X Close

Does Ryan Reynolds understand football? Wrexham AFC risks becoming Disneyfied

Not exactly jumpers for goalposts. (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Not exactly jumpers for goalposts. (Michael Steele/Getty Images)


February 6, 2023   6 mins

Even by the standards of modern football, and even though he has co-owned the club for two and a half years now, there remained something deeply incongruous about seeing Ryan Reynolds applauding Wrexham off after their FA Cup fourth-round tie a week ago. Presenters, used to speaking to the most famous names in football, are visibly starstruck interviewing the star of Deadpool. What is he doing running a fifth-tier side in north Wales? And what does it mean?

Reynolds was brought into the project by Rob McElhenney, co-creator of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. McElhenney, who grew up in Philadelphia, says he saw similarities between Wrexham and his hometown, and was attracted by the story of the club’s struggle to regain Football League status after relegation in 2008. The duo bought the club in September 2020, since when they have invested heavily in players, and are rebuilding a stand at the Racecourse Ground. Attendances have doubled to around 10,000. For years, Wrexham had been battling to survive. One former owner tried to evict them. Even before the FA Cup third round win over Coventry and the draw against Sheffield United (both three divisions above Wrexham), Reynolds and McElhenney were regarded as saviours.

Other clubs may feel resentful of their financial resources, and there was a certain amount of schadenfreude about their defeats in the finals of both the promotion play-offs and the FA Trophy last season. But Reynolds and McElhenney appear to be what they claim to be: two blokes with money who fancied buying a football team. There has been no self-aggrandisement and, as far as possible, a sensitivity to the habits and customs of the British game that has been notably absent from, say, the US billionaire Todd Boehly at Chelsea. They seem genuinely invested in Wrexham, the club and the town, and that they are making a documentary about their experience feels natural enough. They are, after all, film-makers, and the series, Welcome to Wrexham, can only raise the profile of the club — already this season, they’ve sold 24,000 shirts. Yet the presence of Reynolds and McElhenney raises the issue of what a football club is and who its owners should be.

In Britain, where modern football began, clubs were initially societies for enthusiasts, and competitions were then invented to provide structure and significance to their matches. When it became apparent that thousands of people would pay money to watch, the dynamic changed. Liverpool, for example, came into being in 1892 because the owner of Anfield needed a team to play there after Everton relocated to Goodison Park, and Chelsea were founded in 1905 because the owner of Stamford Bridge needed a team to play in his athletics stadium. Even in football’s pioneering early days, finance was never too far in the background. But whether they were founded for love of sport or for monetary gain, football clubs soon took on a symbolic role. They were somehow representative of their town or region, or of a section of society within their area. As Jonathan Meades observed in his 2009 documentary The Football Pools Towns, swathes of places are known almost entirely because of their presence in the Saturday evening litany of classified scores.

Outside the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, built on the crook of the river where the Monkwearmouth Colliery once stood, there is a bronze statue depicting a family dressed in ragged Thirties clothing. Behind two children, a mother holds up the arm of a flat-capped father, face creased by hardship, presumably a miner. “All generations come together at the Stadium of Light,” reads the plaque. “A love of ‘The Lads’ has bonded together supporters for more than 125 years and will for many more years in the future… Supporters who have passed away have their support carried on by today’s fans, just as the supporters of today will have their support continued through family and friends.”

Perhaps it’s trite. Perhaps it’s a skilful piece of emotional manipulation from a club that, in 1997, was desperate to sell the move from Roker Park to sceptical fans. But it seems also profoundly aware of the role football clubs have come to play as repositories for memories of home or family, a means of achieving a continuity with the past, a sense of belonging in a world in which other institutions are breaking down. And in the case of Sunderland and other post-industrial towns, the football club is also a means of memorialising a past in which the city mattered. They may not have won the league since 1936, but Sunderland are the seventh-most successful club in English history because the town used to have mines and shipyards whose owners used their profits to entice the best professionals from Scotland.

