Ryan Reynolds, the Canadian actor and comedian known for his roles in movies such as “Deadpool” and “The Proposal,” made headlines in the footballing world for his acquisition of a Welsh football club.
In February 2021, Reynolds and Welsh businessman Rob McElhenney completed their takeover of Wrexham AFC, a National League club based in North Wales.
The acquisition of Wrexham by Reynolds and McElhenney was met with a mixture of excitement and scepticism by fans of the club. On the one hand, the injection of financial resources and Hollywood star power generated a lot of buzz and publicity for the team.
On the other hand, some fans expressed concern that the actors may not have the necessary expertise or understanding of the club to make a real difference.
While it remains to be seen how successful Reynolds and McElhenney’s ownership of the club will be, they have certainly made it a point to engage with fans across multiple touchpoints.
It is worth noting that Wrexham is a pretty small club, part of the National League in Wales, and was only included for the first time in the game in the previous edition, FIFA 22, where it was put in the “Rest of World” category along with other small teams.
Three months after the release of FIFA 23, some fans have started to notice an easter egg by the owners of Wrexham in the game. Turns out, when you play Wrexham against Liverpool, the owners Ryan and Rob come on for commentary,
In the game, after usual commentators Derek Rae and Stewart Robson do their introductions and talk about the teams, they go to reveal that there “is a message from the owners”.
The owners then go on to talk trash about Liverpool, saying how this is a match-up between “a big club and a very small club”, going on to jokingly clarify that it is Liverpool that is the smaller club.
The full transcript reads:
Well, this is a special game. This is a big club versus a very small one. A giant club versus just a minuscule improvisational version of a football club. Ofcourse we’re talking about Liverpool. Tiny tiny Liverpool. Tiny Town. Tight-knit community over there at Liverpool really keeping this community-owned club together. Very close to the massive Wrexham AFC.
Obviously, this is tongue-in-cheek commentary as the owners are well aware of the stature of both clubs and it is actually Wrexham which is the “tiny club” as compared to the Goliath Liverpool.
Turns out, this is not the only time the owners feature in the game.
When Wrexham play bitter rivals Stockport County, the duo again join the commentators for a funny quip. Stockport were promoted over Wrexham to League Two, which forms the basis of the words that Ryan and Rob use to speak about the match-up.
This time the pair say:
“Well this is against one of our main rivals from out first season as co-chairmen of the club. Stockport Country, yeah they got promoted over us last season, still a little bit bitter about that so feel free to deliver Stockport County 31 Flavours of humiliation. Really, humiliating. Yeah, don’t hold back.”
It is great to see owners getting involved in such a capacity. We doubt any other chairman or executive of any other club has ever gotten involved in a manner like this before.
We hope this sets a precedent and we see more and more ‘other officials’ get involved and deliver funny quips. It is only a game after all.