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Ownership transfer official: Ceres Negros to rebrand to United City FC

Ceres Negros FC will rebrand to United City FC after the transfer from former team owner Leo Rey Yanson to a group of private investors managed by MMC Sportz Asia, a Dubai and Manila-based sports marketing agency, was made official on Thursday.

"We would like to thank Mr. 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," Eric Gottschalk, CEO of MMC Sportz Asia, said in a press release.

"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," he added.

The management also stated they will apply for the official name change of the club from the Philippine Football Federation and requested their endorsement to continue competing in the AFC Cup.

The statement also revealed that 16 of the original 21 Ceres Negros players, and there are plans to keep head coach Risto Vidaković on board. The identities of the 16 retained players, though, were not revealed in the press release.

Ace Bright will also keep his role as general manager for the newly rebranded club.

"We are also retaining almost the entire staff around General Manager Ace Bright, and it is our intent to have Coach Risto return as the Head Coach," the statement read. "The aim is to keep the team and staff together as much as possible, and allow them the well-deserved chance to continue to play football amid all the challenges that everyone has been facing."