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Could Wrexham “do a Luton” and reach the Premier League in 10 years?


Wrexham AFC is owned by American actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. The duo took over the Welsh side in November 2020, after over 2,000 fans voted in favour of the £2 million deal being completed.

The Red Dragons haven’t always had it easy though, as the fans had to buy the club in December 2011 following questionable ownership from previous owners. Wrexham were in the Vanarama National League (the top tier of English non-league football) when they were taken over nearly three years ago.

Today, they find themselves in League Two ahead of the 2022-23 season, following an incredible campaign last time out, where they amassed 111 points to win the title. Last season’s title race with Notts County will go down as one of the best pushes for promotion ever seen in non-league history.

Wrexham is the oldest football club in Wales and the third oldest professional football club in the world, as they were founded in 1864. Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground is the oldest international football stadium in the world, having first hosted a match in 1877 when Wales lost their first-ever home fixture 2-0 against Scotland.

The lowest division that Wrexham have played in is the National League, where they were stuck for 15 years after falling out of the EFL, and their highest-ever finish was a 15th-place spot in the old Second Division (now EFL Championship).

Luton Town were playing in the National League only nine years ago when they won the title, similarly to Wrexham. After spending four years in the fourth tier, Luton clinched automatic promotion to League One thanks to a second-placed finish in the table.

In the Hatters’ first season back in the third tier, they stormed to the title and grabbed back-to-back promotions. A 94-point finish during the campaign saw them crowned champions and they were playing Championship football from the 2019-20 season, but it was far from a smooth season as the Bedfordshire side survived relegation by just two points. A mid-table finish was then followed by back-to-back play-off spots and Luton secured promotion in their second play-off attempt. They beat Sunderland in the semi-finals and defeated Coventry City in the final on penalties.

If Wrexham were to reach the pinnacle of English football – the Premier League – they would have travelled through all four of the EFL divisions. Some teams have risen from League Two up to the Premier League whilst others have gone in the complete opposite direction such as Oldham Athletic, Bradford City and Swindon Town. Teams who have played in the top four divisions in addition to Luton include Bournemouth, Brighton, Brentford, Cardiff City and Swansea City.

Reaching the Premier League is easier said than done. Teams like Salford City, who are owned by the ‘Class of 92’, have thrown millions at the football club to get them as close to the top tier as possible but they are in League Two at the moment and in 2023-24 they will start their fifth season in the division.

Money isn’t always the solution in football, with the likes of Salford and MK Dons proving it doesn’t always buy success.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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