Wrexham A.F.C. has been on an extraordinary journey since the arrival of Hollywood superstar Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. Their takeover in 2021 marked the dawn of a new chapter for Wrexham AFC, filled with ambition and global recognition. Here are the list of things that changed after their arrival.
The Hollywood Effect
The acquisition by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney was a game-changer for Wrexham A.F.C. Their goal was to elevate the club to a “global force”, a vision that quickly caught the attention of the world.
The Documentary series “Welcome to Wrexham” has played a significant role in turning Wrexham into a popular brand. In some instances, individuals associated with Wrexham A.F.C. have transformed into identifiable figures and even gained minor celebrity status.
Social Media Surge
Reynolds and McElhenney have added a personal touch to the club’s social media channels. They’ve used their own brand of humor in their posts, which has resonated with fans and non football enthusiasts alike.
Which sparked a significant increase in the club’s social media following. The club’s Twitter followers grew from 45k to 563K, marking a 1151% increase. On Instagram, the followers jumped from 27k to 1.1m, a whopping 3974% increase. The club also established a presence on TikTok, amassing 1.5m followers.
The global audience’s engagement is a clear indication of the influential status of Reynolds and McElhenney and their capability to draw worldwide attention to Wrexham AFC.
Unprecedented Ticket Sales
For the 2023/24 season, Wrexham A.F.C. confirmed that 6,731 season ticket holders renewed their tickets which was 2,609 before Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney take over. Sold out signs are common place at Racecourse Ground since the arrival of the celebrity duo.
Since take over February 2021, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have made total investment of approximately £15.87 million. Wrexham A.F.C.
They initially invested £2 million as part of the takeover deal in 2021. In addition to their initial investment, they extended a loan of £3.67 million to the club. This loan encompassed funds for the acquisition of the Racecourse ground’s freehold, along with an investment of £1.2 million in shares
By the time the second season of “Welcome to Wrexham” was being filmed, they had reportedly incurred an estimated loss of £10 million.
These investments were very important in turning Wrexham into the current club we know.
Merchandise and Sponsorship boost
The club has secured new sponsorships and seen a significant increase in turnover after the takeover. Some of the major global brands like SToK Coffee, Betty Buzz, HP, United Airlines and VistaPrint have joined Wrexham partners.
The interest in the club’s merchandise increased dramatically after the takeover. The sales of Wrexham AFC merchandise rose significantly following the release of the documentary series “Welcome to Wrexham” on Disney+
Triumphs on the Pitch
Under the new ownership, Wrexham A.F.C. secured a National League title on April 22, 2023. This victory marked their return to the English Football League after 15 years. They also had an impressive FA cup run with them fourth round of the tournament, which was a significant achievement for a fifth-tier club.
Wrexham A.F.C., now competing in the EFL League Two, is currently delivering a remarkable performance in their campaign. Football analysts are forecasting that they will secure a position in either the automatic promotion spots or the playoffs.
Engaging with the Community
As the saying goes, football loses its essence without its fans. The celebrity duo have made a significant effort to connect with the Wrexham community.
They have shown appreciation for club stewards and interacted with fans on a personal level. This approach has endeared them to the local community and contributed to the club’s growing popularity.
Wrexham AFC Women
The takeover of Wrexham AFC by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney has had a significant impact on the women’s team. The injection of cash, energy, and publicity into the club has led to transformative changes.
The women’s team, which was previously amateur, has seen a far greater impact than the men’s team. The progress of the women’s team has been rapid. They won all of their league fixtures last year, won promotion via the subsequent playoffs, and have since started paying player salaries
The team has turned part-time in the Welsh top flight, with ambitions to grow further. Moreover, the women’s team has also gained popularity and has expressed interest in playing against NWSL teams.
Here are list of things you might be interested in if you are new to Wrexham AFC:
Wrexham AFC History
Wrexham AFC, founded in 1864, is one of the oldest football clubs in Wales and the third oldest professional football team in the world. From 2011 until the Hollywood takeover, Wrexham AFC was under the ownership of its fans, managed by the Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST).
