Welcome to Wrexham

Welcome to Wrexham is a sports documentary series, The 18 episode series documents the events of Welsh association football club Wrexham A.F.C.

In “Welcome to Wrexham,” Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds learn to run the third oldest professional football club in the world.

Rob and Ryan teamed up to purchase the fifth tier Red Dragons in the hope of turning Wrexham AFC into an underdog story the whole world can root for, but the concern is that neither have any experience in football or working with each other.

From Hollywood to Wales, from the pitch to the locker room, and the front office to the pub, the docuseries will track Rob and Ryan’s crash course in football club ownership and the inextricably connected fates of a team and a town counting on two actors to bring some serious hope and change to a community that could use it

Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney attempt a takeover of the world’s third oldest professional football (a.k.a. soccer) club, located in Wrexham, a working class town in northern Wales in the United Kingdom.

1. Villains

In a fascinating opening scene, which shows the pair visiting the Racecourse for the first time, there is a conversation between them both where they discuss things going wrong and becoming villains. It’s safe to say that this isn’t the case so far.

2. The idea

The first episode shows where the idea to buy Wrexham AFC came from. McElhenney discusses his love for the Philadelphia Eagles and how he was fascinated with the promotion and relegation in English football. After feeling a connection with the town and the people of Wrexham, the decision was made that the Reds were the club for them.

3. Money

In a typically comedic fashion, Rob discusses his dreams of owning a football club, but realised how expensive it was going to be. He jokes that he has ‘TV money’ but that’s not enough to buy a football club. ‘I needed movie star money… more than that I needed superhero movie star money.’ Guess that’s where Deadpool came in.

4. Pre-zoom nerves

The WST meeting, where the Hollywood duo delivered their mission statement to the trust is caught on camera. It shows Ryan and Rob practicing their speeches and how they want to come across to the board. The pair were very nervous about whether or not their bid would be successful. It was only 98 percent of trust members that said ‘yes’.

5. The Turf

Wayne Jones features heavily in episode one of Welcome to Wrexham The Turf owner comes across really well as he discusses his love for the community and the football club. That passion is a hallmark of the documentary as a number of local faces tell their stories of what Wrexham AFC means to them.

Wrexham Football Club attempts to qualify for the playoffs as their new owners try to very quickly learn the ins and outs of a game and an industry they know nothing about.

1. Meeting

You’d think that if you were making a multi-million-pound investment into buying a football club, you’d know the person well enough before you did it. 

Not for Rob and Ryan, episode two captures the moment the pair meet in person for the first time at a film studio in Los Angeles.

2. Changes 

Once the takeover has been completed and the pair have done their Ifor Williams Trailers promo, the documentary switches to how the football club is changing. Humphrey Ker gets his first look at the Racecourse, Shaun Harvey is introduced and players and staff get used to the new ownership. 

3. Reality of football

Parts of episode two focus on the harsh realities of lower league football including short-term contracts and the uncertainty of where you’ll be playing year on year. 

Paul Rutherford and Jordan Davies discuss their careers. 

4. Early starts 

McElhenney is seen getting up at 4am to watch a game from his home in America. The Always Sunny creator is joined by one of his sons to watch Wrexham take on Dagenham and Redbridge on the final day of the season. We all know how that one went…

5. Rebuild

Following the disappointment of that game, Rob and Ryan are seen having a phone call where they discuss their hate of losing and things not working. Ryan also hints at a need for a rebuild, which is where the episode is left ahead of the next episodes

With just weeks before the season begins, Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds find themselves having to convince star football players and executives to take a chance on Wrexham.

1. Shaun Harvey

Wrexham’s strategic advisor gets introduced as he discusses his plans to help Rob and Ryan deal with the running of the football club. 

2. New Chief Executive

Wrexham AFC’s CEO Fleur Robinson is also introduced in episode three following her arrival from Burton Albion. However, that could be the last you see of the CEO in the documentary, as her involvement in the docu-series appear to be very limited. 

3. 100 applications

When Dean Keates was relieved of his duties following the disappointing end to the previous campaign, the Reds were not short of applicants to fill the void. 

The club received over 100 managerial applications for the job, but there was only one man the Hollywood owners wanted. 4. 90-minute phone callsAfter originally turning the club down, Phil Parkinson needed persuading by Rob to join the project at WrexhamThe documentary shows a scene where Rob and Phil have a 90-minute phone call in which the Always Sunny star tries to convince Parkinson to take charge of the Reds. He certainly got his man. 

5. Super Paul Mullin

Welcome to Wrexham shows how the club went about trying to secure the signing of Paul Mullin.

Ryan and Rob are in shock after hearing his goal tally from the previous campaign, which is where the love affair started. Despite Shaun Harvey not expecting the deal to go through, Ryan and Rob certainly got their man (again). 

The first Wrexham home opener of the new era arrives, and whether Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds are ready for it or not.

