Feb 1 2013 by Iain Howie, Perthshire Advertiser
St Johnstone’s new general manager, Chris Charalambous, got down to work yesterday at McDiarmid Park - pictured right.
But the Cypriot-born former hotel manager is no stranger to the Perth club, having been drafted in by the board a year ago to lend his expertise in the hospitality industry to the match day experience at the stadium.
Family man Charalambous (49) is a well-known face in the Fair City.
He has been lured from his post at the Mercure City Mills Hotel, where he had been manager for the past six years, following a five-year spell at the helm of the Station Hotel.
These are challenging times in the business world and football has been hit hard by the fall-out from the recession.
But he stressed: “I am delighted to be given this opportunity and I believe there is a great deal of potential at the club.
“St Johnstone isn’t just about football. Off the field business in terms of conferences, parties, the restaurant and bar facilities have to be harnessed to ensure the football team can continue to develop and enjoy success.
“I am a lifelong football fan and played amateur football in my younger days. It has been my hobby so I can relate to the fans.
“I grew up supporting my local club AEL but I have become an adopted Scot, having been working in Perth and Edinburgh for many years.
“I see this as a fresh challenge after a career in hotel management. I was delighted when the chairman and the directors invited me to play a part on match days and now I am looking forward to a full-time role covering every aspect of the club apart from the football. I am not stepping into the dark here.
“St Johnstone plays a vital part in the life of the community, and it’s not just about SPL football. There is so much going on here throughout the week.
“These are challenging times but I have never been one to shirk a challenge. Now my task is to encourage even more business into the club.”