Wrexham Has Been Promoted to the Football League, but What Does That Mean?


Apr. 24 2023, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

In addition to the rules you need to follow to actually play any given sport, each sport also has a number of strange, sometimes confusing rules that govern everything about who competes with whom and how teams are built. For many Americans, the rules governing English football (or soccer) might seem a bit confusing.

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Just recently, though, Wrexham Association Football Club, a team co-owned by Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, earned a major promotion that has some fans of the actors curious about exactly what the promotion means.

Here are all of the details of the Wrexham promotion, explained.

Thanks to a victory over Boreham Wood on April 22, Wrexham is now guaranteed to be promoted into League Two of the English Football League for its next season. This will be Wrexham's first appearance in the English Football League since 2008, and it comes with plenty of justified praise as well as a pretty significant payday.

In general, it's great news for the team and for anyone who roots for it, but that doesn't necessarily explain what promotion actually means.

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In the system that governs English football, there are multiple separate tiers of competition. The top tier is the Premier League, which is where the biggest teams play, and where the most famous footballers earn massive paydays. Below the Premier League, though, is the English Football League, which is itself split into three leagues: Championship, League One, and League Two.

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Below that is the National League, which Wrexham had been in since 2008. After Wrexham's 3-1 victory over the team Boreham Wood on Saturday, April 22, 2023, it will be entering League Two, which is the lowest subdivision of the English Football League, and the fourth-highest tier overall for English football.

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Wrexham's promotion comes with a payday.

In addition to the pride that comes with a promotion, joining League Two also means that Wrexham will receive £1.1 million ($1.37 million), which is money from both the league's television rights deal as well as the solidarity payments to lower tier clubs from the Premier League.

Even as Ryan and Rob likely wanted to take on managing this team as a hobby, it certainly doesn't hurt that their investment has paid off.

Source: Twitter/@VancityReynolds
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Can Wrexham advance to the Premier League?

It's theoretically possible for Wrexham to advance all the way to a spot in the prestigious Premier League, but it would likely take years of sustained work to get them there. Any team can only be promoted up one league after each season, from League Two to League One to Championship and then to the Premier League.

What's more, each new league brings with it increased competition, as teams have more financing to build better teams, as well as more committed fans eager to see their teams advance. Wrexham has had a bit of a Cinderella story to date, but the competition is only going to get more fierce from here.

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