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Old 05-30-2011, 10:40 AM   #101
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I still say the big sticking point is the players will have to concede to a "giveback", and that is very, very, very hard to concede from the player's perspective. So I see the players' position in this. It's that whole giveback thing that sticks in their craw.

The big deal right now is the league-wide "giveback" of apx. $300 million per contract year - from the players to the owners.

But, and it's an important point, that giveback is only apx. $9.375 million per team per contract year.

I look at those $$$$ numbers and it's pretty clear to me the players are shafting everybody in this dispute.

$9.375 million per team per contract year with a 53-man roster is $177k per player per contract year. That's not gonna impact the lower-level guys, there will still be a minimum guaranteed salary for each year of service.

The sole impact on players will be on the higher salary players, and even then it will be a low impact percentage-wise on their overall salary.

The players are being offered a very fair deal, and in the interest of continuity they should take it. The nature of contracts like these is there is always the next contract to try and make up some differences, and it's very important in contract negotiations to consider the continuity aspect.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:27 AM   #102
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The problem with your comparison is that you assume Bowlen puts out the 'B team' while the other 31 teams keep the same players. The Broncos couldn't be competitive in that scenario. That's not the correct comparison.

If the current 1500 players were to simply walk away, the NFL would continue to be profitable. Every team would fill their roster with the best players available. The average fan couldn't tell the difference.
Unless I am not the average fan then that strategy will fail hard, I have no intention of watching a sport that does not feature the highest possible level of play that is achievable. That is the reason I watch Formula 1 and not nascar, the reason I watch the NFL not UFL, the reason I watch NHL not USHL, the reason I watch champions league and not MLS.

I don't give a **** if the Broncos are competitive or not compared to the other teams (they weren't this last season and I still watched), I care if the Broncos are the best team they can be and unfortunately they couldn't be better than **** last season, but if a situation arises with Peyton Manning, Steven Jackson, Patrick Willis and the rest of them are free agents and the Broncos go and sign Ken Dorsey, Tatum Bell and Niko Kouvides as starters then I will drop that **** like its hot, regardless of what the other 31 teams are doing - I will not be short changed.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:34 AM   #103
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I still say the big sticking point is the players will have to concede to a "giveback", and that is very, very, very hard to concede from the player's perspective. So I see the players' position in this. It's that whole giveback thing that sticks in their craw.

The big deal right now is the league-wide "giveback" of apx. $300 million per contract year - from the players to the owners.

But, and it's an important point, that giveback is only apx. $9.375 million per team per contract year.

I look at those $$$$ numbers and it's pretty clear to me the players are shafting everybody in this dispute.

$9.375 million per team per contract year with a 53-man roster is $177k per player per contract year. That's not gonna impact the lower-level guys, there will still be a minimum guaranteed salary for each year of service.

The sole impact on players will be on the higher salary players, and even then it will be a low impact percentage-wise on their overall salary.

The players are being offered a very fair deal, and in the interest of continuity they should take it. The nature of contracts like these is there is always the next contract to try and make up some differences, and it's very important in contract negotiations to consider the continuity aspect.
The players have no responsibility to consider continuity, in fact if the player reps consider continuity over the best interest of the players they would be wildly incompetent to the point where they could be legally liable for damages.

Another way to consider the giveback is that about 50% of a roster will give back little or nothing unless the NFL is able to reduce the minimum salaries, in which case the entire giveback (about 7% of total salaries) will be shouldered by half the league or less, that will mean an average of about 10% reduction in salaries for a league that is by all indications not only profitable but may be one of the most profitable pro sports in the world.

