We had to make cuts to secure Raiders' future
GARY STRONACH has said this summer's dramatic cuts to his playing budget were essential to safeguard Plymouth Raiders' long-term future.
Stronach has between '60 and 65 per cent' less to spend recruiting players than he had 12 months ago.
The recession and a lack of revenue from sponsorship has been blamed.
Stronach subsequently plans to trim the size of his squad from 10 professionals to six.
"In the last two years we've pushed all we could into the playing budget," said Stronach. "But, because of the current economic climate, these cuts came harshly and came at the end of last season.
"Obviously it's a cause for concern going forward, but what we want to do is make sure Plymouth Raiders (formed in 1983) are around for 25 more years at least.
"What we don't want is the end of Plymouth Raiders and for the club to wind-up."
Stronach added: "We had 25 home games last season and expected 25 to be sponsored. Only six were.
"And that's only one thing, so you don't have to be business-minded to work out things aren't right."
Stronach, Raiders chairman Bob Widdecombe and vice-chairman Damon Lenszer met nine of the 10 players on last season's roster to break news of the budget cuts on May 9, five days after Raiders fell 91-73 to Newcastle Eagles in the semi-finals of the BBL play-offs in Birmingham.
The only player who was not seen was forward Kwbana Beckles, who flew home to Canada early to treat a bad back and has been released by mutual consent.
The club, in the meetings' wake, said new one-year deals had been offered to eight of the nine players.
Centre Terrence Durham, who is set to sit out next season with a serious knee injury, was the one player not offered a contract.
However, forward DeAntoine Beasley came out and told Herald Sport he was not offered a deal, and a war of words broke out between him and Raiders.
Leading scorer and guard Drew Lasker also told Herald Sport he would not be back in 2009/10.
Raiders insist there remains a small chance Lasker will re-sign.
Stronach revealed: "The nine meetings were one after the other, with no contracts there and then on the table.
"It was uncomfortable for everybody, but things had to be said. We didn't want to string players along and not tell them until August my budget has been cut.
"Some coaches would have done that, but I don't work like that. I'm not that type.
"Season after season we chased those guys (in the summer). Two or three have been big-time commodities in the BBL.
"But because of things the club have not foreseen, the shoe is on the other foot this year."
Stronach added: "I see players like DeAntoine as more than just one of my players. People know I'm very close to a lot of players.
"It's been tough, because I want the best for them, but the bigger picture is we want the best for the club as well."