All of which is to say two slightly contradictory things. Firstly, that football clubs perform a vital community function, that while they may legally be just like any other business, in reality they represent something rather more precious than that. And secondly, that money has always played its part. When the mine-owner Samuel Tyzack was visiting Scottish grounds disguised as a priest in the 1890s to put together Sunderland’s “Team of all the Talents”, he was different from Ryan Reynolds only in being from the town whose club he funded and in doing the recruitment himself.

It may be that there’s no such thing as the perfect owner, that none of them is entirely pure, running the club to be the best club it can be. They’re probably all in it for some form of gain, be that financial profit or prestige. But since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, there has been a change. There had been fabulously wealthy owners before, people as diverse as Jack Walker at Blackburn Rovers and Brooks Mileson at Gretna, who had taken over the club they supported, invested heavily and achieved a level of success that seemed out of keeping with their fanbase and facilities. But not as fabulously wealthy as the Russian oligarch and not as detached; Walker and Mileson were both fans of the clubs they ended up owning.

The scale of Abramovich’s spending, in an era in which increased global television coverage meant clubs were less reliant on gate receipts, effectively decoupled financial clout in football from on-field success. He had no need to make a profit because that was not his aim; he is estimated to have lost £900,000 a week over his 19 years at Chelsea. What Abramovich actually sought to achieve by buying the club remains unclear, but he was followed by the sportswashing states: Abu Dhabi at Manchester City, Qatar at Paris Saint-Germain and Saudi Arabia at Newcastle. Most Premier League owners — the Glazers at Manchester United, Fenway Sports Group at Liverpool, Stan Kroenke at Arsenal, Boehly and Clearlake Capital at Chelsea — are in it for the money, which inevitably creates tensions with the match-going fans who are more concerned with winning and/or enacting their age-old rituals. Set against that background, Reynolds and McElhenney, with their obvious enthusiasm for Wrexham itself, seem almost a relief. Yet with their documentary about the club, they are part of another trend in modern football, which is the club as producer-of-content.

There have been behind-the-scenes documentaries about clubs before. The early ones, about Leyton Orient and Sunderland in the mid-Nineties, were notable for capturing sweary rants from under-pressure managers. The more recent series Sunderland Til I Die (covering 2017-22) managed to be moving about the fans and their need for the club to be something they could have pride in, while simultaneously portraying a series of directors as vainglorious spoofers. But they were independently made, quite happy to expose such absurdities as an Old Etonian co-owner telling sceptical staff that they should change the running-out music from Prokofiev’s “Dance of the Knights” to something “a bit Ibiza” as everything collapses around him.

The trend has been towards more managed documentaries, such as the Amazon’s All or Nothing series which followed Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal. They tend to be bland, concerned with preserving and projecting an image of the club, with little to excite anybody who is not already a fan. The tone of Welcome to Wrexham is different, but it is still club-produced PR rather than journalism. At a much higher level, the director general of Real Madrid, José Ángel Sánchez, and the former CEO of Manchester United, Ed Woodward, have both suggested Disney should be the model. Clubs are no longer reliant for revenues on getting spectators through the gate but must appeal to a global audience in other ways, by providing content for them to consume. That can be short clips on social media — ranging from the mundane, moments in training or visits to fans, to the more inspired, such as Carlos Tevez trying to teach Mario Balotelli how to wrap presents. Or more ambitious products: one major European club has seriously considered an “Entourage-style” fictionalised soap opera set in their club offices.

One level below Wrexham, in National League South, the former England striker Peter Crouch became a director at Dulwich Hamlet in 2021 for a Discovery+ reality show in which he would use his new coaching qualification to “save a failing football club”. That announcement was met with fury by some Hamlet fans, in part because of their objection to his role as a brand ambassador for PaddyPower but also because they didn’t want to become somebody else’s content. Crouch stepped aside last summer, the series apparently discontinued.

It may seem academic, but it matters which came first: is a TV series a useful way to promote the club, or is the club content for a TV series? Might team selections be made to favour more marketable players? Could a season drifting into mid-table irrelevance be given a dramatic boost by signing a controversial and newsworthy striker? Even at the highest level, as anybody who witnessed Woodward’s obsession with social media interactions in his presentations to Manchester United shareholders will know, there can be times when it seems celebrity outweighs footballing considerations.

