The reason Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney decided to take over Wrexham football club

  • Watch the interview with executive director of the club Humphrey Ker

Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have officially taken 100% control of Wrexham Football Club.

When the announcement was made that the Deadpool actor and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia creator wanted to buy into the club, it caused shockwaves not just in the town, but created international headlines.

The Hollywood actors' takeover was approved by the Financial Conduct Authority last week Credit: PA

Both Reynolds and McElhenney outlined their priorities for the club's future, which is primarily to return the club to the English Football League "in front of increased attendances, and in an improved stadium, while making a positive difference to the wider community in Wrexham."

Reynolds and McElhenney have almost invested £2 million into the club, which is going to be used to enhance the women's game.

They added that they are in the process of developing their off-the-field team and expect to have a CEO in place before the end of the season.

Humphrey Ker worked with Rob McElhenney on Apple TV series Mythic Quest Credit: PA Images

One question that still hasn't been answered though is, why? Why football, and why Wrexham?

Humphrey Ker is a writer, actor, friend of Reynolds and McElhenney and now an executive director of the club.

His role, he told ITV News, is to "act as a proxy" for Rob and Ryan when they are unable to visit the club, which has been increasingly difficult during the coronavirus pandemic.

Humphrey Ker spoke to Beth Fisher about the motivation behind the takeover

Ker said it was during his time working on a show with McElhenney that he introduced his friend to the game.

"I'd spend a lot of time watching football at work and we'd sit around a big table and I would be at one end watching Liverpool play.

"Rob used to make fun of me in a very American way and would say things like "there's not enough scoring" or "they always pass it sideways" - all the usual things from people who don't understand it.

"But slowly but surely it wore on him. He saw me follow Liverpool into the Champions League and I could see him getting more and more invested."

He said it was lockdown that really saw his interest in the game grow.

"At the start of lockdown we exchanged tons of messages about watching TV, because there was nothing else to do. I recommended to him a series of different football documentaries to explain what the point of it all was. I sent him ones about Maradona, All Or Nothing, Sunderland Til I Die, and it just clicked for him.

"American sports fans are really passionate but they don't have the engrained masochistic 'oh we're absolutely garbage' - we are so tribal about it. People often switch allegiance in the US, and there is no judgement but that just doesn't wash here.

"He [Rob] just fell in love with it. He texted me back the next day and said, 'Right lets buy a team'".

McElhenney and Reynolds said they want to build up the first team squad and invest in the women's game

Humphrey's job then became trying to find teams to recommend to Rob with Reynolds joining the project a bit later.

"Rob wanted to find somewhere which had that link between the club and fans - all clubs do but Wrexham has that more than others. It just jumped to the top of the pile - it became so clear."

He said finding the club was probably his "most valuable contribution".

"I don't have any money to put into it, I've never run a football club but we've stuck to what they wanted to do, field a strong team, win games, win promotion and fill the stadium."

But, he added the fascination from the get go was the "connection to the town"

"A lot of what we talk about when we speak is how do we strengthen that bond and make the football club an asset to the town? Also to the community, which it has been, but we want to supercharge that."

When asked about those who may have reservations about two Hollywood actors buying a football club, he said, "I completely sympathise with anybody who thinks this could end in tears because it is an unusual set up. We've never had anything like this - such high profile individuals come into a club in a weird situation where they are more famous than the team

"I truly get it and i respect it. But, the proof will be in the pudding, we are confident we can deliver on what we planned."

"We want to leave the club in a much stronger position than when we found it. We want to build a sustainable football club."