Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds has criticised the National League for its “truly baffling” failure to consider allowing clubs to stream live matches domestically and internationally.
Reynolds, the co-owner of Wrexham along with fellow actor Rob McElhenney, had hoped to capitalise 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, who currently own the rights to the competition in the UK, about potential streaming.
After months of maximum effort, the decision (through inaction of the @Vanarama National League) to not allow domestic/international streaming of matches of Wrexham and the other clubs in the league is truly baffling. CC @btsport. Pls RT!!! 1/4
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 29, 2022
Reynolds wrote to his 20 million Twitter followers: “After months of maximum effort, the decision (through inaction of the @Vanarama National League) to not allow domestic/international streaming of matches of Wrexham and the other clubs in the league is truly baffling.
“Depriving every team in our league the chance to expand the fanbase while adding to league revenue benefits everyone. This is a spotlight and a chance and we ask the @TheVanaramaNL to take it.”
Wrexham, who said they had first raised the issue of streaming in April 2021, added in a club statement: “On August 23, 2022, the club asked that the board of the National League approve an approach to BT, to secure consent for Wrexham to stream the now sold-out game against Gateshead.
For those who can’t tell, this is Ryan upset. It took me a while too. Canadian upset reads like American slightly annoyed. 🇨🇦 🇺🇸 🏴 https://t.co/tbYa3IiafY
— Rob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) August 29, 2022
“Unbelievably, the request hasn’t even been considered by the board of the National League yet, never mind a decision made.
“The club feels let down and can only assure fans, both new and old, that we have done everything we could to provide the opportunity to watch the game live, both in the UK and overseas.
“We will continue to push, to ensure that all clubs can stream games, not just Wrexham AFC.”
The National League was contacted for comment.