movie stars bring magic to Welsh football site

Paris (AFP)

Wrexham will bring a rare pinch of stardust to fifth tier of English football when they start late in their National League campaign at Solihull Moors on Saturday.

The club from the market town and former mining center of north-east Wales missed the play-offs for a Football League place by one point last season, but that’s no reason for optimism mounted.

Wrexham has surprising new owners and while most UK fans fear the Americans will take over their clubs, signs are good so far in Wrexham. One of them is also very tall.

Over the past weekend huge white letters mimicking the famous Hollywood sign but spelling out the word WREXHAM appeared above the city, though instead of the sunny hills above Tinsel Town the banner rests on a pile of slag from an abandoned coal mine.

On Friday, it emerged that a banner had been paid for by National League sponsors.

In February, Hollywood hipsters and rockers Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhinney bought out the club saying they wanted to make it a « world power. »

Canadian Reynolds is a Hollywood celebrity, the star of “Deadpool” and the ex-husband of Scarlett Johansson.

Ryan Reynolds explained that he was aware of British fans’ suspicions of Americans. « I care enough about my safety not to call it football » Angela Weiss, AFP

McElhenney owns a less appealing film but has produced an American television feature It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The pair now face the most difficult task of making Wrexham sunny.

The club has a proud history but has never come close to being a « world power ».

Until this year his most famous name was Joey Jones, who became the first Welshman to win the European Cup when he was with Liverpool, but made three spells and 270 games at Wrexham.

Wrexham played in the Football League from 1921 to 2009, reaching the Second Division for four seasons in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Before being banned from the Wales Cup for choosing to stay in the Premier League, Wrexham appeared eight times in the former Cup Winners’ Cup, losing 2-1 on aggregate to Anderlecht in quarter-finals 1976.

They have been stuck among English footballers since 2009.

Nonetheless, the power of the stars attracts fans. The club stopped sales of season tickets at 5,500 for its 10,500-seat racetrack. In 2019-2020, Wrexham attracted an average of 4,057.

While promoting his latest hit film, “Free Guy,” Reynolds found himself in an unusual position for a Hollywood actor to discuss Wrexham.

– ‘Super excited’ –

“Well, first of all, very excited,” he said at a press conference this month. “I mean, we made no secret of it, this is the turning point of a lifetime for me and Rob McElhenney.”

He also clarified that he was aware of British fans’ suspicions of the Americans.

“I wouldn’t dare call it football,” he said. “I care enough about my safety not to call it football.”

Reynolds isn’t the only Hollywood star to jump into football.

Wrexham played in the Football League from 1921 to 2009, reaching the Second Division for four seasons in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Paul Ellis, AFP

Eva Longoria has stakes in Nexaca in Mexico, and like Natalie Portman, in Angel City FC, the Los Angeles women’s team.

Will Ferrell, Matthew McConaughey and Drew Carey hold stakes in Major League football franchises.

In the 1950s and 1960s, baseball was all the rage. Bing Crosby has invested in the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bob Hope in the now renamed Cleveland Indians, Danny Kaye in the Seattle Mariners. Bill Murray has a stake in the Minor League of Saint Paul Saints.

Justin Timberlake invested in the Memphis Grizzlies and Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith in another NBA team, the Philadelphia 76ers.

Certified Australian Russell Crowe is one of the owners of Australian Rugby Club South Sydney Rabbits.

Wrexham kicked off their season on Saturday after their home opener was canceled when opponents Yeovil reported cases of coronavirus in his squad.

So far, Wrexham has shown no interest in joining other magic clubs in the hunt for Lionel Messi or Harry Kane, but among the summer offers, which have brought in players from Morecambe, Port Vale and Seven Druids, they also hired coach Phil Parkinson, who was last. The job was in charge of Sunderland.

“We have to live with this expectation,” he told The Guardian this week.

“The owners are very real,” Parkinson said. “They have an incredible passion for what they want to accomplish… they want to win.”

Laisser un commentaire