What was known in the football community as Ceres-Negros FC will be no more as the club announced yesterday that a new management and owner will soon take over.
In a statement posted on its social media account, Ceres-Negros Football Club said it is “currently in talks with investors who will be taking over the management and ownership of the club in preparation of the fourth season of the Philippines Football League and the resumption of the campaign in the AFC Cup.”
“As soon as the takeover is completed, the club will no longer be known as Ceres-Negros since our current chairman Leo Rey Yanson will not be involved in any way in the affairs of the club,” the official statement from the club said.
“This is one of the toughest decisions made by Mr. Yanson, whose passion for football was reflected at the way he poured his personal resources and steered the club to unprecedented heights,” the club added.
The announcement deeply saddened the loyal Ceres-Negros fans, who followed the team’s historic journey in Philippine football almost eight years ago.
“I was a bit shocked when I saw the announcement but I truly understand the situation why LRY had to do it,” Jan Gozon, leader of the Ultras Ceres said.
While his loyalty remains with Ceres-Negros FC and LRY, Gozon considers it “a good thing that a new investor will save the club although under a new name”.
As one of those who cheered the loudest for their beloved Ceres-Negros FC game after game, be it at the home pitch in Panaad Stadium or in an away match anywhere in the country, Gozon said he considers every match as a “best moment”
“Win or lose I always cherish it and I will carry it with me ‘till the end,” Gozon said.
He expressed his hopes that the new owner “will have the same heart, vision and passion as LRY and will continue the club’s glory”.
For a football fanatic who sums up Ceres-Negros as “The Pride of Negros”, he feels disheartened with the major changes in the club which he said “will affect the name and branded colors.”
However, he assured that “whoever the new owner will be, as long as its pro-Negros as it was with Ceres, we fans will continue to support”.
And there are those who link the conflict among the Yanson siblings to the decision of LRY to give up the ownership of the football club.
Ems Gelogo of Hinigaran said, “I definitely see a change of ownership of Ceres-Negros FC because of the family squabble. I am deeply saddened by this but it is what it is.”
Among those who chronicled the club’s meteoric rise in Philippine football is Bacolod-based sports photographer Stephen Tan.
“Every game was like history in motion. I am honored to be part of it and I thank LRY and club administrator Daniel Nicholas Golez for tapping me as one of the official photographers of Ceres-Negros,” Tan said.*
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