It is sad to see, but it comes down to love of the game, and the majority of the current owners do not have it. European soccer club owners post 10s or 100s of millions of dollars and some even billions of dollars into their teams in the pursuit of a championship, not in pursuit of profit - NFL owners on the other hand are taking the game hostage to turn a bigger profit.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:38 PM   #104
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I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I've been dying to watch lower-tier school players and guys who couldn't make a practice squad play on Sunday.
Shocking that the actual point would utterly escape your grasp.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:30 PM   #105
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I think the the reason for the owners locking out the players is the growing imbalance of non-shared local revenue from the high revenue teams, e.g. NY, Dal, and NE, and the low revenue teams, Buf, Cin etc. because of the influence of the shared revenue on the salary cap.

This from Foxworth last year:

末末末末末末末末末末末
On the labor situation, Domonique Foxworth hits the nail on the head
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 25, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT

Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth, a player whom many expect to eventually succeed Kevin Mawae as president of the NFL Players Association, recently spoke with a group of reporters at Capitol Hill. (For Redskins fans in the crowd, HogsHaven.com has a version that includes some comments about coach Mike Shanahan, who originally drafted Foxworth five years ago.) As transcribed by Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times, Foxworth summarizes the financial aspect of the situation in a way that the union should print on bumper stickers.

Let痴 take it from them.

It痴 perfect. It痴 beautiful. Sure, the owners won稚 agree. But the two sides are disagreeing on pretty much everything. At a time when the two sides are developing talking points, Foxworth finally has come up with something that the union can use to best attack the league痴 position.

Here痴 the broader context. Foxworth was asked to explain why he believes that a lockout will occur. And here痴 what Foxworth said: 典hey can get more money and we can get less money. Instead of bickering about how to split up the money, it痴 more advantageous and galvanizing for them to say, 銑et痴 take it from somebody else. Instead of fighting with Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones over revenue sharing, it痴, 銑et痴 take it from them.樗

That last line is the key. As we explained in the wake of the release of the Packers annual financial report, the union has failed (to date) to push the connection between unshared revenues and the league痴 effort to shrink the players piece of the pie. In 2006, the owners agreed to a Band-Aid that 30 of them liked at the time but that most of them now abhor. So with the players now receiving their cut based on total revenues, including the stuff the teams don稚 share, it could be that the permanent fix for the problem of the profits of the low-revenue Bengals being reduced by a salary cap influenced by the high revenues earned by other teams arises not from sharing the unshared revenues but from reducing the labor costs so that the low revenue teams will still earn an acceptable profit.

In other words, 鏑et痴 take it from them.


Foxworth also became passionate when responding to a quote that Foxworth says Pats owner Robert Kraft made during a 2009 interview with HBO痴 Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Foxworth claims that Kraft said the owners are taking all of the risk. We vaguely recall Kraft痴 comment; it was made within the confines of the financial risks. But the word 途isk gives the players an opening that none of them, to our knowledge, had previously utilized.

Foxworth utilized the hell out of it.

的知 asking for respect, Foxworth said. 添ou can稚 say I知 not taking risks. That type of thing gets under my skin and pisses us off. Who痴 taking
the real risks and who痴 making the real gains? Robert Kraft is
bringing in millions of dollars and he痴 never had a concussion.
He痴 never tackled anybody. I doubt he痴 had any knee replacements.
It hurts us to hear stuff like that. I would imagine he would
rethink it and I hope he doesn稚 really feel that way. It痴
impossible to say we池e not taking risks. Wes Welker will limp for
the rest of his life and will have arthritis. Tom Brady will deal
with that for the rest of his life. I want him to look those guys
in the eye and say they池e not taking risks.

According to the HogsHaven.com version of the interview, Foxworth added on the end, 的t痴 infuriating.

Though this point doesn稚 have as much pop as 斗et痴 take it from them because Kraft obviously wasn稚 addressing physical risks, in this game of high-stakes contract poker the slightest slip can be used by the other side. The only real surprise here is that it took the players so long to do it.

But, hey, better late than never. And though Foxworth may be grossly out of touch on a couple of other issues (more on that later this morning), he has done a good job of giving the rank-and-file a quick and easy way to characterize the league痴 objectives.

