Welcome to Hartlepool! How Wrexham almost missed out on Ryan Reynolds & Rob McElhenney
- Hollywood stars wanted to invest in British club
- North East side sounded out
- Ended up in Wales overseeing record-breaking season
WHAT HAPPENED? The Hollywood actors completed a stunning takeover at the Racecourse Ground in February 2021, with ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ star McElhenney eager to find a British club in which to buy into. Soccer Saturday legend Jeff Stelling has revealed that Hartlepool were initially sounded out, and could have become stars of their own documentary series, only for the Durham-based outfit to pass up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Wrexham gleefully grabbed with both hands.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Stelling has told i news: “It was a real sliding doors moment for the club. It’s 100 per cent true that they wanted to buy Hartlepool and it’s ironic they went for Wrexham in the end who are going into the Football League when the club who was their first choice, which was us, are going out of the Football League. It’s gone now though, there’s no point in regrets.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Wrexham secured promotion back to the Football League in record-breaking style during the 2022-23 campaign, with Hartlepool heading in the opposite direction as they suffered relegation out of League Two. Stelling hopes another famous ownership group can now be found at Victoria Park, adding: “What I do hope is that investors look at the success they have had at Wrexham and it may be of benefit to us in the long-term. Surely when people look at the joy those two film stars are getting out of non-league football then hopefully there is someone out there who thinks ‘I wouldn’t mind a bit of that’.”
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WHAT NEXT? Wrexham’s players are currently enjoying an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas courtesy of Reynolds and McElhenney, with there the promise of more spending to come in North Wales as work begins on stadium upgrades and another transfer market is reached.