They believe you need to spend money in order to earn money. As the Wrexham owners have learned, however, winning money requires taking a financial hit as well.

Wrexham are the oldest club in Wales and the third-oldest in the world, and they were purchased by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney three years ago. The Hulu documentary series “Welcome to Wrexham”, now in its second season, follows the club’s owners as they navigate the highs and lows of owning a professional soccer team.

The second season saw a number of remarkable achievements for the club, including the Red Dragons’ first league championship in 45 years. The victory advanced the team to the EFL’s fourth-tier League Two. The ultimate objective is promotion to the English Premier League, but would first require moving up to League One, the third tier.

On the October 31 episode of the show, the Hollywood duo came to realize the extent of their financial losses following their ownership investment.

How much have Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynold lost at Wrexham?

Humphrey Ker, the club’s executive director, originally did not disclose the amount of money lost, but further investigation revealed an approximate eight-figure shortfall. McElhenney made a joke about the amount of money being lost and suggested they discuss it.

Ker bluntly informed the cast that the organization had lost “loads” of money. Reynolds wanted the unvarnished facts and he was asked to “quantify loads for us.”

Shaun Harvey, Wrexham’s Board Advisor, told them like it was. It was believed that they lost around $12 million. To his credit, Reynolds didn’t lie when he said, “I’m gonna go throw up.”(via People)

McElhenney then joked, “Let’s just say we’re in it for the rest of our lives,” when informed the two would collect far more money if they sold the club. “At what point do I get paid?”

In the episode, Harvey said that if Wrexham were promoted to a higher division, business would improve for everyone concerned. “The value that’s coming from the global appeal we’ve been able to create is going to offset those additional costs that we’ve created,” according to him.

“The biggest thing that’s going to change on promotion… People can see the value of Welcome to Wrexham. They can see the value of the profile that’s being built. That’s when the additional sponsorship revenue can be generated”, he added.

Welcome to Wrexham the documentary has helped build revenue for the team.
Welcome to Wrexham the documentary  has helped build revenue for the team.

Welcome to Wrexham the documentary has helped build revenue for the team.

Wrexham hold lofty ambitions

By April of 2023, Wrexham had risen through the ranks to join the English Football League. That bodes well for the future of the club’s finances and the Hollywood duo’s investment.

Wrexham were acquired by the Hollywood celebrities at about $2.4 million. Expert investor Anaam Raza from the Saxo investing platform predicted in May that the two might make a return on their original investment of 300 percent by selling the soccer club for roughly $10 million.

It’s interesting that the club’s valuation didn’t change even though Ryan and Rob lost almost $3 million in the first year they were in charge. Wrexham’s match results, jersey sales, social media presence, and ticket sales have all improved since Reynolds and McElhenney took control.

Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images