Instead of taking it from each other, let痴 take it from them.
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:43 PM   #106
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except the players are the ones who wont sit at the negotiating table to try and make a deal.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:29 PM   #107
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except the players are the ones who wont sit at the negotiating table to try and make a deal.
Jeez, stop. Neither party intended to negotiate in good faith. When the owners opted out, which either side could have done BTW not just the owners, as some posters tend to believe, they negotiated for lockout insurance. What does that tell you of the owner痴 intentions? They weren't negotiating for union strike insurance. The union could have I'm sure extended the CAB talks this past Feb/Mar but both sides knew what the other was planning to do including each others counter strategy. It was inevitable; the only known unknown is the court rulings that will give one side the leverage it needs to negotiate once there are no more options to play for the losing side.

And it depends how far the players and owners want to push this and the power of unintended consequence. Do the owners really want to crush the union? It is ironic that the owners are arguing to have the courts reform the NFLPA, what other industry wants to negotiate with a union? The owners needs the NFLPA to continue being a cartel and all the anti-trust protections that come with it. The players maybe not. Both sides need to be careful what they wish for because they just might get it.:


Smith contemplating permanent decertification
Michael Silver


BETHESDA, Md. Back in March of 2009, when he was elected to succeed the late Gene Upshaw as the NFL Players Association痴 executive director, DeMaurice Smith considered himself the ultimate union man.

Two years later, when Smith announced that the NFLPA would decertify and become a trade association after negotiations with league owners on a new collective bargaining agreement broke down, most people assumed that this was a temporary tactical maneuver designed to allow players to seek leverage through the legal system. The NFL has enunciated this argument in a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, charging that the NFLPA痴 move to decertify and become a trade association was a sham.

Smith, however, insists that he has embraced decertification as an enduring state of existence, much in the same way that Upshaw did in the early 90s before at the NFL痴 insistence he agreed to re-form the union. In an interview with Y! Sports earlier this month, Smith revealed that he envisions navigating the NFLPA through a union-free future, even after a possible settlement of the Brady et al antitrust lawsuit and a new contractual agreement between players and owners.

的致e come full circle, Smith said as he sat in a downtown Bethesda plaza, a few miles from the NFLPA痴 Washington D.C. headquarters, on a sunny spring morning. 展hen I went into this, my attitude was that the only way you have power is collectively, and I believed in unions as vehicles for employees asserting their rights. But looking back on what Gene experienced and understanding this particular situation, I致e now come to appreciate the value of decertification in our particular circumstance. And I don稚 see why we壇 want to go back to being a union.

If Smith痴 comments seem shocking, consider that he is touching upon a pressure point that dates back more than 20 years. Certainly, the owners would strongly resist any post-settlement arrangement in which the players weren稚 unionized, just as they did in 1990, when the league sued the NFLPA to try to force it to represent the players in labor negotiations.

Absent a union, players would be free to assert their legal rights under the Sherman Antitrust Act, and accepted institutions such as the NFL draft and rules governing free agency would be vulnerable to courtroom challenges. It痴 also possible that a non-unionized workforce could gain legal protection from a lockout, as the players did in April in successfully obtaining an injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Susan Nelson.

Only with maximum leverage could the players attempt to force the owners to accept such a post-union reality
. For example, if the Eighth Circuit fails to overturn Nelson痴 order (which it stayed pending appeal) in a June 3 appellate hearing initiated by the owners, the players could return to work while seemingly headed toward a decisive victory in the Brady et al antitrust suit and would likely be emboldened to resist any efforts to recertify.

This is precisely where Upshaw found himself 22 years ago when, after a failed players strike two years earlier, he filed decertification papers with the U.S. Department of Labor and set in motion a series of antitrust lawsuits which led to the historic 1993 collective bargaining agreement ushering in the modern era of unrestricted free agency. The CBA was technically a settlement of the pending litigation, and Upshaw had no desire to re-unionize, believing the players antitrust protections could eventually be eroded if they were to resume such an arrangement.

