By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.
Former Pachanga FC Red Phoenix head coach Norman Fegidero Jr. expressed disappointment over the sudden dissolution of the club following its promotion to Division 1 after emerging as Division 2 champion in the recent United Football League season.
Fegidero, who led the Red Phoenix in a successful campaign last season, stressed in an interview with Bleachers Brew that the team had a terrible climb in their desire to be in the Division 1 only to realize that it’s already gone.
“We would have wanted to see how we really match up with the best club teams, to see what adjustments we can make, and how good our team is. But Fred said that the reason is his family, and we’ve nothing to talk about. I understand why it has to happen,” Fegidero added.
Although people associated with the club understand the sale, it has left the coaching staff and players upset for many reasons. Of the coaching staff composed of Fegidero Jr., Marjo Allado, Alvin Ocampo, and Kim Versales, only Allado was reportedly offered a slot in the new team’s coaching staff.
But according to Fegidero and former team manager Jojo Rodriguez, Allado will decline the offer. The club added that Hector Zaghi from Team Socceroo in the offseason will shore up the midfield that was missing the injured William Guerridon. Zaghi is disgusted with the sudden dissolution of the club and refuses to play for Pachanga anymore.
The Bacolod contingent made up primarily of Fegidero’s players from West Negros University being led by striker Joven Bedic and defender Camelo Tacusalme are out as well.
Meanwhile, former Red Phoenix owner Freddy Gonzales explained that there is no truth to the rumor that the team is bankrupt. He said that it is more of a family decision to sell the club.
“I have been too busy with work and during the past two months, I have been in and out of the country on business. In fact, this is the reason why I couldn’t commit to the Azkals’ training camp or the Clear Dream Match even if I wanted to. It has been difficult for me trying to balance my life as a businessman, a family man and a football team owner.
Even before I suited up for Pachanga during the league competition, I would only occasionally show up in the games because of my commitments. It is about priorities and unfortunately the team had to give way.
I will still play and that is so much easier than running an entire team. It was difficult to try and get sponsors for the club given that I am often times out of the country. I gave a lot to this club but I think I took it as far as I could take it.
Obviously some people will be disappointed with what happened but there is no malice intended. The best possible people to run the club will take it much farther than I could,” he said.
The Red Phoenix has been bought by a group associated with the Makati Football School and Diliman FC and will reportedly field a hybrid team composed of Pachanga and Diliman players. According to the UFL, the new club, will be named “Pachanga Diliman FC” and will introduce their new lineup soon./WDJ