Ryan Reynolds Alpine F1Getty/GOAL

'I don't believe it!' - Wrexham co-owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney's £171m deal with Alpine branded 'preposterous' by F1 legend

  • Investors acquire 24% stake in F1 team
  • Reynolds & McElhenney part of that group
  • Claims they are being used for publicity

WHAT HAPPENED? It has been revealed that the Wrexham co-owners form part of an investor group – alongside Hollywood actor Michael B. Jordan, Otro Capital and RedBird Capital Partners – that have acquired a 24 per cent stake in Alpine for £171 million ($218m). That deal is said to value the British-based FI team at £707m ($900m), but Jordan has cast doubt over those figures.

WHAT THEY SAID: The former head of Jordan Racing has told GB News: “I don't believe it. First of all, I won't use the word fake news, but I mean, there's absolutely no way from an accounting point of view - the financial model doesn't stack up. That's number one. It's all very nice and very sexy to put these figures on things but they need to be supported and they need to be authorised. I noticed that there hasn't been any reaction from Alpine or indeed from Renault which is a major shareholder. And I find that in itself kind of strange to value something of that level at a gross value of £700m. It's preposterous. It's ridiculous.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Jordan added on Reynolds and McElhenney being used for publicity to help raise the profile of the deal and F1 as a brand in America: “The two people that you've mentioned, hugely big stars and a huge addition particularly for the American market, which is probably where Renault was trying to look forward to. They're not probably putting a lot of their own money into this. I would say that the real people behind it in the States who have taken this investment, they're using these two stars. Formula One is going through the roof and in terms of the sport, I think it's behind football of course, but there's actually only 10 franchises, whereas in football you've got 30 to 40 in each country throughout the world. So you multiply all of that out and then ask yourself, what is the value of having something in a niche market like Formula One? Why is the team not called Renault? Are they hiding behind something?”

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WHAT NEXT? Reynolds and McElhenney have enjoyed considerable success with Wrexham since completing a takeover of the Welsh club in February 2021, with the Dragons returning to the Football League in record-breaking style last season as they lifted the National League title.