North American owners of both Birmingham City and Wrexham AFC have proposed hosting a League One fixture in the US for next season. 

This would mark a historic first English football league game to be held outside of England for the first time, but officials at the English Football League (EFL) swiftly opted against the proposal. 

Birmingham City – acquired last season by US investment firm Knighthead Capital Management – reportedly lodged the proposal to the EFL having seemingly agreed terms with Wrexham owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney

The idea to move at least one of two Birmingham-Wrexham fixtures during the upcoming 2024/25 League One season was to expand and grow its US audience, something that Wrexham has been focusing on following the arrival of its Hollywood owners in 2020. 

Reynolds and McElhenney have revived the fortunes of Wrexham since their takeover in 2020, having won back-to-back promotions from the Conference League to League One. 

The Hollywood duo have also been extremely active in building the club’s fortunes off the pitch as well. Wrexham signed a sponsorship deal with United Airlines front-of-shirt sponsor last season, as well as holding talks to expand the club’s Racecourse Ground stadium capacity. 

But it was the successful Disney+ docuseries ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ that propelled the club’s popularity in North America in particular, to new heights. The club embarked on a US preseason tour last year, competing against Manchester United and LA Galaxy in pre-season friendly games. 

The League One club will return to the US for a preseason tour this summer, where they will play friendly fixtures against Chelsea FC and AFC Bournemouth, two teams also owned by US backers. 

For Birmingham City, the US market is of great significance. Last year, NFL legend Tom Brady was brought on as a minority investor and will no doubt play a role in promoting the club’s audience and stature in the US. 

With an assortment of US owners behind English football clubs across multiple leagues, it comes as no surprise that talks continue to resurface regarding league games being hosted in the US. 

Due to the popularity and viewing figures soaring during the last Premier League season, an NBC executive revealed that talks had begun with Premier League officials regarding live games being held stateside. 

This is in part down to the US audience’s growing fanfare for football, which is set to increase even further as the country is currently hosting the 2024 Copa Àmerica, and will host a majority of games at the 2026 FIFA World Cup

Analysing what a huge revenue growth driver the US market could be for Premier League clubs, the CLV Group revealed in a report that clubs could stand to make $321m by hosting live league games and engaging with a large untapped audience and market. 

Despite clubs in England potentially being swayed by the amount of revenue that could be earned in the US, English football fans have regularly bashed the idea of hosting live league games in the country. 

After shutting down ‘Game 39’ talks in 2008, the Football Supporter’s Association (FSA) stated that it will look to do the same if talks progress between US and Premier League officials. 

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