Smith, who has studied many of Upshaw痴 old documents, including letters and journal entries, said he has come to a similar conclusion.

的 think we might be better off staying a trade association and getting the antitrust protections that the law affords, Smith said. 典hat痴 where Gene was back in 1993. He had decided it would be better not to recertify. It was the last impediment to the settlement, because the owners insisted on it.

At that point, according to Smith, then and current NFLPA attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and Jim Quinn 杜et with Gene for five hours and tried to talk it through with him, but he wouldn稚 budge. So they went back to the owners and told them: 賎ene won稚 do it. That痴 when they came up with the idea of writing up the affidavit that was included in that CBA [and all future CBAs] saying that if he ever wanted to decertify again they wouldn稚 challenge it. That was the only way they could get Gene to agree to recertify.

鉄o given that history, and where we are now, let me ask you a question: What could they possibly tell me that could get me to agree that recertifying is a good idea?

Lest people doubt Smith痴 portrayal of his predecessor痴 views, Upshaw, who died in August of 2008, enunciated them in a variety of forms at the time. In a November 1990 interview with San Francisco Chronicle columnist Glenn Dickey, Upshaw insisted that 鍍he players are better off without the union, citing a significant increase in player salaries since decertification.

Later that month, Upshaw wrote a three-page letter to former Miami Dolphins safety and ex-NFLPA president Dick Anderson in response to public charges by Anderson that the leaders of the decertified NFLPA were 屠ust pulling the wool over the players eyes.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained on Thursday by Y! Sports, Upshaw made his position clear: 典he players have a right to have a union [and] they also have the right not to be represented by a union. The Eighth Circuit essentially made the players choose between collective bargaining and pursuing their legal right to free agency. That choice has been made and it is final. The NFLPA is no longer a union or a bargaining representative for the players of the NFL.

Upshaw also informed Anderson that 鍍he players changed the constitution and bylaws which now [prohibit] anyone from representing them in collective bargaining on Dec. 5, 1989.

擢inally, Upshaw concluded, 鍍he players are much better off without a union and collective bargaining, and each and every player only has to look at his game check to realize that simple fact. He told Anderson that 套 it is the NFL screaming for a union because it is in their best interests to have one.

Ultimately, the owners were able to persuade Upshaw to abandon his position by including the provision in the CBA which read: 典he Parties agree that, after the expiration of the express term of this Agreement, in the event that at that time or any time thereafter a majority of players indicate that they wish to end the collective bargaining status of the NFLPA on or after expiration of this Agreement, the NFL and its Clubs and their respective heirs, executors, administrators, representatives, agents, successors and assigns waive any rights they may have to assert any antitrust labor exemption defense based upon any claim that the termination by the NFLPA of its status as a collective bargaining representative is or would be a sham, pretext, ineffective, requires additional steps, or has not in fact occurred.

Upshaw during a Super Bowl week news conference seven months before his death.

Eighteen years later, as Smith pointed out, the owners are now arguing that the union痴 decertification was unlawful, claiming that the NFLPA technically acted hours before the expiration of the CBA, rather than 登n or after expiration. It痴 unclear which side will prevail on this pivotal point, but the owners actions were enough to convince Smith that only a permanent state of decertification can prevent the process from playing out indefinitely.

展e壇 have to set up something separate to handle the grievances, and another entity to administer the pensions, he said. 釘ut yes, we could absolutely continue to function as a trade association.

Even if the players were to possess enough leverage to compel the owners to accept such an arrangement, its implementation would be far from cut-and-dried. Could the two sides enter into a contractual agreement in which the players remained a non-unionized workforce?

典hat痴 an interesting question, and it seems to me the answer would be very messy, says Georgetown law professor Jim Oldham, an expert in alternative dispute resolution, contracts and labor and employment law. 釘eing the most generous as I can be, this is a creative idea.

