Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds aided by firm that helped FSG Liverpool takeover

Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds aided by firm that helped FSG Liverpool takeover

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The American firm who advised Fenway Sports Group (FSG) over their purchase of Liverpool a decade ago are helping Hollywood duo Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney with their plans to step into British football.

Deadpool star Reynolds and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator McElhenney emerged as the shock names set to invest in National League side Wrexham last month, the pair keen to take over the Welsh side which is currently under supporter ownership.

And the Echo have learned that they have turned to New York-based Inner Circle Sports (ICS) to help them in their quest.

Back in 2010 it was ICS that FSG approached when they wanted to take forward their interest in acquiring Liverpool from the grip of George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

Philip Hall was one of the key players back then for ICS, the firm who had introduced Hicks and Gillett to Liverpool in the first place back in 2007, although he has since moved roles to another New York firm, Spotlight Equity.

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The role of ICS over the past decade or so has been to introduce keen investors to football clubs, something which has been done for FSG at Liverpool, Ellis Short at Sunderland, Michael Eisner at Portsmouth and also Tim Howard and fellow US investors at Dagenham & Redbridge, among others.

Given the high profile nature of Reynolds and McElhenney’s potential takeover of Wrexham, ICS have been keen to keep their cards close to their chest but a deal is progressing and expected to materialise in the coming weeks, sources suggest.

Wrexham has been under ownership of it’s Supporters Trust since 2011 and 95% of Trust members voted for further discussions with Reynolds and McElhenney over their plans for the Racecourse side.

Trust director Spencer Harris told BBC Wales last month: “As everybody knows we are community owned and therefore this has become public knowledge a little bit earlier than it would in any other normal circumstance, but yeah it’s out there now so people know all about it.

“We started talking through representatives of theirs, talking about the club, and we’re now in a position where we are able, following the SGM (Special General Meeting), to get into detailed discussions about what a takeover deal could look like.

“There is some way to go and at the end of the day it will be the supporters who decide what the future direction of the club will be.

“I’ve spoken to both of them several times.

“They are very serious, professional and successful people, not just as actors but in the business world as well and this is a very serious endeavour for them and they’ll set out their vision in due course, but I know they are very passionate about this and have gone into a lot of depth to understand about the football club.”

Reynolds became an investor in Aviation American Gin in 2018, a move that proved to be a shrewd one with the firm purchased by drinks giant Diageo in August of this year as part of a £460m deal.



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