1. Pre-season

Viewers get an insight as preparation for the first full season under Hollywood ownership. Phil Parkinson and his staff put the players through their paces ready for the new campaign. 

2. Expensive grass

The pitch at the Racecourse was relayed during the off-season in an attempt to improve the playing surface. However, it didn’t all go to plan. Leaving Ryan and Rob to put their hands in their pockets to fix the issue, at some price too. 

3. Support

The bond between the club and community is a key part of Welcome to Wrexham. Episode four highlights how strong a part the club can play in people’s lives. 

4. Notts County

The main focus for episode four is the first home game of the season against Notts County. Will everything go as planned? Will Wrexham get their first win? How will the new players fit in?

5. Parky’s team talks

More so perhaps for Wrexham fans than the casual viewer, who will be excited at the prospect of getting a glimpse at Phil Parkinson’s messages inside the dressing room. Episode four gives the first glimpse of his rallying calls, but just you wait for episode five..

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney land an important partnership as the Wrexham goalies, and fans, face some tough contests.

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney try to fulfill one of their biggest promises to Wrexham as a previous owner’s dark shadow still lingers

In this “very special episode,” Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney give a tour of Wales, and other TV show formats.

After a year of cheering from afar due to COVID-19, co-chairmen Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney finally get to visit Wrexham and spend time with their team and the town

Unfortunate occurrences at the first home game attended by the co-chairmen lead to a police investigation and raise the ugly specter of football hooliganism.

Fans grumble about Wrexham’s lackluster performance and aim their ire at manager Phil Parkinson; Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney debate his future with the club.

Wrexham AFC begin to play up to their potential while off the field challenges put match play in perspective.

Roster changes threaten Wrexham’s momentum as they prepare to face the worst team in the league.

Ryan Reynolds surprises the team with a visit as Wrexham prepares for the biggest match of the season against Stockport County, their rivals for promotion.

With one match left to play in the regular season, Wrexham has a chance to win the league and promotion.

Hollywood stars and Wrexham residents descend on London for the Red Dragons’ big match at legendary Wembley Stadium.

An inside look at the unusual beginnings and dynamics of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s football friendship.

For the first time in 14 years, Wrexham has a chance to be promoted out of the National League.

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In September 2020, American actor Rob McElhenney and Canadian-American actor Ryan Reynolds announced their intention to buy Wrexham A.F.C. 

A Welsh professional association football club based in the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, north-east Wales in the United Kingdom.

The company RR McReynolds was set up by November 2020, and the deal was completed in February 2021. Wrexham A.F.C. as of purchase, played in the National League, the fifth tier of English football, below the Premier League and the three tiers of the English Football League system.

At the time, the non-league football team was described to be “struggling”. Following the suspension of the 2019–20 National League in March 2020, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, Wrexham A.F.C. was said to have furloughed staff and players, and admitting the club was experiencing a “threat to the[ir] continued existence”. Prior to the pair’s purchase, Wrexham A.F.C. was owned by the Wrexham Supporter’s Trust, a fan-operated company, since 2011. The trust approved McElhenney and Reynolds’ £2 million takeover by 98.6%. Following the purchase, Wrexham A.F.C’s Twitter account posted a skit, involving McElhenney and Reynolds performing a parody advert for Ifor Williams Trailers, the then only sponsor for Wrexham A.F.C. The trust initially rejected any offer of a takeover by an intermediary but “soon changed their minds” following the revelation that it was McElhenney and Reynolds.

Management before 2011, was described to have “mismanaged the club to the point of near collapse”, with fans “starting to fall out of love with it”, with the club served with a winding-up order in 2011.

The series is said to be inspired by Sunderland ‘Til I Die, which prompted McElhenney to be interested in buying an association football club, as well as the influence of Humphrey Ker who was also interested in purchasing a club. Ker was stated to have been always watching association football in the writer’s room of McElhenney’s show Mythic Quest, causing McElhenney to become interested in association football, particularly “the idea of promotion and demotion”, which McElhenney described was “incredible to me”. McElhenney also joked that he only had “TV money” and needed “super hero, movie star money”. Ker described himself as “Rob and Ryan’s representative” to the club as the pair’s inside operations person.

The series centers on the Hollywood pair’s attempts to revive the third-oldest professional association football team in the world, founded in 1864, and how the team has performed under the pair’s ownership. The pair have no known experience in managing a sports team. The series would also highlight the pair’s hopes in improving the team and bringing positive change to the local Wrexham community.

During and since the takeover, Wrexham has risen in the rankings of the National League. In the 2019–20 National League (prior to any takeover rumors), Wrexham A.F.C. were 20th, and by the 2020–21 season, Wrexham rose to 8th place. 

In the 2021–22 season and first under the pair’s ownership, Wrexham finished as runners up; however, missed out on promotion to the EFL League Two losing in the Playoffs to Grimsby who went on to win promotion.