How Wrexham will fare in League Two?

It’s all well and good dreaming of the Premier League in giddy interviews designed to be split into six-second clips on social media, but Wrexham underscored their lofty ambitions in the release of the club’s official accounts in April.

“The directors do not feel we are anywhere near reaching the ceiling of the club’s potential yet,” the statement read. While the celebrations of Wrexham’s National League title rumble along, some of the blue sky thinkers in north Wales will have undoubtedly already turned to the club’s assault on the English Football League.

After 15 long years since bowing out of League Two, how will Wrexham fare on their return to the professional slice of England’s football pyramid?

Read more about Wrexham’s Hollywood story

Promotion season

National League champions

League Two finish


Stockport County

4th (season in progress)


Sutton United



Leyton Orient



Macclesfield Town



Lincoln City



Cheltenham Town






Luton Town



Mansfield Town



Fleetwood Town



Crawley Town



Stevenage Borough



Burton Albion



Aldershot Town



Dagenham & Redbridge



Accrington Stanley






Chester City



Yeovil Town


While Wrexham’s owners may be looking upward, the more pessimistic among the club’s fanbase might not need to fear a swift return to England’s fifth tier. No National League champion in the last two decades has been relegated in their first season after promotion.

However, Crawley Town were the last champions to secure consecutive promotions from the fifth and then the fourth tier of English football back in 2012. Crawley, much like Wrexham, embarked upon a spirited FA Cup run while securing promotion to the Football League after an influx of investment from overseas.

Stevenage achieved the same rare feat a year earlier but are one of only two champions to move from non-League to League One in two years since the turn of the century.

As many as 20 members of Wrexham’s current squad have previously plied their trade in League Two. Wrexham’s chief goal-getter Paul Mullin finished as the fourth tier’s leading scorer as recently as 2021, gobbling up 32 goals for a Cambridge United side that finished second, winning promotion to League One.

Centre-back Ben Tozer finished top of that season’s League Two table while starting every match for Cheltenham Town.

Striker Ollie Palmer was leading the line for AFC Wimbledon in League One before dropping down the pyramid during the 2022 January transfer window. Goalkeeper Mark Howard also spent nine seasons in England’s third tier while his vlogging replacement Ben Foster last earned a Premier League clean sheet in May 2022.

Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson had never taken over a team outside the professional football pyramid before arriving in Wales two years ago. The 55-year-old, with current assistant Steve Parkin by his side, led Bradford City to promotion from League Two in 2013, finishing the regular season seventh before overturning a first-leg deficit in the playoff semi-finals en route to glory.

Four years later, after failing to repeat the feat with Bradford in League One, the same duo combined to automatically send Bolton Wanderers into the Championship at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

Parkinson was also in charge of a Colchester United side which secured passage to England’s second tier in 2006.

Much has been made of Wrexham’s enlarged economic muscles since the Hollywood takeover. And rightly so. Wrexham’s annual turnover for the 2021/22 season was revealed to be almost £6m – representing a 404% increase and the largest on record for a non-League club.

League Two clubs are estimated to boast an average turnover of £4m, giving Wrexham plenty of scope to mix it, financially at least, with those in England’s fourth tier.

Wrexham’s estimated wage bill of between £3m-3.5m would also dwarf the salaries handed out by current League Two leaders Leyton Orient – thought to be in the region of £2.3m per year.

Oddly, more National League playoff winners have earned promotion from League Two in their first season compared to actual fifth-tier champions in the last 20 years.

In practically every other National League season, Notts County would surely have been champions. Having hit triple digits for goals and points, Luke Williams’ side would comfortably be the best team not promoted from England’s fifth tier if they fail to navigate the playoffs.

Should Notts County make it back into the Football League, they will not be able to call upon a great deal of experience from the current squad. Only six players have ever featured in more than one season of League Two football.

Similarly, Williams is only enjoying his first season of senior management. Bristol City’s former under-21s boss was Russell Martin’s number two at Swansea City in the Championship between 2021 and 2022 but has never managed in the Football League alone.

They may only be narrowly separated by a dotted line in the National League, but Wrexham appear to be in a much more favourable position to tackle League Two.

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