CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ CERES-NEGROS FC

MANILA, Philippines — Three-time Philippines Football League champion Ceres-Negros is poised to accept new investors who will take over ownership and management of the club as it prepares for the fourth season of the PFL and the resumption of its AFC Cup campaign.

In a virtual press conference Wednesday, Philippine Football Federation general secretary Edwin Gastanes said the club has already informed the PFF on the possible changes in ownership and management.

“I would like to inform you that the club is currently in talks with investors who will take over management and ownership of the club going forward,” Ceres general manager Ace Bright said in his letter to Gastanes.

The club also broke its silence on Wednesday, disclosing the looming changes in a statement on its official website.

“As soon as the takeover is completed, the club will no longer be known as Ceres-Negros since our chairman Leo Rey Yanson will not be involved in any way in the affairs of the club,” the club said.

“This is one of the toughest decisions made by Mr. Yanson, whose passion for football was reflected at the way he steered the club to great heights since it was formed eight years ago. Through Ceres-Negros FC, he was able to share his love for the game to his countrymen. While the pandemic has struck hard on businesses all over the world, Ceres has made its best efforts to compensate players and staff.”

On top of its three PFL titles and the Copa Paulino Alcantara triumph last season, Ceres is the most successful club in continental competitions, having reached the final phase of AFC Champions League qualifying twice in 2018 and early this year.

The Busmen also ruled the Asean zone of the AFC Cup three years ago and reached the finals a year later. Last year, the Bacolod-based club also advanced to the semifinals only to fall short against Hanoi FC.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the club was in fine form and looked primed for another spectacular run, going unbeaten in its first three matches in the AFC Cup that came on the heels of another strong showing in the qualifying round of the Champions League, where it stunned Thai powerhouse Port FC.

The pandemic, however, altered the course of the club.

There was plenty of speculation surrounding the status of the club in recent weeks following the retirement of James Younghusband, the departure of defender Josh Grommen and Jeff Christiaens.

But in a separate interview, star striker Bienve Marañon expressed hope that the club will continue operations with the PFL about to restart and the Busmen still on top of their group in the AFC Cup, which has been slated to also resume in September in a centralized venue in Vietnam.

Marañon along with his teammates are set to undergo COVID-19 testing at the PFF office which is a requirement for the restart of training for PFL clubs.

“I hope we continue what we started this year,” said Marañon.

“I would like to inform you that the club is currently in talks with investors who will take over management and ownership of the club going forward,” Ceres general manager Ace Bright said in his letter to Gastanes.

The club official however has yet to reveal the name of the new investors who are taking over the club.


Read Next


EDITORS’ PICK


MOST READ

Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Ceres-Negros in talks with investors for takeover