Philippine football

Ceres-Negros renames to United City FC with new investors

Beatrice Go

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MMC Sportz Asia leads a group of investors that will manage Southeast Asia's top football club Ceres-Negros

Ceres-Negros FC will adopt the name “United City Football Club” after the official transfer of the organization to a new set of investors on Thursday, July 23.

MMC Sportz Asia, which leads a group of private investors, officially signed the transfer of ownership for the three-time Philippines Football League (PFL) champion team and currently Southeast Asia’s No. 1 ranked club team.

This comes after Ceres Liner chairman Leo Rey Yanson announced that he would be selling the club and will not be involved in its future affairs.

With the official transfer, the Bacolod-based squad will be able to continue joining the ongoing 2020 AFC Cup and the upcoming PFL fourth season.

“We will now immediately apply for the permission with the PFF (Philippine Football Federation) to rename the club to ‘United City Football Club’ and request the PFF to support our statement of intent to continue participating in the AFC Cup,” said Eric Gottschalk, CEO of MMC Sportz Asia.

According to the new club management’s official release, 16 out of 21 registered Ceres-Negros players – excluding the retired James Younghusband – committed to continue playing for the club.

The new management is also looking to retain head coach Risto Vidakovic and general manager Ace Bright.

“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,” added Gottschalk.

Before the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to the world of sports, Ceres-Negros FC is undefeated in the 2020 AFC Cup and stands on top of Group G with 7 points off 2 wins and 1 draw. –

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.