Again, it should be stressed, McElhenney and Reynolds appear ideal owners. But their presence at Wrexham highlights a tension that runs throughout the game. Football has never just been about the game but this recent Disneyfication rubs uneasily against more Romantic notions of what a club represents to its community. Paradoxically, Reynolds and McElhenney have reawakened that spirit at Wrexham: an official 4,782 fans (and in the event probably many more) will travel to Sheffield United for the replay on Tuesday.


Jonathan Wilson is a columnist for the Guardian and Sports Illustrated, the editor of the Blizzard and author of Angels With Dirty Faces: A Footballing History of Argentina.

jonawils

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

22 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
1 year ago

I’m sure Wrexham supporters will not quibble about the motives of their owners – they are just enjoying the ride.

As the article mentions, 4,500 boisterous Wrexham supporters showed up in Coventry a few weeks back to watch their team win 3-2. They were a great bunch and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Interestingly, ownership of Coventry had just switched from a Cayman Islands-based hedge fund to an actual human being – albeit with suspected links to said hedge fund. The Wrexham owners are engaged and passionate, mingling with supporters and leaping from their seats upon scoring. This contrasts greatly with the ice queen hedge fund boss who had more interest in seizing control of the stadium in court than the actual club (although to her credit she did attend some games and knew at least some of the players). Coventry supporters would have given anything for the Wrexham approach over the last 10 years or so.

The surge in optimism such changes bring cannot be understated.

Good luck to the new Coventry owner, and I very much hope Wrexham hammer Blades tomorrow night.

Last edited 1 year ago by Harry Phillips
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

Not least because Sheffield Utd are under a transfer embargo due to overspending and not being able to pay the next instalment on a transfer fee.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

Not least because Sheffield Utd are under a transfer embargo due to overspending and not being able to pay the next instalment on a transfer fee.

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
1 year ago

I’m sure Wrexham supporters will not quibble about the motives of their owners – they are just enjoying the ride.

As the article mentions, 4,500 boisterous Wrexham supporters showed up in Coventry a few weeks back to watch their team win 3-2. They were a great bunch and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Interestingly, ownership of Coventry had just switched from a Cayman Islands-based hedge fund to an actual human being – albeit with suspected links to said hedge fund. The Wrexham owners are engaged and passionate, mingling with supporters and leaping from their seats upon scoring. This contrasts greatly with the ice queen hedge fund boss who had more interest in seizing control of the stadium in court than the actual club (although to her credit she did attend some games and knew at least some of the players). Coventry supporters would have given anything for the Wrexham approach over the last 10 years or so.

The surge in optimism such changes bring cannot be understated.

Good luck to the new Coventry owner, and I very much hope Wrexham hammer Blades tomorrow night.

Last edited 1 year ago by Harry Phillips
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

This Wednesday, the government will introduce legislation into the governance of football, following on from the Tracy Crouch (former Sports Minister) report. Key to this will be rules around ownership and directorship of football clubs to prevent them from being used unscrupulously (offset against tax losses, running them down to then sell off the land) whilst promising the earth to fans only too eager for success. I’m not suggesting this applies to Wrexham, but the danger is in distinguishing between good and bad actors (pun intended!). Bury FC, for instance, went into liquidation as a result of financial malfeasance.

The legislation will also look at greater flow of finances between the Premier League and lower leagues. Just small percentage increases in this would have a hugely protective effect on the survivability of clubs in towns across the country that are of great community value, as the author of this piece describes. The final piece in the jigsaw would be a new, independent regulator to oversee all this, to replace the EFL as a governance body which has proven to be not ‘fit for purpose’ in allowing the boards of its member clubs to overspend and thus become prey to the unscrupulous, whilst failing to properly scrutinise such takeovers.

Does all this matter? Those towns which lose their historic clubs lose something absolutely vital to their identity. The legislation must work, and can’t come soon enough.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Tom Conroy
Tom Conroy
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I haven’t read the legislation but merely giving lower leagues more money from the Premier League will do nothing to protect them. The teams from bottom two divisions are only competing for players with each other because no other country has such well supported clubs at that level. They’ll just spend any extra money on wages.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Conroy

No. An independent regulator will rigorously enforce a limit on the amount that can be spent on wages and transfer fees, based entirely on income generated by the club itself, e.g. incoming transfer fees, gate receipts, advertising revenue, shirt sales.
There’s supposed to be limit in place at the moment, but the EFL are too weak to monitor it.

JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Actually under the Salary Cost Management Protocol donations (but not loans) from owners are currently included in the income calculations.
Under SCMP rules, matchday and commercial income, TV revenue, merit payments based on league position, donations from the owners and injections of equity are included in the EFL’s turnover figure.
L2 clubs can spend 55% of Qualifying Turnover on P1 (players wages) and L1 clubs 60%

JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Actually under the Salary Cost Management Protocol donations (but not loans) from owners are currently included in the income calculations.
Under SCMP rules, matchday and commercial income, TV revenue, merit payments based on league position, donations from the owners and injections of equity are included in the EFL’s turnover figure.
L2 clubs can spend 55% of Qualifying Turnover on P1 (players wages) and L1 clubs 60%

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Conroy

No. An independent regulator will rigorously enforce a limit on the amount that can be spent on wages and transfer fees, based entirely on income generated by the club itself, e.g. incoming transfer fees, gate receipts, advertising revenue, shirt sales.
There’s supposed to be limit in place at the moment, but the EFL are too weak to monitor it.

Tom Conroy
Tom Conroy
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I haven’t read the legislation but merely giving lower leagues more money from the Premier League will do nothing to protect them. The teams from bottom two divisions are only competing for players with each other because no other country has such well supported clubs at that level. They’ll just spend any extra money on wages.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

This Wednesday, the government will introduce legislation into the governance of football, following on from the Tracy Crouch (former Sports Minister) report. Key to this will be rules around ownership and directorship of football clubs to prevent them from being used unscrupulously (offset against tax losses, running them down to then sell off the land) whilst promising the earth to fans only too eager for success. I’m not suggesting this applies to Wrexham, but the danger is in distinguishing between good and bad actors (pun intended!). Bury FC, for instance, went into liquidation as a result of financial malfeasance.

The legislation will also look at greater flow of finances between the Premier League and lower leagues. Just small percentage increases in this would have a hugely protective effect on the survivability of clubs in towns across the country that are of great community value, as the author of this piece describes. The final piece in the jigsaw would be a new, independent regulator to oversee all this, to replace the EFL as a governance body which has proven to be not ‘fit for purpose’ in allowing the boards of its member clubs to overspend and thus become prey to the unscrupulous, whilst failing to properly scrutinise such takeovers.

Does all this matter? Those towns which lose their historic clubs lose something absolutely vital to their identity. The legislation must work, and can’t come soon enough.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
1 year ago

My team (Exeter City) have been majority-owned by our Supporters Trust for two decades now.
This means we cannot try to buy success like some other teams who have rich owners, but it does mean we cannot be shafted by them losing interest and stopping putting millions of pounds a year in to sign and pay for better players.
We have relied on transferring players to richer clubs, but this has enabled modest progress and significant improvements to the ground and training complex, which is the workplace of the players.
Our fans do sometimes ruminate that we might be more successful if we had a rich patron (who would put in cash to the playing budget and might or might not want to own the shares) but we have now got to mid-table in League 1 which is perhaps our sustainable best position but is OK as far as I’m concerned.

JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
1 year ago

My team (Exeter City) have been majority-owned by our Supporters Trust for two decades now.
This means we cannot try to buy success like some other teams who have rich owners, but it does mean we cannot be shafted by them losing interest and stopping putting millions of pounds a year in to sign and pay for better players.
We have relied on transferring players to richer clubs, but this has enabled modest progress and significant improvements to the ground and training complex, which is the workplace of the players.
Our fans do sometimes ruminate that we might be more successful if we had a rich patron (who would put in cash to the playing budget and might or might not want to own the shares) but we have now got to mid-table in League 1 which is perhaps our sustainable best position but is OK as far as I’m concerned.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

