MANILA, Philippines -- Ceres Negros FC will now be known as United City Football Club, after the transfer of ownership to a group of private investors managed by MMC Sportz Asia.
The club announced last July 8 that it was for sale.
"We would like to thank Mr. (Leon Rey) 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 Philippines Football League, and hopefully also in the AFC Cup for the 2020 season," MMC Sportz Asia chief executive Eric Gottschalk said in a statement.
Gottschalk said they are requesting for the support of the Philippine Football Federation as they intend to continue participating in the AFC Cup.
As Ceres Negros, the club had dominated the past three seasons of the PFL. They are also on top of Group G of the AFC Cup with seven points on two wins and a draw, as of March 2020.
According to the new ownership group, they have received the commitment of 16 of the 21 registered Ceres Negros players to play for the new club.
They also intend to retain almost the entire staff of general manager Ace Bright, and they hope that coach Risto Vidaković will return to his post.
"The aim is to keep the team and staff together as much as possible, and allow them the well-deserved chance to play football amid all the challenges that everyone has been facing," the group said.
Additional announcements regarding the players and staff, as well as the new ownership structure, will come in the next few days.
"We would like to honor the legacy which Mr. Yanson created when he founded the Ceres Negros Club and we will try to continue the development of Philippines football, especially the professional league and the national team," Gottschalk said.
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football, Ceres Negros, United City Football Club, Philippines Football League, Philippine Football Federation, AFC Cup