MANILA, Philippines -- The owners of United City Football Club -- formerly Ceres-Negros -- are well aware of the reaction to the team's new name.
A new group, represented by Eric Gottschalk of MMC Sportz Asia, took over the team last month after buying the club from Leo Rey Yanson. The club had borne the Ceres name since it was founded in 2012, but the new owners changed it, as part of the terms of the sale.
"The agreement with Ceres was we won't use their identifications," Gottschalk said. "We cannot use anything that has been associated with Ceres in the past."
Gottschalk wryly said that the club's new name "gets people talking." Nonetheless, he made it clear that they had reason to choose a "generic" name.
"We had to come up with something that gives us flexibility going forward," he explained.
"We have not decided yet where we're gonna go in terms of location. We might stay in Bacolod, we might move somewhere else," he added. "So we're not sure yet where the club will be based and find its home."
"Therefore, we came out with a generic name."
What they were certain of is that they will be based in a city, and they wanted to unite the fans, hence the name they chose.
"Maybe at the moment, it doesn't make much sense," Gottschalk acknowledged. "(But) we all agreed, let's put a generic name out there, let's get used to it. Once we put the final location, it will make sense. Please bear with us."
The response to the club name aside, Gottschalk has been pleased with how fans have reacted to United City FC. He noted that they had a huge response to an online contest to determine the club's new crest, as well as the news of Stephan Schrock's signing.
"There is love for football and huge interest in football," he said. "We all will get used to a transitional name for right now, but it will all make sense in a couple of weeks."
United City FC has been unveiling its roster, with players like OJ Porteria, Robert Mendy, and goal-scoring ace Bienvenido Maranon signing new contracts with the club.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).