On Monday night, the entire Filipino football community was handed a huge shock, with news that FC Meralco Manila had decided to cease operations. Citing circumstances beyond their control, and a failure to attract new investors to keep the organization running, Kaya Makati’s long-time rivals are suddenly no more.
“First and foremost regarding Meralco Manila Football Club, it was definitely a shock. It’s not a club that I, or anyone in our ownership group would’ve thought would be pulling out of the PFL,” said Kaya General Manager Paul Tolentino.
Having finished top of the standings before the PFL Finals Series began last year, Meralco Manila, under Aris Caslib, was expected to be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming season. Understandably, the demise of a heavyweight in Philippine club football has raised some eyebrows over the viability of the Philippine Football League as a whole.
“There are concerns on what it may mean in the long run for the remaining clubs and the league. However, we must stay positive and continue going forward as the league is bigger than any one team,” said Tolentino.
As for those expressing worries that other clubs would soon follow Meralco Manila’s lead in folding operations, Paul was quick to dispel any concerns over the future of Kaya.
“On our part, as Kaya FC–Makati, we proceed as planned. We’re looking forward to the second season. We’re preparing personnel-wise, and technically, in terms of better organization and trying to have a better showing in the coming season,” he said.
Kaya Makati returns to training on Monday.