‘It’s nauseating’ – I’m an EFL chairman and I’m fed up of Wrexham coverage

Darragh MacAnthony has spoken of his respect for Wrexham, but believes the media coverage of their success is “nauseating”.

The Welsh team was taken over by Hollywood superstars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds in November 2020, and people around the world are paying attention to their rise through the ranks.


Wrexham’s Hollywood owners have been a game-changer for the League Two sideCredit: Getty Images-Getty

Bought for just £2 million while in the National League, Wrexham have since secured promotion to the EFL and are even firmly on track to move up as they sit comfortably in the automatic promotion places of League Two.

As a result, it is plausible that the Red Dragons could ply their trade in the third tier of English football next season – despite record losses of £5.1 million last season.

However, with turnover of £10.3 million and a value that has quadrupled since they took charge, it’s clear that Reynolds and McElhenney are enjoying the kind of global exposure that the hit documentary provides “Welcome To Wrexham” and lucrative sponsorships with some. of the world’s biggest brands.

Wrexham are certainly breaking the EFL mold, with Peterborough chairman MacAnthony saying the Welsh club deserve credit, even if media coverage leaves him squirming.

Speaking to Jim White, MacAnthony said: “There are two things you always have in life: jealousy and envy and they can be confused with each other.

“I hate jealousy, it’s a bad thing, but I don’t mind envying someone else or people envying me – envy is healthy, we all want what people Others want – ‘Jim, you drive a nice car, I’d love to have that’ – that sort of thing.

“I think people look at them and there’s a lot of jealousy.

“It’s fair play to them, they signed up and came up with a project and they managed to fund that project by selling documentaries, advertising and making deals with skincare companies, companies of drinks where they had to invest very little of their own dough in it.

Wrexham achieved promotion from the National League last season and could do the same this season


Wrexham achieved promotion from the National League last season and could do the same this seasonCredit: Getty

“Anyone who comes in and has a few promotions and grows their audience – I saw their income the other day and it was £15m to £20m a year now, up from £5m when they came.

“Anyone who does this is successful at what they do. They put decent people in – I watched the Wrexham documentary and it was pretty good, the first season and a half then ends like a lot of sports documentaries do.

Simon Jordan questions Ryan Reynolds’ claim that Wrexham has the biggest global crowd in the EFL

When asked if he was envious, MacAnthony replied, “I’m very rarely envious of others at this stage of life because I’ve had a lot of things that other people have had.”

“When I was young in Marbella, Spain, I looked at all the cars and all the boats and all the money and I was envious, but I’ve had a lot and I’m lucky.

“If I wanted to be a Hollywood star, I would be,” he joked. “I decided I wanted to sell houses and make some money. It takes more time to be an actor. As I tell my kids, I was actually a good actor at school!

“When I was 18, 19 or 20 I was convinced I could do anything I wanted, but the only thing that irritates me about the whole Wrexham thing is not Wrexham itself .I have a lot of admiration for Wrexham, the owners, the people behind the scenes – it’s the media.

“You open a newspaper and there’s stuff about the Championship, League One and League Two, but every week there’s stuff about Wrexham and it’s nauseating.

“You understand why they do it because they want an American audience, but at the end of the day there are 72 EFL clubs.

Media coverage of Wrexham 'nauseating', says MacAnthony


Media coverage of Wrexham ‘nauseating’, says MacAnthonyCredit: AFP

“They need to calm down thinking they are bigger than Leeds or whatever. I just said they are good for the game.

“I told my wife when it started that they would be in the Championship in four years and she said: ‘That will never happen.’ I said ‘trust me, they’ll be in the Championship and we’ll probably be in League One’ because they can pay players £7,000, £8,000, £9,000, £10,000 a week to players and we don’t can’t. This is the dynamic of the game.

“By the way, I respect anyone who comes here and spends very little of their own money, turns a project into a lot more money and makes it worth a lot more money, because if they sold Wrexham tomorrow they would make a big profit…

“No jealousy, no envy, just respect.”


Back to top button