Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds has slammed the National League for its ‘really baffling’ failure to consider allowing clubs to broadcast live matches nationally and internationally.
Reynolds, the co-owner of Wrexham with fellow actor Rob McElhenney, had hoped to capitalize on the club’s current Disney+ documentary by making games available to a global audience.
But according to Reynolds and Wrexham, National League officials have neglected to pursue a plan to open talks with BT, which currently owns the competition’s UK rights, over potential streaming.
After months of best effort, the decision (through the inaction of the @Vanarama National League) not to allow domestic/international broadcast of matches from Wrexham and other league clubs is truly disconcerting. CC @btsport. RT please!!! 1/4—Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 29, 2022
Reynolds wrote to his 20 million Twitter followers: “After months of best efforts, the decision (through the inaction of the @Vanarama National League) not to allow domestic/international broadcast of Wrexham matches and other clubs in the league is really disconcerting.
“Depriving every team in our league of the opportunity to grow the fanbase while increasing league revenue benefits everyone. This is a spotlight and a chance and we ask @TheVanaramaNL to seize it .
Wrexham, who said they first raised the issue of streaming in April 2021, added in a club statement: “On August 23, 2022, the club asked the National League Board to approve a BT’s approach, to secure Wrexham’s consent to broadcast the now sold-out game against Gateshead.
For those who can’t tell, this is Ryan upset. It took me a while too. An upset Canadian reads like a mildly annoyed American. 🇨🇦 🇺🇸 🏴 https://t.co/tbYa3IiafY— Rob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) August 29, 2022
“Incredibly, the request has not even been considered by the National League Board of Directors, regardless of the decision made.
“The club feels disappointed and can only assure fans new and old that we have done everything we can to provide the opportunity to watch the match live, both in the UK and abroad. .
“We will continue to push, to ensure that all clubs can broadcast matches, not just Wrexham AFC.”
The National League has been contacted for comment.