Lend it like Lukic

Lend it like Lukic

Ex- Premier League footballer John Lukic has joined Ortus Secured Finance as its new BDM. Medianett uncovers exactly what made him make the switch from football to finance….

Ex- Premier League footballer John Lukic has joined Ortus Secured Finance as its new BDM. Medianett uncovers exactly what made him make the switch from football to finance…

Ortus Secured Finance, the short-term lender operating in the commercial sector, has recently hired 80s football legend, John Lukic.

Mostly known for his impressive career as a goalkeeper for Arsenal, John has played 668 times in the top division of English football and is the only goalkeeper in existence to have won the League Title twice with two different clubs.

John, who retired in 2001, has now shifted from football player to key player in the alternative finance market.

His motivating mantra, "winning isn't everything but the will to win is everything", is sure to get him from blocking goals on the field to scoring them at Ortus– and if he is as competitive in the office as he is on the pitch, we can expect that there won’t be many deals missing the net.

John’s colourful career took off at a very young age, when he first went to play for Leeds as a schoolboy of just 14. By the time he was 18, he had already made his first team debut – and it didn’t stop there. Commenting of the fact that he went on to win the league title twice with Arsenal and Leeds, John said: “So far, I’m the only goalkeeper to have achieved this with two different clubs. I also won a League Cup and a Charity Shield.”

The Chesterfield-born player said that he aspired to play at the very highest level and Arsenal and Leeds were (and are) great clubs, therefore, once he got the opportunity, it was an easy decision to accept their offers. 

Cryptically, he added: “Strangely enough, though, Arsenal and Leeds both ended up getting rid of me on two occasions each.  I think the penny dropped.”

As well as knowing his way around a football pitch, it’s good to know that in the field of finance (excuse the pun) he’s entered, he is no stranger to numbers: “In 1983, Arsenal bought me for £75,000 … and sold me back to Leeds seven years later for £1 million.  I was definitely an appreciating asset.”

John told us: “Winning things in football has much to do with luck and circumstances and there are many great players who never manage to win anything; I’m thankful for the successes I’ve enjoyed.”

When asked what his favourite memories of his sports career are, John admitted that as football is all about winning, his league titles were the major highlight, adding: “I also enjoyed working with some truly great players such as Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry … and managers such as George Graham and Arsene Wenger.  I was lucky to play in a great era for English football.”

John talked about one of his famous winning moments, in one of his greatest games. It was the final of the ‘88/’89 season against Liverpool, when Arsenal won the league title with Michael Thomas scoring in the last minute.

However, the glory days weren’t always about trophies and champagne – one false move and beloved fans (and rival supporters) would forever remember the moment.  John told us: “Embarrassment follows goalkeepers around and gets recorded for posterity on YouTube.  However, it is definitely tempered when you make a game-changing save.” 

Thankfully for John, the finance industry won’t be uploading any embarrassing shots - apart from if he makes it into the Weekender in any ‘Friday night’ snaps, of course.

The football star retired from the sport at the age of 40, which, he said, “is pretty old for a footballer”. So why finance, and why now? 

It turns out that John has been involved in various business ventures over the years so it wasn’t entirely new to him. 

He explained: “Football sets a high standard in terms of job satisfaction and it’s a truly results-driven business. Therefore, the key for me was to work with people who possess ambition, drive and the ability to deliver.

“In this sense, I feel very comfortable at Ortus. The team works so hard to deliver for brokers and they’ve managed to bring something new to the market with their focus on leisure. They are also getting results in terms of writing business and winning Best Newcomer at the B&C Awards.”

Where footballers can give the impression of party animals on the front cover of newspapers and magazines, one thing we learnt about John that we were taken aback with, was that despite being a member of the famous Tuesday Club at Arsenal, which was famed for its post-training drinking sessions, John never drank alcohol during his career. With a 9-5 job now in finance, we have a feeling that ethic won’t work for long.

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