Scott Stinson: Two Hollywood actors provide a lesson in sports ownership to reluctant billionaires
The remarkable thing about the Wrexham AFC story isn’t just that two guys with zero experience in sports ownership bought a Welsh football team and got it promoted from England’s fifth tier for the first time in 15 seasons.
The remarkable thing is how easy they made it look.
Ryan Reynolds, the Canadian actor/entrepreneur, and Rob McElhenney, the American actor who convinced him to become co-owner of a downtrodden club in a downtrodden part of the United Kingdom, have provided a dead-simple lesson for sports owners everywhere, including those of much wealthier clubs in much bigger leagues.
Spend money to achieve success, and more money will follow. If only the Oakland A’s or Phoenix Coyotes had considered such a possibility.
If you are unfamiliar with the Football Escapades of Deadpool and Mac, a brief recap: The actors bought Wrexham mid-pandemic for a relative pittance in hopes of building the distressed club into something that could ascend through England’s many tiers. It was like buying a lovely old home with nice bones that had fallen into disrepair. They spent big to bring in talent above Wrexham’s station, hired a manager who had worked in England’s second tier, and last season, the new owners’ first full campaign, were just good enough to be heartbreaking, losing in the promotion playoffs. The actors leveraged their own celebrity, and a reality-television series on the club, to increase interest in Wrexham AFC, but none of that would matter unless they had the required success on the pitch.
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