Worcestershire CCC’s newly appointed Company Secretary, Sarah Gluyas, has brought a vast amount of business experience to the club since she became Finance Manager at Blackfinch New Road two and a half years ago.
Sarah will combine her two roles moving forward, having already made a significant impact at the County and putting all the knowledge gleamed from different business sectors over three decades to great effect.
Here Sarah explains what her dual role entails at Worcestershire as head of a busy financial team, the past experiences she has been able to call upon in helping the Club to move forward financially and the importance of a thriving team on the pitch to all facets of the business in a Question And Answer session.
Question: Please could you explain what your new role entails as Company Secretary?
Sarah Gluyas: “I joined the club in July 2017 as Finance Manager and I feel very honoured to have been appointed as Company Secretary.
“The Company Secretary role is a statutory administration role which means I have responsibility for the records of the club such as documents being filed with Companies House, keeping adequate share-holder and director records, keeping them in good order.
“It is a role that in recent times has been combined with the CEO role and it was a dual role that they held.”
Question: Will you be combining the Company Secretary role with your Finance Manager role?
Sarah Gluyas: “That’s right. My current role means I head up the finance team so, with the members of staff, we work together to keep the accounting records of the business.
“It involves ensuring we get all the money in that we are due in relation to takings on cricket days, events and functions that are happening, money we get from the pay and display car park and funds we receive from the ECB.
“Also making sure our suppliers and employees are paid appropriately and on time.
“We’ve got functional tasks in the finance team and also producing the financial information that the club needs as a business so that directors and decision-makers in the business have the information they need.
“Management accounts are produced every month so that they know the performance of their area of the business and how the club as a whole is performing. The best decisions are made with informed information in front of you.”
Question: It is a significant role in the running of a club that no longer is focused on just 50 days of cricket action each year?
Sarah Gluyas: “At its heart, the cricket club remains a member run organisation and we have to face the fact that for us to be able to invest in our facilities, to put the best players on the pitch with the best coaching structure behind them, that takes money.
“If the other areas of the business commercially perform well, that gives us the money to be able to invest in all of those things that our members want to see.
“We are also a vibrant part of the City of Worcester, so we need to be a part of that community and a part of the commerce of Worcestershire as well.”
Question: How did you get the role at Worcestershire CCC, have you a lengthy financial background?
Sarah Gluyas: “I’ve always worked in finance. My first career was in retail banking, with NatWest bank for 10 years. Times changed when I was there throughout the 1990s.
“It went from the days where you knew your bank manager and went in to request a loan or a mortgage, to by the time I left computers were making decisions. It was all about pension leads and insurance sales and that wasn’t the side of the business I enjoyed.
“I was working with small businesses, assessing their lending requirements, so a natural evolution from that was to re-train as an accountant and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 15 years.
“I started as an accounting technician, went to night school to pass exams, and went on to complete chartered accountancy qualification. I’ve worked for several different firms in different sectors so have a lot of broad experience including construction, manufacturing and also financial services.
“When I came to Worcestershire CCC, although I hadn’t worked in professional sport, catering or events, I think my background helped because I came with no preconceived ideas about how things should be done.
“I came with the best practice I had seen in other well run businesses and I looked to apply those lessons to how we operate here.”
Question: Is the game of cricket one that you follow?
Sarah Gluyas: “Dare I say it, cricket was entirely new to me. I love all sports and there is nothing better than watching live sport when you are there with the atmosphere and the action.
“I had never been to a cricket match before so, when I came for my interview here, as well as researching the club and the sector of professional sport, I did need to brush up on the basics of cricket.”
Question: How important is it for the business side of the club for the cricket side to be successful?
Sarah Gluyas: “I think they are intrinsically linked. Success on the pitch is a huge factor in our commercial success off the pitch as well.
“It is important in direct ways in terms of whether people will join or renew their membership. Members are looking for success on the pitch.
“It is important for sponsorship opportunities with local or national businesses. Success on the pitch has a huge factor in that.
“But also success off the pitch, for example catering and events functions, keeping our function rooms busy and our occupancy rates high, and the events we do are run on a profitable basis for us, gives the opportunity for the surplus we earn to be reinvested back into players and facilities.
“It becomes a cycle that only generates better things throughout the club.”