Nineties pop superstars set to ‘take over struggling football club with ambitious plans to make it the next Wrexham’

A GROUP of Nineties pop stars are reportedly set to take over a struggling football club and turn them into the “next Wrexham”.

Boyzone members Keith Duffy, 49, Ronan Keating, 46, and Shane Lynch, 47, have allegedly signed a shock deal to buy a stake in Lancashire football club, Chorley FC.

ReutersBrian McFadden has joined the Boyzone lads in a deal with Chorley FC[/caption]

PAShane and Keith revealed that they have their sights set on the football club[/caption]

PAThe stars were all smiles as they posed for snaps with fans before the match kicked off[/caption]

The stars are said to be linking up with Westlife singer Brian McFadden who is also eyeing up the deal with the semi-professional club in a mega collaboration.

The pop icons are allegedly preparing to make a similar deal to that made by Hollywood’s Ryan Reynolds, who bought Wrexham FC in 2020, and rapper Stormzy, who became the owner of AFC Croyden last year.

Reynolds and pal Rob McElhenney saw Wrexham FC break a 45-year trophy duck as well as achieving promotion for the first time in 15 years.

Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy were spotted with McFadden at Chorley FC’s ground for the FA Trophy fifth-round tie against Solihull Moors on Saturday.

Clad in Chorley shirts and clutching pints of beer, the pop star trio signed autographs.

And they also grinned while posing for pictures with fans after talks of closing in on the deal to represent the club.

Chorley FC currently compete in the National League North, the sixth tier of English football.

Former Westlife singer McFadden told Chorley fans to dream of the Football League as he took his place in the Lancashire club’s small VIP stand

It has not been confirmed what roles will be played by McFadden and Duffy – who started the Boyzlife duo together – along with Lynch and Boyzone lead singer Ronan Keating, who could not attend the match. 

In an interview before the game, Shane and Keith revealed that they have their sights set on the football club with the ambition to “build the community.”

And McFadden suggested a deal is near, saying: “It’s pretty close.

“I’ve just been talking about coming to the next home game with my family so you’ll probably see quite a lot of us. We’re in.”

It was the Irish star’s first visit to Chorley, and he said: “Shane’s business partner bought the club seven months ago and asked Shane to get involved.

“Shane’s not really a football man but he knew that me and Keith love football so he got us involved, and Ronan. We want to be part of something from the ground up.

“You look at something like Chorley Football Club and you see this belongs to the town, it belongs to the people, it belongs to the community.”

Comparisons have been made with Wrexham and the takeover by Deadpool star Reynolds and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia creator McElhenney.

The Hollywood actors have become big hits with English football fans since they bought Wrexham in November 2020.

They have since led Wrexham to National League promotion and they are currently riding high in League Two following their return to the EFL.

‘NEXT WREXHAM’

Comparing the Welsh club’s meteoric rise, McFadden told LancsLive: “What the boys have done at Wrexham is incredible but Wrexham’s the same.

“All it needed was a bit of extra love and care to help them do what they’re doing.”

The Irish star said that they hoped to do the same with Chorley and see them “playing in the professional leagues”.

And he stressed that he really wanted supporters to achieve a “higher dream”.

McFadden continued: “Wrexham’s always had a huge support, great stadium, great town.

“We’re hoping we can do the same with Chorley. Look at this, this is non-league football and you’ve got a couple of thousand people out here having a great time, supporting the team. If we can help those supporters reach a higher dream and we can be a part of it, it’d be great.

“We’d love to see Chorley playing in the professional leagues, obviously.

“If we can get out of National North there’s National League and then in a few years, a bit of investment, bit of development, you never know.

“Maybe they get out of National League and into League Two and see what happens from there.”

‘LOST FOR WORDS’

Boyzone’s fans were baffled by the surprising move and were “lost for words”.

Richard tweeted: “Really not sure what to make of the Chorley FC and Boyzone news today. However, what I know is that if it brings a positive spotlight to the non-league game then I’m all for it.”

Dave wrote: “I’m lost for words.”

Damon said: “I’m lost for words but no matter what, when the going gets tough all the father and son in the stands will get behind the lads.”

Formed in 1993 by pop Svengali Louis Walsh, the band initially delayed getting back together, until rumours began to swirl that they were coming back for their 30th anniversary this year.

GettyChorley FC are based in Lancashire[/caption]

GettyBut the club may soon be on the cusp of a historic takeover[/caption]

How did Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney transform Wrexham?

The Hollywood actors have become big hits with English football fans since they bought Wrexham in November 2020.

They have since led Wrexham to National League promotion and they are currently riding high in League Two following their return to the EFL.

Reynolds and McElhenney have pumped plenty of money into the club, which was the subject of a hit Netflix series this year.

Reynolds and McElhenney have pumped plenty of money into the club, which was the subject of a hit Netflix series last year.

The new owners invested in community schemes and hired voluntary staff like Wrexham’s disability liaison officer.

They stayed in the town and drank in The Turf pub over the road to get to know supporters and the wider community.

One of the first ways they generated publicity was to promote the club’s shirt sponsor, Ifor Williams Trailers, with a video urging viewers to invest in a trailer for a loved one during Christmas – “especially if they own livestock”.

The pair soon replaced trailers with TikTok as the club’s leading sponsor which brought a tenfold increase in revenue.

Other major brands like Expedia came on board too as Reynolds and McElhenney cranked up the publicity, appearing to millions on The One Show in the UK and The Late Late Show in the US.

They hired the former English Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey to help run the club.

Coaxing top talent like Paul Mullin, the League Two player of the year, and Ollie Palmer, transformed fortunes on the pitch

Plans are in place to renovate the stadium and increase its capacity to 16,000, making it fit to host regular international football again