Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney made five promises when they bought Wrexham
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Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney made a number of 'hard promises' when they walked through the door at National League side Wrexham.
The Hollywood actors completed their highly-anticipated takeover of the fifth tier side in February, with the pair pledging a £2 million investment.
They have since invested a further £10 million into the fifth tier side, according to the Daily Mail, with some of that cash covering the repurchase of the freehold of the club’s Racecourse Ground.
So what did they promise when the officially took over at Wrexham? In a statement on the club's official website, Reynolds and McElhenney wanted to take fans through their Goal, Principles and Promises.
Here's a breakdown of what was said and the results that followed.
First promise: A pledge to win
Reynolds and McElhenney wanted to reward the faith of the Wrexham supporters that have stood by the club through its history by "putting everything we have towards what all fans want most for their club, and that is to... win, win, win."
And win they have. With two games remaining of the 2022/23 campaign, Wrexham currently sit top of the National League on 107 points, four points ahead of nearest rivals Notts County.
In fact, after a season featuring 33 wins from 44 games, Phil Parkinson's side have set the record for the most points in a single season in the top five tiers of English football.
Second promise: Team values
Reynolds and McElhenney expressed their desire to reinforce the values, traditions and legacy of the Wrexham community when they arrived at The Racecourse Ground.
They said: "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."
As well as injecting a huge amount of cash into the club, the Hollywood actors have followed up their words with actions.
Third promise: Turning the team into a globally-renowned force
In the statement, Reynolds and McElhenney said they "don’t see why" the National League club couldn't have a global appeal.
And it didn't take long for their much-talked arrival to cast eyeballs on the third-oldest professional club in the country. In fact, Reynolds' hit series about Wrexham on Disney Plus has raked in almost £4 million.
Fourth promise: Renovate The Racecourse Ground
Reynolds and McElhenney vowed to "explore the renovation of the Racecourse and improve the venue for the club, for international matches and "perhaps, the occasional Tom Jones gig."
It was announced this week that a new 5,500-seater stand at the stadium has secured financial backing from Wrexham council.
According to the BBC, the council board will reallocate a 'substantial amount' of a £25 million Welsh government grant to the plan.
Plans to increase the stadium's capacity to 15,500 is already underway as they continue to work on The Kop Stand that hasn't been used since 2008.
Fifth promise: Training facilities
Reynolds and McElhenney wanted to invest in a "permanent training facility that is worthy of an EFL club" after they walked through the door.
Back in February, Wrexham announced the completion of a new performance gym at the Racecourse Ground as they continue to work to enhance the off-field facilities at our stadium.
The new performance facility features elite performance equipment, and required a specialist floor installation which consisted of artificial turf and shock absorption flooring allowing the facility to be used for rehabilitation alongside strength and conditioning sessions.
In addition to the above, Reynolds and McElhenney made a host of 'hard promises' with the ultimate goal of growing the team and returning to the Football League in front of increased attendances at an improved stadium.
They also promised to make a "positive difference to the wider community in Wrexham" – something they have certainly achieved in such a short time frame.
Here are the 'hard promises' in full:
- 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 Wrexham AFC Community Trust, 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.*
- *If we ever play Chester again.
And here are the four 'guiding principles' they wanted to chase back when they took over.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.