The next chapter in the history of Philippine football’s most successful professional team is about to commence.
In a statement dated July 23, 2020, MMC Sportz Asia announced that it has led a consortium of private investors in purchasing Ceres-Negros Football Club from its longtime patron, Leo Rey Yanson.
MMC Sportz is a Dubai- and Manila-based sports marketing agency, and is headed by Founder and CEO Eric M. Gottschalk.
“We would like to thank Mr. Yanson and his team for agreeing to the transfer of the club into our name as this allows the players to continue participating in the PFL and hopefully in the AFC Cup for the 2020 season,” shared Gottschalk in a statement.
With the takeover complete, the next step for MMC Sportz Asia is to change the club’s name to ‘United City Football Club’ through an application to the Philippine Football Federation. It also plans to notify the country’s governing body that it seeks to continue with its participation in the 2020 AFC Cup.
“We would like to honor the legacy which Mr Yanson created when he founded Ceres Negros Club and we will try to continue the development of Philippine football, especially the professional league and the national team.”
The document then bared that 16 out of the 21 players from its past roster have committed to join the new project, while Ace Bright will be retained as the general manager. Additionally, the new management plans to have Risto Vidakovic return as the head coach.
“The aim is to keep the team and staff together as much as possible and allow them the well-deserved chance to continue to play football amid the challenges that everyone has been facing.”
The sudden announcement puts an end to the period of uncertainty that has shrouded the team ever since its announcement on July 8, 2020, that it was being sold to new owners amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.
With this out of the way, every Filipino football fan hopes that United City shall be worthy of its predecessor’s legacy once the games resume.