Oldham explains that such an agreement would essentially be a private contract between players and their employers governed by the contract laws of the respective states in which their teams were headquartered, rather than by the National Labor Relations Act.

添ou have to keep in mind that a collective bargaining agreement is not governed by other contract principles, Oldham says. 的t痴 almost like a treaty. If you try to mimic it, it gets highly complicated.

In theory, Oldham says, 鍍he league or its individual teams can enter into any kind of contract with players that they wanted to. You could do that, but what would the terms of the contract be? Would it designate the trade association as the exclusive bargaining agent of the players and try to mimic the prior situation? That would be problematic because these individuals are then third parties who could try to enforce the contract through the courts.

鼎ould the trade association say that private individuals are precluded from making private deals with the league or the teams on their own? Perhaps you壇 need a separate rider for each player stating, 選 agree to be represented by the trade association, and in exchange I am indemnifying the trade-association from third-party claims I could make as an individual. It would be something like a copy of what was authorized by a federal statute.

典hen the question is, what about things that are guaranteed by federal law but for which there痴 no counterpart in state contract law for example, a quid pro quo agreement not to strike and the possible remedies associated with this, such as the ability to get an injunction? As you can see, it gets very messy.

Oldham, who served as a grievance arbitrator for disputes between the NHL owners and the players association during the 2004 lockout, believes that NFL owners would be exceptionally resistant to such a scenario. 填ndoubtedly, he says. 的 would think it痴 a non-starter.

Smith, however, is convinced the players are better off without operating as a unionized workforce a conclusion his predecessor reached more than two decades ago, and one Upshaw viewed as reflective of the wishes of his constituents. As the late NFLPA executive director wrote in the letter to Anderson: 典he undisputed fact is that no one can make you be a union if the members don稚 want you to be.

As for the current labor dispute, if and when the conflict moves closer to a resolution and settlement talks become more serious, will Smith fight to achieve the post-union future that Upshaw abandoned in the name of labor peace?

It痴 a question the owners may have to ponder, for if they lose their appeal before the Eighth Circuit, Smith痴 vision of a permanent state of decertification will seem like anything but a sham.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:33 AM   #108
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The players have no responsibility to consider continuity, in fact if the player reps consider continuity over the best interest of the players they would be wildly incompetent to the point where they could be legally liable for damages.

Another way to consider the giveback is that about 50% of a roster will give back little or nothing unless the NFL is able to reduce the minimum salaries, in which case the entire giveback (about 7% of total salaries) will be shouldered by half the league or less, that will mean an average of about 10% reduction in salaries for a league that is by all indications not only profitable but may be one of the most profitable pro sports in the world.

It is sad to see, but it comes down to love of the game, and the majority of the current owners do not have it. European soccer club owners post 10s or 100s of millions of dollars and some even billions of dollars into their teams in the pursuit of a championship, not in pursuit of profit - NFL owners on the other hand are taking the game hostage to turn a bigger profit.
OK, but if the reduction is $9.375 million per team with a total salary outlay of $120 million per team, that's a 7.8% reduction. It's steep, no doubt about it, and I can see how the players don't like that at all.

Yes, it seems the reduction burden will be on the shoulders of the higher-salaried players, but ALL the current and retired players will benefit from enhanced healthcare and retirement plans offered by the owners. The enhanced plans somewhat mitigate the salary reduction.

I don't think the owners are out to gouge the players, and I don't think soccer clubs are operating at a loss. I think the owners have a valid point that operating costs have increased fairly steeply. Who provides the meals, the transportation, pays for the hotels, pays the coaches & support staff, healthcare? The owners.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:13 AM   #109
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Unless I am not the average fan then that strategy will fail hard, I have no intention of watching a sport that does not feature the highest possible level of play that is achievable. That is the reason I watch Formula 1 and not nascar, the reason I watch the NFL not UFL, the reason I watch NHL not USHL, the reason I watch champions league and not MLS.

