Thanks to ELMO Software, our official HR & Payroll Provider, we chat to Head of Finance Adrian De Luca.
Name: Adrian De Luca
Tenure: 2015 -
Role: Head of Finance
Favourite food: Pasta
Favourite exercise: Walking
Take us through your role at the club?
I lead the finance team, who manage the financial performance of the business and the club.
We look after a range of things such as payroll, player payments, paying suppliers + more.
We manage the cash flow of the business, general forecasting and reporting to the board to make sure the club is across how we’re performing financially.
What does your day-to-day look like?
We analyse the different financial results of the business and try to work with the different departments to try and improve their numbers and their results.
The day is varied depending on what needs to be done on that particular day – no two days are the same.
Can you talk a bit about your team and how you work with the wider business?
We’re a shared-service department, so we regularly work with the whole business daily.
We make sure that we’re building good relationships with each person and department within the club because we interact with them so often - whether that be paying invoices, dealing with pays or sending invoices out.
Why is culture so important in the team environment?
Culture is important because it helps build a strong club. We’re a people business, so if the club has strong culture and people, it’s the first step in creating success.
I think the people component and everyone striving for the one goal/pushing in that direction is the first step in building a successful club.
How long have you been in your role and can you tell us about any highlights during that time?
I’ve been here for six years and I think from a club perspective, seeing us play finals was definitely a highlight for me.
Another one would also be the move back from Seaford to Moorabbin and into the facility that we’ve got today, which is probably one of the leading facilities in the AFL. To work in such a great facility that is only going to get bigger and better is something I’m proud of.
As a manager, how important is it to acknowledge good work with appropriate rewards or recognition?
I think it’s very important to acknowledge good work, whether that be through feedback or rewarding your team and celebrating the wins. It’s extremely important, especially at a football club where things move quite quickly. You need to pause, look back and see what you’ve achieved with your team and celebrate those wins along the way.
Do you see similarities between the corporate world and the sports world?
Whether you’re in the corporate or sports world, you have to have a good culture.
If you don’t have a good culture it’s unlikely that the business will succeed, whether it’s on the field or in a business environment.
What are some of the attributes and characteristics you think make a good leader?
Being compassionate, understanding your team and that everyone is different and people are going through different things, you need to give them the time to develop and succeed and try to help them achieve their goals – and if you’re doing that they’re an engaged employee doing the best possible job they can do for you.
Engaged employees are happy employees.
How important is a tailored/personalised approach to professional development? Does a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach ever work?
It’s extremely important as you can’t roll out the same thing to all your staff, you have to see what each staff member is more interested in/need development in so each of them needs a tailored approach.
Some staff may be more receptive, some need more development and others more receptive to other things, so it’s really important to tailor every individual’s development differently.
How important is it to be passionate about your role and love what you do?
It’s crucial. If you’re interested and passionate about what you do, you’re more likely to do a better job and give more effort as opposed to doing something you’re not interested in and doing a half-hearted effort just because you have to get it done.
One of the good things about working in a football club is that most if not all people are passionate and engaged about what they’re doing, which helps the club move in the one direction.