Of all the crooks, chancers and charlatans involved in British football, and the amount of clubs teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Ryan Reynolds seems a strange target for an article on the subject.
They seem to be genuinely good for Wrexham, and have brought financial stability and a buzz to a club and town that seemed destined for terminal decline.
Of course if they ever got bored and withdrew the funding then it could leave Wrexham in trouble financially, but the same could be said for 90% of Premier League clubs, let alone those further down the pyramid.
If there were more people like Reynolds owning clubs English football would be in a much healthier state

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

Of all the crooks, chancers and charlatans involved in British football, and the amount of clubs teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Ryan Reynolds seems a strange target for an article on the subject.
They seem to be genuinely good for Wrexham, and have brought financial stability and a buzz to a club and town that seemed destined for terminal decline.
Of course if they ever got bored and withdrew the funding then it could leave Wrexham in trouble financially, but the same could be said for 90% of Premier League clubs, let alone those further down the pyramid.
If there were more people like Reynolds owning clubs English football would be in a much healthier state

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

Reynolds seems to understand that Wrexham football team is not a franchise but a club rooted in a community from which it draws its entire support.
Who knows what the future holds? It is difficult to believe that a Hollywood actor won’t tire of travelling to North Wales. Perhaps he will sell the club once its reality TV potential has been used up. Even if he did that, he would have given the club the chance to recharge and regain its football league status. A permanent uptick in its fortunes. Or he may prove me wrong and move Wrexham FC to a city that needs a winning football club. Somewhere like Cardiff.

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
1 year ago

And just how, may I ask, would he move Wrexham to another city?

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
1 year ago

And just how, may I ask, would he move Wrexham to another city?

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

Reynolds seems to understand that Wrexham football team is not a franchise but a club rooted in a community from which it draws its entire support.
Who knows what the future holds? It is difficult to believe that a Hollywood actor won’t tire of travelling to North Wales. Perhaps he will sell the club once its reality TV potential has been used up. Even if he did that, he would have given the club the chance to recharge and regain its football league status. A permanent uptick in its fortunes. Or he may prove me wrong and move Wrexham FC to a city that needs a winning football club. Somewhere like Cardiff.

james elliott
james elliott
1 year ago

To be honest, Reynolds owning Wrexham has been fantastic for the club – and the Wrexham story has been one of the best aspects of football in the UK for a number of years.

Along with the rise of clubs like Brighton and Brentford to lofty positions in the Premier League.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

For many years I supported my local league side in the fourth division. I think they were at the very bottom for many successive years but there was no relegation. Many teams have lost a local club – Chesterfield, Wrexham, Chester, Oldham, Stockport – but many towns have gained a club as well. Why is this bad? The losers of clubs tend to be towns which are very close to the biggest cities or in the most depressed areas – Labour controlled towns perhaps.
This flow from depressed to less-depressed is natural, surely. The young people leave, the old people die and the rest are looking at their computer screens.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

The clubs are still there, they’re just not in the football league anymore. They still play on Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings like everyone else, just at a different level. Fans of the club or those just interested enough will continue to go and see them play.

I disagree on your assessment, the most vocal and passionate (at least in terms of expression) at these clubs are usually younger fans. They clearly care about the club and more or less by default, the area too, even if they’re fairly powerless to make the necessary changes.

One thing I think might help would be to enable fans who do move away to buy tickets on websites like iFollow. As things stand, I have to get a VPN and pretend I’m abroad if I want to watch my team at 3pm on a Saturday as I live too far from the town in question to go regularly. That can help rebuild a connection with clubs and those native to the towns and cities in question.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Maybe the new demographic in those Labour controlled towns are busy with other pursuits and not too interested in footy.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

The clubs are still there, they’re just not in the football league anymore. They still play on Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings like everyone else, just at a different level. Fans of the club or those just interested enough will continue to go and see them play.

I disagree on your assessment, the most vocal and passionate (at least in terms of expression) at these clubs are usually younger fans. They clearly care about the club and more or less by default, the area too, even if they’re fairly powerless to make the necessary changes.

