Manager Phil Parkinson believes Wrexham’s Hollywood-propelled journey has laid an attractive path that the likes of non-League Chorley can follow with pop group Boyzone.
Vanarama National League North outfit Chorley have said they want to replicate the success of Wrexham after entering into negotiations for Boyzone to become the new face of their club.
Wrexham returned to the English Football League after a 15-year absence in 2023, fuelled by the investment and publicity that followed their high-profile takeover by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
Parkinson told the PA news agency: “Buying a football club can be an exciting adventure for owners.
“Obviously, it’s important owners get the right people in place to make sure that the money is spent wisely but, of course, there’s been some success stories like, I think, Rob and Ryan and we’re only really at the start of it.
“I think what Wrexham and Notts County did last year put the National League on the map like it had never been before in the incredible battle we had for the title.
“I think it’s really good for the sport and also shows that buying a football club is not all about buying one at the top end, ready-made.
“Rob and Ryan have really bought into the culture of the game over here. I think it’s been refreshing for them and they’ve really enjoyed the experience so far.
“Other people have probably looked at that and thought, yes, we can do something similar.”
Chorley announced this week Boyzone singers Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy, along with Westlife’s Brian McFadden, would attend their FA Trophy tie with Solihull Moors on Saturday.
It is part of a collaboration which could lead to Boyzone not only getting involved in useful promotional work for the club but, potentially, bringing investment.
The club described their ongoing discussions with the group as a “game-changer” that could push Chorley into the “limelight like never before”.
Whether or not it generates the attention that Reynolds and McElhenney have brought to Wrexham remains to be seen, but that would certainly be the dream.
The club’s chief operating officer Tom Clarke said: “They’ve written the playbook, haven’t they? They’ve proven that as a tried-and-tested model and obviously it’d be absolutely fantastic to do anything like that.
“It’d be wonderful if they were to come in and have an active role within the club, and ultimately that’s got to be what our goal is set for, as part of those negotiations.”
Chorley, whose Victory Park stadium holds 4,100, were taken over by London-based entrepreneur Prince Yemoh last May and have big ambitions.
Clarke said: “Salford is probably a very good example. We’re under new ownership, there’s lots of things changing, lots of things happening.
“We’ve great ambitions to progress through the National Leagues and hopefully into league football in the not-too-distant future.”
Amid the news about Boyzone, which has grown from a personal friendship with Lynch, it has emerged that Chorley were served with a winding-up petition this week but its significance has been played down.
The case, which was filed on Tuesday, is listed as open in a court filing but Clarke said: “It’s been dealt with, it’s done. It was something and nothing and it’s gone.”