Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds has slammed the National League’s recent decision to ignore an international streaming proposal.
The fifth-division side first put forward plans to start a global streaming service in April 2021, two months after Reynolds took charge of the club alongside fellow actor Rob McElhenney.
And now, the Hollywood star has launched a scathing attack on the league’s decision to ignore the proposal on social media – labeling the decision as ‘baffling’.
Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds slammed the National League’s recent decision online
The league chose to ignore an international streaming proposal suggested by the club
The 45-year-old wrote on Twitter: ‘After months of maximum effort, the decision (through inaction of the @Vanarama National League) to not allow domestic/international streaming of matches of Wrexham and the other clubs in the league is truly baffling. . CC @btsport.
‘Depriving every team in our league the chance to expand the fanbase while adding to league revenue benefits everyone. This is a spotlight and a chance and we ask the @TheVanaramaNL to take it. And we urge @Vanarama and @btsport to help them find the wisdom to do so.’
He went on to tag the official Twitter accounts of every single team in the league in a plea to get more international access to games in the division.
Actors Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds recently bought a Welsh club, Wrexham AFC
The club also released an official statement on the matter on Monday night, claiming that they ‘feel let down’ by the National League’s decision.
The statement read: ‘The matter of streaming of National League games for all clubs has been on the agenda for an extended period, with Wrexham AFC first raising this in April 2021.
‘The ability to stream games would financially benefit all clubs and significantly enhance the profile of the League by providing the League’s Executives the platform to market the competition, generating increased central revenue.
‘At the start of this season, with the pending launch of ‘Welcome to Wrexham’, the Club stepped up the pressure on the National League to secure the support of BT, to allow all clubs to stream games both domestically and internationally, considering the provisions of UEFA Article 48.’
Wrexham say ‘the request hasn’t even been considered by the Board of the National League’
It continued: ‘Having not made any significant progress, on the August 23, 2022, the Club asked that the Board of the National League approve an approach to BT, to secure consent for Wrexham to stream the now sold-out game against Gateshead.
‘Unbelievably, the request hasn’t even been considered by the Board of the National League yet, never mind a decision made.
‘The Club feels let down and can only assure fans, both new and old that we have done everything we could to provide the opportunity to watch the game live, both in the UK and overseas.
On Tuesday, there will be at least 39 games available for a UK audience to watch across various platforms and probably more to the international market, so why there is a reluctance from the National League to allow games to be broadcast is difficult to understand.
‘We will continue to push, to ensure that all clubs can stream games, not just Wrexham AFC.’
McElhenney (right) and Ryan Reynolds (left) took over non-league side Wrexham in 2020
The club can expect a growing global fanbase after the recent release of their documentary that showcases the ins-and-outs of their takeover of the club.
Two years in the making, the fly-on-the-wall documentary by the Hollywood pair, entitled ‘Welcome to Wrexham’, released this week, charts their first steps as owners of a fifth division non-league football team.
If all goes well, the interest in Wrexham’s National League journey could rise across America – where the two co-owners are best known.
Rob McElhenney (left) and Ryan Reynolds (right) are pictured at Wrexham’s home stadium
McElhenney and Reynolds formed a business partnership before taking Wrexham over two years ago.
It was a deal originally greeted with controversy, but over time more fans have embraced the idea of Hollywood A-Listers owning a non-league football club.
Plenty of money has been injected into the club, and Phil Parkinson’s side got their season off to a win, beating Eastleigh 2-1 on the opening day of the National League season.
They currently sit 7th in the National League, having picked up three wins in their opening five games.