The VTB United Basketball League has published the budgets of the Russian tournament participants for the last season. For the first time in the almost ten-year period of publication of data, the leader in expenses was not the traditional leader of the CSKA rating, but Zenit. St. Petersburg residents spent 2.186 billion rubles over the past season. However, this is almost 250 million rubles. less than the season before last. But the scale of Zenit’s cost reduction is not comparable to that of the army. For CSKA they decreased by 666 million rubles. mainly due to a sharp reduction in spending on player salaries. This is not surprising, since in the conditions of isolation of Russian sports, previous spending on top basketball players has become unjustified.
The VTB United League, shortly before the start of the new basketball championship (the championship starts on September 30), announced the budgets of the Russian participants in the tournament. Last season there were 10 out of 12. For the first time since the publication of this information (and for the first time the league shared it in 2014), the leader in expenses was not CSKA. The army team consistently spent much more than everyone else. For example, in the season before last, their expenses amounted to 2.808 billion rubles, and for Zenit, which took second place in the financial rating (in the sports rating, the St. Petersburgers were ahead of CSKA, winning the championship title) - 2.43 billion rubles. But in the new classification, Zenit is already in the lead. The team spent 2.186 billion rubles over the previous season. CSKA's expenses amounted to 2.142 billion rubles. Thus, over the year, the army’s spending decreased by 666 million rubles.
The key item due to which CSKA managed to reduce them so much was the salaries of basketball players. In the season before last, 1.498 billion rubles were spent on them, and the maintenance of the coaching staff and technical staff cost another 155 million rubles. But here it’s worth remembering that in 2021, CSKA’s roster was formed with an eye to participating in the Euroleague. However, in 2022, Russian basketball clubs were suspended from European competition. After this, many foreign players left the VTB United League.
In conditions of international isolation, the army team spent only 868 million rubles on salaries last season. Trainers and technical staff cost another 182 million rubles. At the same time, CSKA also managed to save, so it brought the budget to a surplus, and a substantial one, at 164 million rubles. (for comparison: the entire expenditure budget of the Saratov Avtodor barely exceeded 199 million rubles). Thus, in some respects, CSKA, having failed to regain the championship title (in the last championship, it did not even make it to the finals), nevertheless ended up first. He has the highest income - 2.307 billion rubles. versus RUB 2.203 billion. at Zenit. The St. Petersburg team also doesn’t reach the same level as the army team in terms of spending on player salaries, although the teams were equipped at approximately the same level. But Zenit spent only 679 million rubles on basketball players. (772 million rubles in the season before last). True, the coaching staff costs St. Petersburg much more - almost 300 million rubles. This is not surprising: specialists of the level of Javi Pascual, whom leading European clubs are ready to welcome, are expensive.
It is noteworthy, however, that the total budgets of UNICS and Lokomotiv-Kuban, that is, the champion and finalist of last season, are quite comparable to the budget of CSKA alone, which has not won the championship for two years in a row. Kazan residents spent 1.201 billion rubles during the season, Krasnodar residents - 1.366 billion rubles. At the same time, both UNICS and Lokomotiv-Kuban invested relatively modestly in the maintenance of their squads, spending 478 million and 493 million rubles. respectively. So, in terms of the efficiency of using funds, UNICS and Lokomotiv-Kuban are obviously ahead of their wealthier competitors. Another thing is that the Kazan, Krasnodar and other teams earn little on their own, almost completely depending on their sponsors. The largest income that can be attributed to own earnings (receipts from the ticket program, prize money, sale of goods with club symbols) was received by CSKA - about 160 million rubles. For Zenit this figure is about 138 million rubles, for UNICS - 44 million rubles, for Lokomotiv-Kuban - 53 million rubles. The leadership of the league has been saying for several years that it is time for clubs to learn how to earn money themselves, but so far there has been little success in this sense. But it is the VTB United League - and it also discloses its budget - that is doing well. The league's revenues amounted to 1.365 billion rubles, and expenses - only 884 million rubles. “It’s nice that the United League’s budget has increased significantly; it’s more than most professional clubs in Russia. “Comparable with the budgets of UNICS and Lokomotiv-Kuban, we are slightly inferior to Zenit and CSKA,” said the honorary president of the VTB United League Sergei Ivanov. “Opening budgets disciplines clubs; only in basketball can the public judge the real state of affairs. I can say that next season Zenit's budget will be larger than CSKA's. The conversation about CSKA being the hegemon at the expense of the budget is over.”