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Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney were very close to buying club set for relegation

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney were very close to buying club set for relegation

Before buying Wrexham, Reynolds and McElhenney were very close to buying a club that are currently doomed to relegation.

Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have made a name for themselves in the football world as owners of Wrexham AFC, who are in pole position to get promoted to the Football League for the first time since 2008.

However, before 'Welcome to Wrexham' and the two's journey as football owners, they had a list of clubs that they were interested in purchasing before settling on the Welsh side.

One club has been revealed recently, and they are a side that look primed for relegation from the Football League this season.

It is none other than Hartlepool United, as the Pools were considered as an option for the actors after they were inspired by Netflix's Sunderland 'Til I Die'.

Wrexham ended up being the lucky non-league club that seemingly won the lottery when Reynolds and McElhenney completed a purchase in late 2020.

Three years later and Hartlepool are set for relegation from the Football League and swapping divisions with Wrexham, who are just one win away from promotion.

Hartlepool are six points from safety with two games left to play having lost to Crawley Town this afternoon, a stark contrast to Wrexham;s fortunes this season.

In an alternate universe, the scenarios could have been far more different had Reynolds and McElhenney decided on purchasing the North-East club instead.

Reynolds and McElhenney could have been owners of the current League Two strugglers. (
PA Images)

Wrexham executive director Humphrey Ker has actually revealed that Hartlepool were considered as an option when early discussions over purchasing a football club took place.

Ker used Football Manager to research potential club as McElhenney became inspired by Netflix's documentary of Sunderland during th COVID-19 lockdown.

“(McElhenney) was like, ‘we should do this, we should buy a football team’. I continued to think this was a lockdown conversation that was just two friends jabbering about something they weren’t really going to do,” Ker revealed to the Tifo Football podcast.

“(But) I had nothing else to do so I went on Wikipedia and Football Manager. Football Manager, as we know, is an incredible database of information that’s quite hard to find elsewhere and I picked out eight to 10 clubs in the National League, National League North and South and League Two.

“So Hartlepool was one we looked at vaguely, Macclesfield was talked about. There was a couple who were talked about that were in trouble.

“We knew from the jump we wanted to find somewhere that needed a helping hand or felt like it deserved a stroke of luck, so some of the ones I looked at initially we struck off quite quickly because they were on the outskirts of London or Manchester or somewhere where you felt like there’s plenty of opportunity here already in a way, and Wrexham very quickly became top dog.”

Hartlepool and their fans then have been left to wonder what could have been as they had not been bought by Reynolds and McElhenney, as fans have watched Wrexham's success and rise in popularity in pop culture.

Mark Reeve of the Hartlepool United supporters' trust told The Athletic:

“You look at it and you think, ‘I wouldn’t mind being on that ride’,”

“Whether it goes pop is anyone’s guess, who knows how far they can take Wrexham. There was definitely a rumour they were interested in us. There were quite a lot of fans at the time that dismissed it as not being them — as if there were several groups of wealthy American investors sniffing around league clubs. They have since come out and said they enquired.

“The way they’ve thrown a bit of money around to sign the likes of Paul Mullin when he was League Two player of the season… but it’s still taken them a few years to get out that league, which just shows you the competitive nature of it.”

Wrexham play seventh placed Boreham Wood in a game that could seal their automatic promotion spot and the title with one game to go.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Wrexham, Ryan Reynolds