Club legend Hiroaki Morishima has been appointed as the president of Cerezo Osaka Co., Ltd. in the annual stockholders meeting of the company held yesterday.
Morishima started his professional football career in 1991 when he joined Yanmar Diesel Soccer Club after graduating from Tokai University First High School. Since then, he has spent his entire career at Yanmar / Cerezo Osaka, including after he retired as a player in 2008.
While he is known as “the most humble J.Leaguer” among Japanese football fans, and he has worked as a club ambassador and at the club’s Football Operation Group since he retired, he has no experience of managing a company, which definitely needs different and distinct knowledge and abilities. That’s why this news came as a total surprise.
According to what he told in a press conference taken place after the stockholders meeting, reported by THE PAGE, he was offered to become the president in October because the club’s main partners, Yanmar and Nipponham, strongly wanted it. Although he initially declined the offer because he has not experience, he decided to accept it to “lead Cerezo Osaka toward better direction than before.”
Then, why did Yanmar and Nipponham want him to manage the company? It is not clear and that’s what some supporters have concerns about. Former club president Minoru Tamada said that Morishima knows everything about the club and can “manage the club from a player’s perspective, standing on the new viewpoint.” That sounds very vague but Morishima said he’s eager to “take responsibility for creating an environment in which players can shine.”
Typically a club president serves four years but Morishima has no term limits, Tamada said.
Morishima has to face harsh reality soon after becoming the president. There is great uncertainty at the moment as the (team) manager changed and three key players left the club. There have been some rumors of potential incomings, but few have not been confirmed yet. We have to wait and see how “Morishi,” the man who receives respect from every supporter, steers the company.