In terms of title wins, Wrexham AFC has had a rich history. The club has won the Welsh Cup a record 23 times. They have also won the Football League Trophy in 2005 and the FA Trophy in 2013. In the league, they have won four Combination titles and two Welsh Senior League titles.
The club’s journey in European football began in the 1970s, when their Welsh Cup victories granted them a place in the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Their first European tie was against FC Zürich of Switzerland in 1972, and their last was played in Romania against Petrolul Ploiești in 1995. Wrexham became renowned for its giant-killing feats, with notable successes including a draw against Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht in 1976 and a victory over FC Porto over two legs in 1984.
Wrexham AFC Mascot
“Wrex the Dragon” is the official mascot of Wrexham A.F.C. The mascot was introduced in the 2001-02 season following a ballot of fans to help increase sponsorship and promote the club’s Welsh image. The dragon, with its red face and a Wrexham home kit bearing the number 1864 (the year the club was first formed)
Wrex the Dragon is adored by supporters of all ages and often makes appearances during matchdays, providing memorable experiences for young supporters
Wrexham AFC Nickname
Wrexham AFC, a football club with a rich history, has been known by two nicknames over the years. The first nickname, “The Robins”, was adopted in honor of their former club secretary, Ted Robinson. This moniker was widely used until 2001.
In 2001 Wrexham AFC embraced “The Red Dragons” as their new nickname, symbolizing the club’s Welsh heritage and the dragon on the Welsh flag. These nicknames have not only become a part of the club’s identity but are also affectionately used by fans and the football community.
Wrexham AFC Kit
Wrexham A.F.C. has had a varied history when it comes to their kit colors. The team initially sported red and black hooped jerseys.
They then switched to a blue and white striped shirt before the club was reformed in 1886. For a period, the club also wore white and blue as well as yellow and blue kits. In 1904, Wrexham A.F.C. embraced green, which is one of the colors on the Welsh flag which continued till 1973/74 season.
Today, the club’s main colors are red and white. These colors are prominently displayed in their home kits, reflecting the club’s rich history and Welsh heritage
Wrexham AFC Badge
The badge that Wrexham A.F.C. proudly wears has been around since 1973, after a local newspaper ran a competition to design a new badge to celebrate the club’s centenary.
However, the date on the badge was mistakenly marked as 1873 instead of the actual formation year, 1864. Despite the error, the badge was not amended for over 30 years.
The badge features three prominent segments. The upper section displays the feathers of the Prince of Wales. Below the green area sit two lions on a white background to represent Wales. The base of their badge features the club’s name and founding year
The Wrexham A.F.C. badge has a rich history and is deeply connected to the club’s Welsh heritage.
The Racecourse Ground, known for sponsorship reasons as the STōK Cae Ras has been the home of Wrexham A.F.C. since the club’s formation. The stadium is the world’s oldest international football arena that still hosts international matches.
The Racecourse Ground currently has a capacity of 10,771. However, it has been effectively a three-stand-only stadium since 2008, when the Kop Stand was deemed unsafe and closed.
The club has ambitious plans for the Racecourse Ground. The priority is the redevelopment of the Kop Stand. The development will turn the Kop into a 5,500 all-seated area, taking the stadium’s new capacity to over 15,000. The club expects to open the stand for the 2024/25 term.
In addition to the Kop redevelopment, the plans also feature a new hotel, further office space, and conference facilities.
Wrexham A.F.C. training facilities
Wrexham A.F.C. currently uses as many as six venues as their training ground on a rotating basis. These venues include Carden Park, Colliers Park, Lex, Nine Acre, and the 4G pitch at Cefn Druids.
The club also has a state-of-the-art performance gym at the Racecourse Ground in the Wrexham Lager Stand that formally opened in February 2023. However, plans are underway to build a purpose-built training ground.
In the past, Wrexham A.F.C. owned their training ground at Colliers Park but they sold the facilities to Wrexham Glyndwr University in 2011. The Football Association of Wales also later took over the site in 2019.
