Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 19) – Taking the reins from the former Ceres Negros FC last July, United City Football Club is looking to set its own mark in the Philippine football scene in the club’s first year of existence.
In an online news conference on Wednesday, United City FC co-owner Eric Gottschalk emphasized the importance of fan engagement and developing the club’s newly signed young players as the main factors in the team’s sustainable future.
The United City FC co-owner bared the club is planning to establish a formal membership program, where loyal fans are given a membership card that can be used to enjoy benefits in purchasing the team’s merchandise and game tickets.
Gottschalk, who is the founder and chief executive officer of Asian sports marketing agency MMC Sportz, promised they will allot fan interactions with players as these followers are curious on the latest happenings on their idols.
“These moves will allow us not only to get closer to fans but to also give us vehicle to generate more revenues,” said Gootschalk, who hinted that the management is close to sealing partnerships with some commercial brands for the team’s revenue sources.
The newly rebranded football club recently infused fresh blood in their star-studded lineup by signing UAAP Season 82 Juniors’ Most Valuable Player Pocholo Bugas and Fil-Swiss goalkeeper Anthony Pinthus.
Gootschalk added these young players are essential to building the club’s image as a rich base of future football booters in the country. The creation of a youth academy and a home stadium for the squad is the key to realize this dream, he added.
“We're not gonna look outside the country, but we will try to look first in the inside to make sure there's a platform for young players to make football one of their passions and make it a profession,” said Gootschalk, who also stressed the importance of strengthening the professional football league in the country that will give more exposure to prospective talents.
The United City FC management also revealed they have agreed in principle to a new head coach who will replace Serbian mentor Risto Vidakovic, but Gootschalk refused to divulge the identity of the new coach and indicated he will come from outside the country.
Most of the Ceres Negros FC core comprises the newly rebranded club, bannered by football stars Stephan Schrock, OJ Porteria, Bienvenido Marañón, Robert Mendy, Takashi Odawara, and Sean Patrick Kane. Professional football practices are expected to resume anytime as Metro Manila and four nearby provinces were downgraded from modified enhanced community quarantine to the more relaxed general community quarantine effective today.