VILNIUS – Antanas Guoga has left one of the country’s leading basketball clubs Lietuvos rytas, announced the club on Tuesday.
Guoga, a famous poker player, businessman, philanthropist and a member of the European Parliament, has sold his 20% stake in the club to major shareholder Darius Gudelis. According to the announcement from Lietuvos rytas, Guoga also donated 300,000 euros, which he previously lent to the club during its financial and management turmoil.
“We’ve managed to stabilize the situation, paid out the biggest part of the debts, and most importantly, we’ve brought back the fans to arenas,” Guoga, who led the national team in 2010-12, was quoted as saying in the announcement by Lietuvos rytas.
In June, Guoga bought out the part of the basketball club from its previous owners. Lietuvos rytas then experienced financial crisis and was on the brink of losing its place in the Eurocup Basketball tournament. At that time, the club was also involved in racial scandal due to remarks from its previous owners.
“We hope Antanas with his knowledge and contacts will continue contributing to the growth of Lietuvos rytas club,” said Gudelis, who now owns 40 per cent the shares, was quoted as saying.
Despite positive remarks on Tuesday, Guoga left Lietuvos rytas amid conflicts with the other shareholders of the club.
Recently, Guoga publicly accused other shareholders for making suspicious financial support contracts behind his back.
Currently, Lietuvos rytas is at the third place in the domestic league and fifth in the EuroCup tournament group.