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Saints' restructure sees two executives go marching out

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 26/05/2014 Michael Gleeson
Matt Finnis. © Sebastian Costanzo Matt Finnis.

New St Kilda chief executive Matt Finnis has overhauled the club's executive weeks after starting at the club, axing the roles of the club's chief operating officer Terry Dillon and general manager of commercial operations Shane Wakelin.

Finnis has hired Christine Finnegan from the Melbourne Rebels as the new chief commercial operations officer, essentially replacing the two roles with one.

The two senior club figures were told on Monday morning that Finnis had reviewed the club's structure and had decided to alter the reporting structure which would mean the two positions would be made redundant and replaced by one newly created role.

"It's a restructure of the roles and is not about the individuals involved, who have been terrific employees of the club," Finnis said. "Terry and Shane are outstanding people who had done great work with the Saints, but this is about the best way to structure the business."

Coincidentally the club's merchandise manager, Dale Christie, resigned on Friday,

The review and consequent restructure was confined to the club's administration and did not include a football department review given that department was largely reviewed last year when Scott Watters was removed and replaced by Alan Richardson as coach.

Finnis had worked with Finnegan previously when he was chief executive at the AFLPA prior to taking up the St Kilda job earlier this year after the Saints parted ways with former CEO Michael Nettlefold.

It is the second time Wakelin has lost his employment at the Saints. After being traded by the club as a player, the key defender went on to play in two Collingwood grand final sides. 

Wakelin had been at the Saints head commercial operations. Dillon moved to St Kilda from Hawthorn about two-and-a-half years ago. He had previously worked in finance roles at Collingwood.

Finnis felt that the St Kilda business was not large enough to justify also employing a chief operating officer.

The Saints have battled for sponsorship revenue, having not signed a joint major sponsor this year alongside Ledified.

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