Wrexham A.F.C. Songs and Chants
Wrexham A.F.C. has a rich collection of songs and chants that are sung by fans during games. One of the most popular songs is the “Wrexham Anthem” which goes
Here they come our mighty champions,
Raise your voices to the anthem,
Marching like a mighty army,
WREXHAM IS THE NAME!
See the Reds who fight together,
Speak their names with pride forever,
Marching with a mighty army,
WREXHAM IS THE NAME!
Fearless in Devotion,
Rising to Promotion,
Rising to the ranks of mighty heroes,
Fighting foes in every land,
History only tells a story,
We are here to see your glory,
Stand aside the Reds are coming,
WREXHAM IS THE NAME!
We have made the mighty humble,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgzRvt-mSwc&ab_channel=Legendense
We have made the mountains rumble,
Falling to a mighty army,
WREXHAM IS THE NAME!
Other popular songs include “Always Sunny in Wrexham”, here are the lyrics
He ordered a medium donner kebab
Saving a tenner to pay for his cab
Seems no harm in jumping the queue
Showing the owner his latest tattoo
Guy on his forties is rolling a joint
Pleased his team has rescued a point
A wicked deflection in time added on
Can see in his eyes he was totally gone
Less than a mile from the centre of Town
A famous Old stadium crumbling down
No-one’s invested so much as a penny
Bring on the Deadpool and Rob McElhenney
King Street was calm for a Saturday nighthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBIM6SFTGLY&ab_channel=DeclanSwans
Apart from the usual worrying sight
Of zombiefied corpses parading the streets
Arched over flowers beds slumped a…
Another popular chant is Allez Allez Allez
We are Wrexham FC, We're never gonna die, Unlike our Chester neighbours, Who kissed their club goodbye, We're going for promotion, We're shagging all the sheep, We are Wrexham FC, And we're gonna win the league, Allez allez allez, Allez allez allez, Allez allez allez, Allez allez allez
Wrexham AFC Red Army
The “Red Army” is the affectionate term for the passionate and dedicated fanbase of Wrexham AFC. The dedicated fans, known as the “Red Army”, are recognized for their steadfast support and the dynamic ambiance they generate during games.
The club itself does not align with any specific religion, but it fosters an environment of inclusivity and respect for all but local supporters are known to support Royal Family.
Wrexham AFC Legends
Tommy Bamford: A prolific striker, Bamford holds the record for the most league goals scored for Wrexham AFC, netting 175 times between 1928 and 1934. His overall tally for the club stands at an impressive 209 goals.
Joey Jones: A stalwart of the club, Jones had four separate spells at the Racecourse Ground and also contributed to the club’s future by coaching in the Wrexham AFC academy.
Carlos Edwards: He is regarded as a pivotal figure in the contemporary history of the club, especially since his joining in 2000.
Darren Ferguson: While he’s perhaps more recognized for his managerial career in the EFL, Ferguson’s playing career at Wrexham AFC was also significant.
Mickey Thomas: Thomas is remembered for his successful stint with the club during the 1970s and 1980s.
Places to visit near Racecourse Ground
The Racecourse Community Foundation : This is the charitable arm of Wrexham AFC. The aim of the RCF is to utilize football, other sports, and physical activities to improve the health and well-being of individuals in Wrexham and North Wales
St Giles’ Church : This church is one of the “Seven Wonders of Wales”. Its 135ft Gothic spire offers views across the city’s still-intact medieval street pattern and half-timbered buildings. You can find the grave of Elihu Yale, the founder of Yale University, in the grounds of this church.
Ty Mawr Country Park: The park lies on the banks of the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen, part of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the summer, the traditional hay meadows are full of color.
Grosvenor Museum: Located in nearby Chester, this museum offers a variety of exhibits, including Roman artifacts, natural history displays, and period rooms.
Nightingale House: A hospice providing care services, with a café called Caffi Cwtch that’s open to the public.
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