Football: Ceres confirms club set for new ownership, management

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2020 12:30 PM | Updated as of Jul 08 2020 01:58 PM

Football: Ceres confirms club set for new ownership, management 1

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Ceres-Negros FC on Wednesday confirmed that it is in talks with investors who will be taking over the management and ownership of the football club.

This comes as the team prepares for the fourth season of the Philippines Football League (PFL) as well as the resumption of its campaign in the AFC Cup.

"This is one of the toughest decisions made by Mr. (Leo Rey) Yanson, whose passion for football was reflected in the way he poured his personal resources and steered the club to unprecedented heights since it was formed eight years ago," the team said in a statement.

As soon as the takeover is completed, the club will be renamed. Yanson will no longer be involved in the affairs of the club "in any way," according to the team.

The new name, new owners, and management will be announced soon. The club has already informed the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) of the changes that they will make. 

"They are finalizing the transaction," PFF secretary-general Atty. Edwin Gastanes said in an online press conference, also on Wednesday. "Ceres' current owners are talking to a new party who will be, as soon as the negotiation is successful, be the new management of the club."

Ceres is one of two Philippine clubs currently participating in the 2020 AFC Cup, along with Kaya FC. The Busmen top Group G with seven points on two wins and a draw, as of March 2020.

Gastanes said the PFF is prepared to discuss with AFC regarding the ownership change that Ceres will make, to ensure that the club can retain its spot in the competition.

"This slot in the AFC Cup belongs to the club and it now behooves upon PFF to make the appropriate representation before AFC, na ang nangyari dito, it's a change in ownership and management," he explained.

"But the club's slot, it belongs to the country, to a particular club in the country. Considering the situation, AFC will look at it with kind eyes," he added.

As for the composition of the team, Gastanes said Ceres has yet to make any announcements regarding the fate of their roster.

"Whether they retain the players or have new players is something that we'll watch out for in the coming official communications coming from them," he said.

What's certain is that the club, one of the most successful in the country, is not about to leave the Philippines Football League.

"In short, there is no announcement that they are leaving the PFL. They have informed us they are talking to a party for a change in management and ownership. So I think the intent is still there, and we shall watch out for the next communication and we'll be talking to both parties also," said Gastanes.

Ceres-Negros FC has dominated the PFL since its inception in 2017, winning the league for three consecutive seasons. 

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