One thing I think might help would be to enable fans who do move away to buy tickets on websites like iFollow. As things stand, I have to get a VPN and pretend I’m abroad if I want to watch my team at 3pm on a Saturday as I live too far from the town in question to go regularly. That can help rebuild a connection with clubs and those native to the towns and cities in question.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Maybe the new demographic in those Labour controlled towns are busy with other pursuits and not too interested in footy.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

For many years I supported my local league side in the fourth division. I think they were at the very bottom for many successive years but there was no relegation. Many teams have lost a local club – Chesterfield, Wrexham, Chester, Oldham, Stockport – but many towns have gained a club as well. Why is this bad? The losers of clubs tend to be towns which are very close to the biggest cities or in the most depressed areas – Labour controlled towns perhaps.
This flow from depressed to less-depressed is natural, surely. The young people leave, the old people die and the rest are looking at their computer screens.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago

How long before some enraged commenter thunders about football being ruined by Ryan Reynolds and the “woke” brigade? Not long I’d say!!!

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Cool story, bro.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

What you say is absolutely true – a lack of imagination perhaps.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Somewhat more time than it took you to post a pointless troll comment complaining about people complaining about the “woke” brigade.
You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat you, Graeme.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Cool story, bro.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

What you say is absolutely true – a lack of imagination perhaps.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Somewhat more time than it took you to post a pointless troll comment complaining about people complaining about the “woke” brigade.
You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat you, Graeme.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago

How long before some enraged commenter thunders about football being ruined by Ryan Reynolds and the “woke” brigade? Not long I’d say!!!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Who is Ryan Renolds, as if anyone cares?

David Kingsworthy
David Kingsworthy
1 year ago

He’s a big-time Hollywood actor as any kind of search will show… but relevantly, I’ll use this opportunity to answer the question posed in the title of this piece: No he probably doesn’t understand football beyond a basic level. As a longtime American fan I readily confess that there are important aspects of English football which will remain mysterious to me to the end of my days.

Chris Warfe
Chris Warfe
1 year ago

As a Canadian Ryan understands football (played in Canada first – both American and Canadian), soccer (very big in BC), basketball (invented by a Canadian), hockey (he is projected to be part of the new ownership of the Ottawa Senators). Baseball, not sure if he is a Blue Jays fan.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Warfe

As someone born in Canada who played several years of “soccer” as a youngster I think you’re right that Canadians have more knowledge of the game than Americans, on average, and more interest in the World Cup, for example.
But in the show “Welcome to Wrexham” both Reynolds and McElhenney admit that they are mystified by certain aspects of that game (and surrounding culture), such as details of the off-sides rules–which even some of the diehard Wrexham fans admit they don’t fully understand!
With plenty of exceptions, most Canadians don’t care for or “get” baseball to the degree Americans do, certainly not like they get and love hockey. That’s the anecdotal input of one Americanized dual citizen, SF Giants diehard, and fan of “Welcome to Wrexham”.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Warfe

As someone born in Canada who played several years of “soccer” as a youngster I think you’re right that Canadians have more knowledge of the game than Americans, on average, and more interest in the World Cup, for example.
But in the show “Welcome to Wrexham” both Reynolds and McElhenney admit that they are mystified by certain aspects of that game (and surrounding culture), such as details of the off-sides rules–which even some of the diehard Wrexham fans admit they don’t fully understand!
With plenty of exceptions, most Canadians don’t care for or “get” baseball to the degree Americans do, certainly not like they get and love hockey. That’s the anecdotal input of one Americanized dual citizen, SF Giants diehard, and fan of “Welcome to Wrexham”.

Chris Warfe
Chris Warfe
1 year ago

As a Canadian Ryan understands football (played in Canada first – both American and Canadian), soccer (very big in BC), basketball (invented by a Canadian), hockey (he is projected to be part of the new ownership of the Ottawa Senators). Baseball, not sure if he is a Blue Jays fan.

David Kingsworthy
David Kingsworthy
1 year ago

He’s a big-time Hollywood actor as any kind of search will show… but relevantly, I’ll use this opportunity to answer the question posed in the title of this piece: No he probably doesn’t understand football beyond a basic level. As a longtime American fan I readily confess that there are important aspects of English football which will remain mysterious to me to the end of my days.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Who is Ryan Renolds, as if anyone cares?