Moscow and St. Petersburg broke away from Russia - Newspaper Kommersant No. 176 (7377) of 09/23/2022

On Thursday, the VTB United League published the budgets of the Russian participants in the tournament for last season. Traditionally, CSKA turned out to be the leader in terms of expenses, having spent 2.8 billion rubles on the maintenance of the club. This, however, did not help the army team to keep the championship title, which they lost to Zenit, whose expenses amounted to 2.43 billion rubles. But it should be noted that the new data, unlike previous years, does not fully reflect the financial strength of the clubs. Many of them will face budget cuts this season. The same CSKA may miss 20% of last year's budget.

Traditionally, the VTB United League, shortly before the start of the new season (the championship starts on October 2), published the budgets of the Russian participants in the championship for the previous season. No sensations were made public during the event held at the VTB Arena, the main speaker of which, again according to tradition, was the honorary president of the VTB United League Sergey Ivanov. CSKA spent the most in the 2021/22 season. As in all previous years for which the League has provided information, club budgets were made public for the first time in 2014.

The expenses of the army amounted to 2.808 billion rubles. Revenues for 69 million rubles. more. That is the budget CSKA turned out to be surplus. None of the clubs included in the reporting can boast of such an achievement. At the same time, 1.498 billion rubles were spent on the salaries of the players, and the maintenance of the coaching staff and technical staff cost another 155 million rubles.

In second place, and with a significant lag, is "Zenith". The expenditure part of the budget of Petersburgers amounted to 2.43 billion (revenue - 2.4 billion). But much more striking is the difference in the costs of the Moscow and St. Petersburg giants on the salaries of the players. At Zenit, they, based on the data provided by the club to the league, were more than two times lower - 772 million rubles. True, the coaches and staff cost Zenit more than CSKA - 202 million rubles. It is not clear what caused such a gap in the cost of paying for the contracts of basketball players. Both CSKA and Zenit were equipped with about one level. But if there is no cunning in the published information, then it is worth recognizing that Zenit spent funds much more efficiently. After all, last season the Petersburgers interrupted the championship series of CSKA, which stretched for nine seasons, beating the army team in a stunning four-game final (4:3).

Zenit and CSKA remain the main contenders for the title in the upcoming championship. But it cannot be ruled out that this time the Petersburgers will have not only a gaming, but also a financial advantage. According to "RIA News" citing an informed source, in the new season the budget of CSKA may be reduced by at least 20% compared to last year. According to the source, this is due to the fact that the general sponsor of the team, Norilsk Nickel, will cut funding. "Zenith" does not seem to experience difficulties with money. A marker of the successful state of affairs in the St. Petersburg team can be the news that Zenit has signed a contract with French national team defender Tom Ertel. The player signed the contract, despite the fact that he had previously given the French Basketball Federation a written promise not to play in Russian and Belarusian teams, agreeing that otherwise he would be excommunicated from playing for the national team. Ertel, who has played for Barcelona and Real Madrid among other things, has consistently been among the highest paid players in Europe. It can be assumed that the conditions proposed by Zenit turned out to be so convincing that Ertel could not refuse. By the way, on Thursday Sergey Ivanov was asked about whether the league could go for the introduction of a salary cap in order to somehow equalize the position of the teams. But, according to him, the leadership of the league considers such an idea meaningless. “After all, in spite of everything, the legionnaires are still going to Russia. If we introduce a salary cap, it will be the collapse of basketball in Russia!” Sergei Ivanov said

Following CSKA and Zenit, which was again quite predictable, two more representatives of the big Russian four - UNICS and Lokomotiv-Kuban. True, their backlog from the "capital" teams is so serious that it's time to single out "Zenith" and CSKA in a separate "super category". Thus, UNICS spent 1.1252 billion rubles on the team. (the budget was reduced with a deficit of 52 million rubles), and Lokomotiv-Kuban - 1.333 billion rubles. (deficit - 39 million rubles). However, even the gap between the Kazan and Krasnodar teams from CSKA and Zenit does not look as big as the difference between the poorest of the top four teams and the richest of all the rest. Thus, the expenses of Nizhny Novgorod amounted to 359 million rubles, which is almost four times less than that of Lokomotiv-Kuban. The costs of Parma reached 310 million rubles, while Yenisei was able to allocate only 245 million rubles for expenses.

Alexander Petrov

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