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7 Surprising Celebrities Who Own Football Clubs

A whole host of unexpected stars have links with the game

An unassuming Welsh National League football club, Wrexham FC, came into the spotlight in a big way recently after being bought by two Hollywood stars: Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. The pair documented their journey in a TV series which pans out like a real-life Ted Lasso – from why they picked Wrexham in the first place to their efforts to transform the club. But it turns out Reynolds and McElhenney aren’t the only celebrities investing in football clubs. Stormzy, for instance, recently became joint owner of AFC Croydon, joining a league of other A-list names with ties to the sport. Read on to discover which football clubs have surprising famous faces at the helm.

7 Surprising Celebrities Who Own Football Clubs

Wrexham football pitch

WELCOME TO WREXHAM – Pictured: The Racecourse Ground. CR: Patrick McElhenney/FX.

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney: Wrexham AFC

You might know Reynolds for his movies (whether that’s The Proposal or Deadpool) – but the Hollywood star has many other strings to his bow. He has invested in everything from gin to dating apps over the years – and in November 2020, Reynolds bought Wrexham FC alongside McElhenney. Since then, the duo have heralded a new chapter for the club: in April 2023, Wrexham won promotion to the Football League after 15 seasons of playing in the semi-amateur National League. ‘This is the third-oldest club on the planet and we don’t see why it can’t have a global appeal,’ said Reynolds. ‘We want Wrexham to be a global force.’

Stormzy and Wilfried Zaha: Croydon FC

 

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Multi-award winning rapper Stormzy is one of the most recent celebrities to own a football club, buying AFC Croydon alongside Manchester United player Wilfried Zaha. Both of them grew up in south London, which played a part in their decision, and the pair joined forces with Danny Young, former Crystal Palace head of player care, Danny Young, on the purchase. A statement from the club confirmed the three-part consortium will ‘own, operate and develop their childhood hometown football club’, adding: ‘whilst completion is subject to legislative and governance procedures, the three consortium members are excited about developing a community asset in the borough that gave them their own opportunities.’

David Beckham: Inter Miami

 

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He may have retired from football a decade ago, but David Beckham is still involved in the beautiful game in other ways – including by co-owning Inter Miami in America. The seeds for this were sown many years back in 2007, when the former England captain shocked the football world by making a move to the US, joining LA Galaxy. There were rumours that his contract included an option to buy an ‘expansion franchise’ when his playing days were over – which he confirmed in 2009, telling the BBC: ‘I have the right to own an MLS franchise, which I will action immediately after I have stopped playing.’ As a result of this, Inter Miami was founded in 2018 and, in 2021, it was announced that Beckham had bought stakes of ownership in the club, alongside the Mas brothers Jose and Jorge. It’s believed that Beckham played a big part in getting Lionel Messi to join the club this summer.

Delia Smith: Norwich City

Delia Smith is one of the most famous TV chefs of our time – but did you know she is also the co-owner of Norwich City FC? She purchased shares in the club alongside her husband Michael Wynn-Jones back in 1996, and the pair have remained at the helm ever since, supporting the team through three Championship titles, seven seasons in the Premier League, financial crises and much more.

Will Ferrell: Los Angeles FC

Comedian and actor Will Ferrell is a big football fan – so much so that, in 2016, he became co-owner of his home ground team, Los Angeles FC. He is part of a large investment team that includes names like basketball legend Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. In its relatively short history, Los Angeles FC has seen many successes, including winning its first-ever MLS Cup title in 2022. 

Matthew McConaughey: Austin FC

 

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Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey is well-known for being a soccer fan, having been the face of Austin FC since becoming an investor in 2019. He is often spotted at games, and hit the headlines in 2022 after getting the home crowd pumped by performing his iconic chant from The Wolf of Wall Street

Elton John: Watford FC

 

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He might be one of the most famous musicians in the world, but music isn’t Sir Elton John’s only passion. The 76-year-old is also a die-hard football fan with a long-standing connection to his home football club, Watford FC. John bought the club in 1976, overseeing its rise through four divisions to the top of the league. Although he stepped down as Chairman in 2002, the global superstar remained the club’s Honorary Life-President, and is as big a supporter as ever today. John has performed there a number of times over the years, including a particularly memorable performance in 1974 when he dressed up as a black and yellow hornet in honour of the team’s nickname.