By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]
The 2021-22 budget was increased from €6.8M to €10.1M, said Zalgiris Kaunas GM Paulius Motiejunas.
“We wanted to evaluate the income from tickets very carefully,” he said regarding the construction of the budget, “Last year’s example showed that the pandemic can alter the requirements in the arena, which then reduce or eliminate the possibility to collect part of the planned budget. We decided to play it safe and used the opportunity of a loan to balance our budget. If tickets return to at least a similar level as before the pandemic, we will return this loan much sooner.”
The budget was initially set at €6.8M in July. Motiejunas since revealed the numbers will be higher but without specifically clarifying the improved situation backed by sponsorship deals and the mentioned loan. He officially presented the new budget talking to media representatives on Wednesday. €7.2M out of the €10.1 is invested into the salaries of players and coaches.
The Zalgiris GM noted that the goal is for the team to battle for a Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs berth. Also, he did not rule out the possibility of roster changes.
The Lithuanian champs are up 4-0 in the domestic LKL but 0-1 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. They will host Zenit Saint Petersburg in EuroLeague Regular Season Round 2. Austrian head coach Martin Schiller confirmed captain Paulius Jankunas (calf), Janis Strelnieks (hip), and Lukas Lekavicius (back) remain questionable ahead of Thursday’s contest.
On the opposite end, injured Shabazz Napier will remain sidelined. However, Schiller praised the former NBA player. “Shabazz is really talented, and I think if he figures out Europe, he will be dominant,” he predicted.
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