I don't give a **** if the Broncos are competitive or not compared to the other teams (they weren't this last season and I still watched), I care if the Broncos are the best team they can be and unfortunately they couldn't be better than **** last season, but if a situation arises with Peyton Manning, Steven Jackson, Patrick Willis and the rest of them are free agents and the Broncos go and sign Ken Dorsey, Tatum Bell and Niko Kouvides as starters then I will drop that **** like its hot, regardless of what the other 31 teams are doing - I will not be short changed.
Do you follow any NCAA sports?
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:56 PM   #110
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Do you follow any NCAA sports?
No, college sports is the most boring and pointless waste of time and money ever devised by man.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:12 PM   #111
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OK, but if the reduction is $9.375 million per team with a total salary outlay of $120 million per team, that's a 7.8% reduction. It's steep, no doubt about it, and I can see how the players don't like that at all.

Yes, it seems the reduction burden will be on the shoulders of the higher-salaried players, but ALL the current and retired players will benefit from enhanced healthcare and retirement plans offered by the owners. The enhanced plans somewhat mitigate the salary reduction.

I don't think the owners are out to gouge the players, and I don't think soccer clubs are operating at a loss. I think the owners have a valid point that operating costs have increased fairly steeply. Who provides the meals, the transportation, pays for the hotels, pays the coaches & support staff, healthcare? The owners.
Both FC Barcelona and Manchester United (who played in the Champions league final and will make more than 200 million dollars from that) are running at deficits this year between 100 and 1000 million dollars. Chelsea FC has run a deficit in excess of 2 billion dollars combined over the last 10 years.

That is why the salary cap is tied to revenue, the owners have increased their revenue and that is why player salary is increasing, we are not talking about play salaries inreasing and revenue falling. Owner revenue has increased by 25% since 2006, that is more than increase in retail prices and services.

This is not about owners struggling to make ends meet, this isn't the NHL. This is about owners wanting more money for themselves, instead of just growing their revenue the old fashioned way by gouging fans on merchandise, tickets and concessions they are now trying to set a system in place that limits free market spending even more. We are told time and time again that the reason CEOs and hedge fund managers make so much money is so they won't go to another company (even the incompetent ones), but this does not extend to NFL players who have capped salaries no matter how good they are (and some of them are demonstrably that good).

Are the players victims? of course not, it is their own choice to play and they make a lot of money - however this labor mess is the players making, the owners ended the previous CBA prematurely, the owners locked out the player ultimately endangering the season and the owners are the ones seeking significant concessions at the negotiation table. Are the players guilty of not negotiating in earnest? yes, but it takes two to tango and the owners didn't exactly put their shoulder to the grindstone to get this deal done in time.

Right now it seems like both sides are so entrenched in trying to build leverage that it will almost surely cost us part if not all of the season and for that I would like to say a heartfelt "**** you" to players and owners alike.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:01 AM   #112
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No, college sports is the most boring and pointless waste of time and money ever devised by man.
You couldn't be more wrong my friend.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:42 PM   #113
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Finally some concessions from both sides. "In the end, both sides will be unhappy with the deal which means it'll be a fair one."

Report: Owners made concessions during recent talks

Posted by Mike Florio on June 3, 2011, 3:04 PM EDT

APThough the reality of oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has interrupted the fantasy of a labor deal being secretly negotiated amid boxes of deep dish pizza (eaten, of course, with plastic utensils), our buddy Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reports that the owners made concessions during the two days of not-so-secret meetings in Chicago.

Freeman writes that 甜n]o one will say exactly what the concessions are but significant ones have been made and the players believe they are genuine. Freeman speculates that the owners are 田ontinuing to come down significantly from the demand that the owners receive another $1 billion off the top (in addition to the original $1 billion) before application of the 59.6-percent formula. 典he players always believed this was an outrageous demand and the players were right, Freeman says.

