The public focus on Wrexham has started to soar again as people work their way through the first series of ‘Welcome to Wrexham’, the docu-series that chronicles the first season of Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds’ ownership of the club.
The Welsh town of Wrexham is not one that tends to make headlines outside of the region but that has changed with the new ownership.
The positive attention could drift away though if the high-profile owners do not start to deliver tangible success on the pitch.
Despite being located in Wales, Wrexham are part of the English football system. They have been outside the English Football League (EFL) since 2008. The EFL consists of the Championship, League One and League Two. The Premier League is the next step up but is not officially part of the EFL.
They play in the National League, which is one step beneath the bottom level of the Football League. It is a division that features teams from all over England and Wales and there are 24 sides.
The bottom four teams get relegated, the top team is promoted to League 2, and second to seventh go into a playoff. The winner of that play-off also gets promoted to League 2.
There was a heartbreaking end to last season for the Wrexham fans.
The team finished second in the league which means going into the play-offs. They lost 5-4 in extra-time against Grimsby Town in the semi-final and have had to settle for at least one more year in the National League.
So far in the 2022/23 season, they are looking on track. They are in the thick of the title fight with the campaign well underway, though are surrounded by the likes of Notts Country, Solihull Moors and Chesterfield.
There is a long way to go, but in order to assure automatic promotion and a first title under McElhenney and Reynolds’ ownership, they need to finish in the top spot. Another trip into the play-offs will be a big psychological test for the players and the club.
As soon as it was confirmed that McElhenney and Reynolds would be taking over the club, many Wrexham fans began to, understandably, dream about the Premier League status that could await them down the line if things go to plan.
It would take an incredible amount of correct decisions and well-invested money to bring Wrexham to the top table of English football any time soon, but nothing can ever be ruled out in football.
Aiming to keep everyone’s feet on the ground though, the club’s executive director, Humphrey Ker, told the BBC soon after the takeover that the Premier League is not the immediate aim because they have to take the project very seriously at the level it is currently at.
“Listen, we encourage the fan base having their day in the sun and taunting rivals with all the wonderful things that are coming down the line, but we want to go about this in a serious way because we recognise that the stewardship of this club is an incredibly serious thing,” Ker said.
Ker certainly does envisage promotions down the line though, as he said: “If I was very being very confident I would say our expectation is to get into League One and to thrive – and, if we get to the very top of our of our projected trajectory, then the Championship is not unreasonable.”
It may be a very long time before we see Wrexham mixing it with the big dogs in the Premier League, but they could certainly try and cause a splash in the FA Cup or the Carabao Cup if all goes to plan.