Unfortunately, no matter what Disney+ or even the BBC will tell you the story of Wrexham is not a fairy tale.
There is no magic, the main character is not poor and underprivileged or the underdog triumphing over adversity, and it’s certainly not clear who is good and who is bad.
In fact, what this story really does is shine another spotlight on the poor state of the English football pyramid and that it can be easily manipulated by money.
Wrexham, have won the title and thus been automatically promoted out of the national conference league because two very rich Americans and a Disney+ deal paved the way purely by ploughing money into the club.
At this stage, this money is not an investment, it is an unsustainable business being bankrolled for now.
Players at Wrexham currently earn around 3 times other players in the same league and the squad costs will not doubt only increase in league 2 as the chairman suggests that “the sky’s the limit” to future success.
Although Wrexham didn’t pay much in transfer fees whilst in the conference (one season longer than they hoped). Ollie Palmer from Wimbledon was, in fact, one of the highest they did pay.
No doubt, however any future negotiations will get harder as Wrexham could be seen to have an unlimited playing budget. The owners are said to be worth £400m.
The owners have also spent a lot of money on ground, investments of over £10m already. With plans to spend over £90m.
However, for the promotion season the club in fact lost £1.17m which was an increased loss on the previous season.
The hope is that due to the international coverage and such they will draw people to watch Wrexham who never have. I know of one person who for the first time ever paid a subscription to watch important matches. This hope needs to result in a larger income next season from again the Disney+ deal, £300k+ per episode, more TV coverage (potentially Sky taking the EFL rights) and increased online subscriptions, perhaps Wrexham’s arrive might bring a competitor to the current iFollow?
However, this tale only ends with an exit strategy and that strategy will be for the current owners to get a return on their investment. This exit strategy is likely aiming for a big sell out once they reach the dizzying heights of the Premier League.
So, having bought Wrexham for £2million, losing over £1m a season and on going investment in the ground.
Lets for argument sakes, as most league teams are unsustainable, Wrexham in fact continue to lose more money every year as costs of maintaining a higher league position go up, and they invest the final sums they mention into the stadium.
We could say the total investment could wind up at at least £200 million maybe?
At this rate would mean the value of the club would have to be at least that of a mid-table Premier League team at that point.
The Newcastle take over bid was reportedly worth an estimated £300 million.
The population of Newcastle is about the same as Wrexham 60,000.
Be warned, this is not a fairy tale. The Brothers Grimm have an exit strategy, and it could well be in 6–8 years' time, but it will not be to the club’s benefit.
This whole story says more about the state of the pyramid and the need for the governance of football to be seriously looked at.
The more money that flows down the pyramid, the more investment into community, grassroots and more. The more the money flows up the pyramid into lining the pockets of a few, the worse things will get for all involved in these clubs and their communities.
I suspect there are a number of Wrexham fans who are concerned, who have raised a voice. As of today, the supporters trust website doesn’t even have an up to date SSL certificate, so it was hard to browse, and I know that the take-over was welcomed generally by the trust. The trust did save the club before however for the take-over they had to give up all control, which they did voted on and agreed to this. So they would have to fight again to regain control.