matches and perhaps, the occasional Tom Jones gig.
Invest in a permanent training facility that is worthy of an EFL club.
Guarantee the club cannot be relocated, renamed or rebranded. Appropriate and respectful observance of the Gresford Colliery Disaster will remain sacrosanct.
Recognising the role fans and the WST have played in stewarding the club through extremely difficult times, we will create an honorary board that includes fans, representatives of the WST and WAFC alongside our own advisors.
Ensure the continued presence of Dixie McNeil as the club’s honorary President, subject to his desire.
Always beat Chester.*
Expand club staff to take advantage of increased interest in Wrexham, both locally and internationally.
Recognise and reinforce Wrexham AFC’s role as a leading force for community good in the town. Work with the Club’s Disability Liaison Officer, Kerry Evans to retain and enhance Wrexham’s reputation as an inclusive and forward-thinking club, alongside other important local groups such as the Racecourse Community Foundation, food banks and schools.
Commit to a more ecologically-sustainable version of the club and stadium.
Commit to transparent decision making with regular and open communication.
Ensure that when the day comes that we leave the Club, it will be in a better position than it is today.
ALWAYS BEAT CHESTER.*
Under any other circumstance, we’d be in Wrexham right now, touring the Racecourse Ground, having a pint with supporters in person. But 2020 has other plans for us all. We hope you’ll put your trust in us, because we’ll work every day, for as long as you’ll have us, to ensure the world knows that Wrexham is the name.
*If we ever play Chester again.
Rob and Ryan
And with the promised of the two of them attending the odd game or two, it looks like this rural market town could get a bit busier in the months and years ahead. Congratulations to everyone involved and to Wrexham’s new owners, subject to a final agreement, league approval and confirmation by the Football Association.