April 16, 2024

La Ronge Northerner

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The extent of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McIlhenney's funding at Wrexham has been revealed by the club's astronomical wage bill… after Hollywood owners admitted they were 'crazy' without National League promotion.

The extent of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McIlhenney's funding at Wrexham has been revealed by the club's astronomical wage bill… after Hollywood owners admitted they were 'crazy' without National League promotion.

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Wrexham paid £6.9m in wages during their National League promotion season as the level of funding from the club's Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McIlhenny was revealed in their latest accounts.

The Welsh side were promoted to National League champions last season on 111 points, after beating Notts County in a straight battle for the only automatic point.

Reynolds and McIlhenny admitted last year that they would have been horrified if the club had failed to gain promotion to League Two.

“From a financial perspective, if we don't get a promotion this year, we're going to be in bad shape,” McIlhenny said on Welcome to Wrexham, to which Reynolds replied: “Fuck yeah.”

“We are investing heavily in building this club, the stadium itself, and if we don't upgrade this year, the club is completely, completely and totally unsustainable.”

Wrexham Hollywood club owners Rob McIlhenny and Ryan Reynolds paid £6.9m in wages during the club's promotion season.
Wrexham's latest accounts reveal the level of funding heading into their promotion to the EFL season

“So it has increased pressure, not just for us but for the players on the field, people in the community. This year we have to get promoted.”

The desire of the co-owners to secure promotion is set out in the club's financial accounts for the year ending 30 June 2023.

Wrexham made a total loss of £5.1 million during the National League season, which represented a division record.

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This figure surpasses Stockport County's previous record loss of £4.8m in a promotion season in 2022, as well as representing a significant increase on Wrexham's £2.9m loss in the same campaign.

A significant increase in the club's wage bill was a contributing factor with Wrexham paying £6.9m for the financial year, representing £132,600 per week.

The wage bill increased by around £2.9 million on the previous season, as the club finished runners-up in Stockport County and lost out in the play-offs.

Sales and revenues have increased significantly since Always Sunny In Philadelphia creator McElhenney and Deadpool actor Reynolds bought the club for £2 million in February 2021.

Turnover rose from £5.97m to £10.48m in the year ending 30 June 2023.

Wrexham were promoted to National League champions with a record points tally
The club ended its 15-year absence from the Football League after securing promotion last season

Club accounts showed how Wrexham's fan base abroad had contributed to increased turnover.

Wrexham highlighted an “astonishing” increase in its sales in the rest of the world to £2.58 million from £657,000 in its 2022 accounts, with its UK sales rising to £7.8 million from £5.3 million.

Read more: Wrexham's value soaring since Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McIlhenny bought the Welsh club as they bid for promotion to League One

Club director Humphry Kerr wrote in the accounts that the club was “waiting with interest to see how this percentage will change in the future.”

The retail operation in Wrexham enjoyed an increase of £3.43 million from £1.30 million in 2022, while sponsorship rose to £1.88 million from £1.05 million.

The club's run to the FA Cup fourth round helped increase football revenue to £1.31 million from £0.531 million.

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The League Two side said year-on-year increases in their income showed the club's potential, stating that this would “increase significantly again following promotion and the continued popularity of Welcome to Wrexham”.

Wrexham noted that the club needs to be mindful of ensuring that when the Disney+ series ends, it can “effectively manage change and continue to achieve our objectives based on the legacy that has been created.”

The third season of the series is scheduled to be shown next month.

A statement from Wrexham said: “The amount owed to RR McReynolds, LLC (owned by the actors) at the end of the year was £8.98 million (2022: £3.71 million).”

The Disney+ series Welcome to Wrexham has helped grow their fan base overseas

“The financial losses incurred by the club since the takeover should not be repeated, as the income generated by the club now is sufficient to cover the club’s operational costs in the future.”

These losses were considered necessary to allow the club to achieve its maximum potential in the shortest time practicable.

He added: “The club is not under immediate pressure to repay these loans at the expense of the progress we seek to achieve, and more financial support will be provided/secured to support the capital expenditure projects that the club is currently planning, which includes increasing the club’s capacity.” Race track and development of a training facility for all the club's teams.

Wrexham are in contention to secure a second successive promotion with the club in the automatic promotion places in League Two with seven matches remaining this season.

The Red Dragons will be required to pay £207,500 to other clubs for player transfers should the club achieve promotion this season.

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In addition, Wrexham could pay £509,710 as part of player contracts and bonuses should they secure a place in League One.

Wrexham indicated that additional bonuses may be paid if the club achieves promotion to the Championship in the future.