Why Wrexham’s celebrity owners and lavish spending must be the exception not the norm
As the new League Two season got underway last month, the bookmakers were clear in their opinion; Wrexham were the favourites. The team to beat.
Eight games in, Phil Parkinson’s side sit fourth– just three points off table-toppers Gillingham – having won four and drawn three since their opening-day defeat to MK Dons.
Two places above them in second is Notts County, Wrexham’s promotion rivals from last season who have also made an impressive start back to life in the Football League. Notts County, like Wrexham, were one of the early season favourites for the title despite this being their first season back in the fourth tier since 2019.
While it may come as no surprise that two teams littered with Football League talent have taken little time to acclimatise to England’s fourth tier, it does point to a stark financial inequality that is beginning to emerge at the base of the Football League.
In the case of Wrexham, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney may not be throwing around cash in such a carefree manner as their American counterpart, Todd Boehly, in the Premier League at Chelsea, but they certainly aren’t spending prudently either.
The club’s financial records for their promotion-winning season aren’t yet available, but the records from the season prior paint a clear picture of the new owners’ willingness to part ways with cash in their bid for promotion.
£1.2m spent on transfers and agents – up from just £10,000 the year before – alongside a 294 per cent increase in football costs and losses of £2.9m which far outweighed the average net loss for a club in the National League, which sits around £1.1m according to Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance.
The second season of Welcome to Wrexham follows the club’s