The inside story of why Hollywood picked Wrexham Football Club

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney
Hollywood duo Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney officially bought Wrexham Football Club. Credit: AP

By Sports Producer Dan Salisbury-Jones

"We think Wrexham is glamorous and sexy, in its own special way."

The actor, and now football club director, Humphey Ker, is trying to explain why his Hollywood pals Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought Wrexham Football Club.

Ker, an English performer who spends most of his time in Los Angeles, is speaking to ITV News from a freezing cold boardroom at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground.

He is now Executive Director of the football club and is the main point of contact for Reynolds and McElhenney – who completed their purchase this week.

The owners can’t be in Wales due to Covid restrictions and so they’re relying on their entertainment friend to be their eyes and ears on the ground.

Ker said: “What I can bring to the table is the insight into what Rob and Ryan want to do.”

He’s acutely aware that he has no experience in football, they’ve hired advisors for that, but he feels he can accurately answer the many questions raised over their motivation.

The club are looking for a new manager following Dean Keates' exit. Credit: PA Images

“Why are they doing this? What on earth has possessed them to buy this club? Don’t they want a comfortable fancy club somewhere in London?

“They could buy a club in Italy or Spain and have a glamorous and sexy time there. Well, we think Wrexham is glamorous and sexy in its own special way.”

Ker was tasked with finding a club for them in April 2020 and after building a shortlist he proposed a club in a town neither had even heard of.

“The politic thing for me to say would be ‘no, they knew all about Wrexham, they’re big fans of North Walian post-industrial towns’ but they didn’t know Wrexham necessarily. There was a certain amount of explaining the difference between Wales and England and why being a Welsh team makes us special and unique.

“We looked at various teams to a greater or lesser extent, about eight teams. They’re a mixture of teams from some in the National League South and North, some in the National League, some in League Two and I think there was one in League One.

“There were all these categories of facilities, fans, heritage, local geography and Wrexham just got the highest score across the board.

“We sit in a position where we have 900,000 people in North Wales for whom we are the nearest big club. It just quickly became apparent that this was a place that really fit the bill for us.”

This week’s takeover was accompanied with an immediate £2 million investment. They will resist the temptation to throw money at getting players and are instead going for a more ‘holistic’ approach.

“Strategy, culture. These are words that are very important for us, we think that is how you get sustained and sustainable success.

“We’ve seen teams down here spend gigantic sums of money and not guarantee success so we’re looking to marry our resources with innovative thinking to give ourselves the best shot of getting out of here.”

He’ll hope to persuade his friends that any money saved on players can be spent on fixing the heating in the boardroom.