Reynolds and McElhenney issue ‘hard promise’ to ‘always beat Chester*’
Prospective owners of Wrexham Football Club Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have addressed fans live in a Zoom session this evening, along with publishing a ‘mission statement’.
The proposal before fans states the R.R. McReynolds Company, LLC would buy the Wrexham AFC Limited company – so not the WST itself which holds the ground lease via WST Assets Ltd – for one peppercorn, and a £2m investment. A range of protective ‘heritage’ covenants have been agreed in the proposal, requiring WST consent if they change (more here).
Tonight a ‘presentation evening’ to fan owners was held, with Reynolds and McElhenney apologising they were not over in the town themselves due to the pandemic.
The Zoom meeting, filmed for a possible multi series documentary, Reynolds and McElhenney told fans they had cast a ‘wide net’ around Europe to locate a team that fitted their values and felt an ’emotional connection’ to.
They also answered “Why Wrexham” :
This is the question we all wanted an answer to 🙏🏻🏴🇺🇸🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/ya1oN696rv
— kirky (@Ryankirky15) November 8, 2020
The well researched pair spoke of the history of the club and how they thought they could not just help the team win but ‘build an infrastructure’ and grow community ties. It was explained there would be cash injections to the club, but specifically not loans, they would not put the club into debt, and are ‘not looking to make money’. Although later in the meeting the WST Board stated it was not a formal agreement, the pair did indicate during the meeting if they did leave the club fans could be offered a chance to purchase the club back.
In one popular move on social media they told fans they were looking forward to visiting the pubs of Wrexham and interacting with fans, and taking in matches as regularly as they can.
Just Ryan Reynolds saying he wants Wrexham FC to become a “global force” pic.twitter.com/nPExVAQ4tq
— Dan Salisbury-Jones (@dsj_itv) November 8, 2020
The practical steps will see a vote of fan owners starting tomorrow to poll on the takeover proposal, which requires 75% or more of fan owners taking part in the vote to approve it.
If successful Reynolds and McElhenney will be subject to being approved as fit and proper persons and accepted by the League, and then will progress with an initial 100 day plan. It appears the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer with the highest experience to help form and execute such a plan is high on the priority list.
Ryan Reynolds saying “Wrexham” is the only thing you need to hear this week. pic.twitter.com/8R12vs41JN
— Fearless In Devotion (@fearlessidzine) November 8, 2020
McElhenney spoke passionately about wanting to see the Racecourse full again, referring to past glories in the late 1970’s as a benchmark, wanting full stadiums regardless of opponent.
Reynolds recognised the democratic process, saying a yes vote would be an ‘honour’.
After the Zoom meeting the club published a ‘Mission Statement’ and open letter on behalf of the bidders, copied in full below:
To the supporters, staff, players, friends and family of Wrexham AFC:
We’re two people who’ve made a career of never taking ourselves too seriously. However, we realise taking stewardship of this great and storied club is an incredibly serious matter and something we don’t take lightly. With that in mind, we wanted to take you through our Goal, Principles and Promises.
Our goal is to grow the team, return it to the EFL in front of increased attendances at an improved stadium while making a positive difference to the wider community in Wrexham.
If permitted, we’d chase that goal guided by four essential principles.
1. To protect the heritage that has made Wrexham AFC and the Racecourse Ground such a special place to watch football for the last 156 years.
2. To reinforce the values, traditions and legacy of this community. We understand and respect the intense loyalty and love for this club and how it’s woven into the fabric of the town and its supporters.
3. To use our resources to grow the exposure of the club. Of course, this would be in concert with protecting the heart and spirit of a community-led historical icon. But why can’t the third oldest club in the world have a global appeal?
4. To reward the faith of the supporters who have stood by Wrexham AFC through its history by putting everything we have towards what all fans want most for their club, and that is to…
WIN, WIN, WIN.
Everything we do will be informed by these four principles and never one without the other. We want to be part of Wrexham’s story, not drag the club into ours.
Provide comprehensive financial support for the manager and his coaching team. Build a sustainable model which will attract the best players and best staff to the Racecourse Ground.
Always beat Chester.*
Explore the renovation of the Racecourse Ground and improve the venue for the club, for International matches and perhaps, the occasional Tom Jones gig.
Invest in a permanent training facility that is worthy of an EFL club.
Guarantee the club cannot be relocated, renamed or rebranded. Appropriate and respectful observance of the Gresford Colliery Disaster will remain sacrosanct.
Recognising the role fans and the WST have played in stewarding the club through extremely difficult times, we will create an honorary board that includes fans, representatives of the WST and WAFC alongside our own advisors.
Ensure the continued presence of Dixie McNeil as the club’s honorary President, subject to his desire.
Always beat Chester.*
Expand club staff to take advantage of increased interest in Wrexham, both locally and internationally.
Recognise and reinforce Wrexham AFC’s role as a leading force for community good in the town. Work with the Club’s Disability Liaison Officer, Kerry Evans to retain and enhance Wrexham’s reputation as an inclusive and forward-thinking club, alongside other important local groups such as the Racecourse Community Foundation, food banks and schools.
Commit to a more ecologically-sustainable version of the club and stadium.
Commit to transparent decision making with regular and open communication.
Ensure that when the day comes that we leave the Club, it will be in a better position than it is today.
ALWAYS BEAT CHESTER.*
Under any other circumstance, we’d be in Wrexham right now, touring the Racecourse Ground, having a pint with supporters in person. But 2020 has other plans for us all. We hope you’ll put your trust in us, because we’ll work every day, for as long as you’ll have us, to ensure the world knows that Wrexham is the name.
*If we ever play Chester again.
Rob and Ryan
Top pic: @fearlessidzine
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