Ryan Reynolds in line to join ranks of celebrity sporting owners

PA

Wrexham have confirmed that Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney want to invest in the National League club.

The actors would not be the first celebrity owners of a sports team. Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some other examples.

David Beckham – Inter Miami CF

Graham Norton Show
Graham Norton Show

Beckham’s move to Major League Soccer in 2007 was a landmark moment in the history of the league. As a part of his transfer to the Los Angeles Galaxy, there was an agreement that allowed the former England captain to own an MLS team for a discounted fee. He exercised that option in 2014 and the team played its first match this year.

Class of ’92 – Salford

Manchester United great’s buy Salford City
Manchester United great’s buy Salford City

Former Manchester United players Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and Phil Neville bought the club in 2014 with it in the Northern Premier League Division One North. Salford became full-time in 2017 and now play in League Two following four promotions. Beckham joined his old team-mates in becoming a shareholder in 2019.

Shah Rukh Khan –
Kolkata Knight Riders

Shah Rukh Khan Madame Tussauds Photocall – London
Shah Rukh Khan Madame Tussauds Photocall – London

The Bollywood star bought the team at the inception of the Indian Premier League in 2007. The franchise has gained immense popularity due to its association with celebrity owners – film producer and entrepreneur Juhi Chawla is also an owner – and won the IPL in 2012 and 2014.

Russell Crowe –
South Sydney Rabbitohs

Rugby League – World Club Series – St Helens v South Sydney Rabbitohs – Langtree Park
Rugby League – World Club Series – St Helens v South Sydney Rabbitohs – Langtree Park

Raised in Sydney, the film star bought the Rabbitohs along with businessman Peter Holmes a Court in 2006. Holmes a Court stood down two years later amid rumours of a rift with Crowe, who remains involved with the rugby league club.

Donald Trump – New Jersey Generals

Taoiseach visit to the US
Taoiseach visit to the US

Before he became United States president, one of Trump’s ambitions was to own a sport franchise and he coveted an NFL team. Unable to make this happen he purchased the New Jersey Generals American football team of the newly formed USFL in the early-1980s. By 1986 the league had collapsed and many blamed Trump for its demise.

Richard Branson – London Broncos

Rugby Virgin/Branson
Rugby Virgin/Branson

The British businessman took over as chairman of the rugby league club in 1997 with a promise to make them the best in the world. The Broncos finished second in Super League and reached the Challenge Cup final but by 2001 Branson was gone and a slow decline followed.

Elton John – Watford

ELTON JOHN AT WATFORD : 1991
ELTON JOHN AT WATFORD : 1991

The singer became club chairman in 1976. His ambition was to take Watford form the old Fourth Division to the First Division – and he succeeded. Under Graham Taylor, the Hornets finished second behind champions Liverpool during the 1982-83 season. John stepped down as chairman in 2002.

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