While many teams in Europe become poorer as a Coronavirus consequence, Zenit Sankt-Petersburg will maintain the same big budget for the next season. The Russian team will have definitely more money than some great names of the Euroleague all-time like Zalgiris, Olympiacos or Panathinaikos.
The money of Gazprom could bring them some excellent results now when the majority of the clubs are searching for financial solutions and are trying to sign cheaper players. If you take a look at great clubs like those that I mentioned above, some of them are willing to sign now average Eurocup players only to have a roster. Not a competitive one, but a roster. Meanwhile, Zenit is signing some important guys like K.C. Rivers, Kevin Pangos, Arturas Gudaitis that seems to fit perfectly with the philosophy of coach Xavi Pascual.
Of course, more money invested than others doesn’t guarantee amazing results because there are many other factors involved as chemistry, discipline, referees, luck, absence of the injuries and so on. But I think that this season, Zenit could reach European glory, a spot in the playoffs and why not, depending on other additions, a place in the Final4. They are starting now to build a strong roster with experienced guys that can have an important impact on the court.
As the Russian team is not a permanent member of the Euroleague, they could try this season to hit the top of the competition, beneficiating of the whole positive context. Nobody knows what the future would bring and that’s why Zenit could try hard to be the nicest surprise of the Euroleague like Lokomotiv Kuban was in 2016 when they finished 3rd in the competition. Back then, few people gave Loko a chance to reach the playoff. Maybe the same prejudice is happening right now with Zenit. I see them as a strong competitor.