Though it痴 possible that the talks have reverted to the 2006 formula, which is based on money off the top with the players getting nearly 60 percent of the remainder, the March 11 offer from the NFL reflected the new formula the two sides had been discussing a 菟egged cap based on specific team-by-team salary cap numbers each and every season, with the players also wanting to share in any money over and above the projections on which the predetermined cap numbers were based.

The concept of the 鍍rue up has been the sticking point, with the players interpreting the absence of a true up provision in the March 11 offer as an indication that the league won稚 share any of the excess, and with the league assuming that a response from the players (which to date hasn稚 come) would include a proposal regarding the true up.

Regardless of the specific formula used, the heart of the dispute centers on the players belief that they should forever receive 50 cents of every dollar of revenue generated, regardless of the total dollars of revenue generated. The owners believe that, as the total dollars pass $10 billion per year and commence the inevitable climb toward $20 billion, the players should take a smaller piece of this perpetually growing pie.

Perhaps the owners are now willing to keep that number closer to 50 percent than 40 percent. One way or the other, Freeman痴 report suggests that something has happened to get the players attention. With money being the primary issue in dispute, it痴 safe to say that something had something to do with the manner in which the money will be shared.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:43 PM   #114
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I think the the reason for the owners locking out the players is the growing imbalance of non-shared local revenue from the high revenue teams, e.g. NY, Dal, and NE, and the low revenue teams, Buf, Cin etc. because of the influence of the shared revenue on the salary cap.

This from Foxworth last year:

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On the labor situation, Domonique Foxworth hits the nail on the head
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 25, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT

Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth, a player whom many expect to eventually succeed Kevin Mawae as president of the NFL Players Association, recently spoke with a group of reporters at Capitol Hill. (For Redskins fans in the crowd, HogsHaven.com has a version that includes some comments about coach Mike Shanahan, who originally drafted Foxworth five years ago.) As transcribed by Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times, Foxworth summarizes the financial aspect of the situation in a way that the union should print on bumper stickers.

Let痴 take it from them.

It痴 perfect. It痴 beautiful. Sure, the owners won稚 agree. But the two sides are disagreeing on pretty much everything. At a time when the two sides are developing talking points, Foxworth finally has come up with something that the union can use to best attack the league痴 position.

Here痴 the broader context. Foxworth was asked to explain why he believes that a lockout will occur. And here痴 what Foxworth said: 典hey can get more money and we can get less money. Instead of bickering about how to split up the money, it痴 more advantageous and galvanizing for them to say, 銑et痴 take it from somebody else. Instead of fighting with Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones over revenue sharing, it痴, 銑et痴 take it from them.樗

That last line is the key. As we explained in the wake of the release of the Packers annual financial report, the union has failed (to date) to push the connection between unshared revenues and the league痴 effort to shrink the players piece of the pie. In 2006, the owners agreed to a Band-Aid that 30 of them liked at the time but that most of them now abhor. So with the players now receiving their cut based on total revenues, including the stuff the teams don稚 share, it could be that the permanent fix for the problem of the profits of the low-revenue Bengals being reduced by a salary cap influenced by the high revenues earned by other teams arises not from sharing the unshared revenues but from reducing the labor costs so that the low revenue teams will still earn an acceptable profit.

In other words, 鏑et痴 take it from them.


Foxworth also became passionate when responding to a quote that Foxworth says Pats owner Robert Kraft made during a 2009 interview with HBO痴 Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Foxworth claims that Kraft said the owners are taking all of the risk. We vaguely recall Kraft痴 comment; it was made within the confines of the financial risks. But the word 途isk gives the players an opening that none of them, to our knowledge, had previously utilized.

Foxworth utilized the hell out of it.

的知 asking for respect, Foxworth said. 添ou can稚 say I知 not taking risks. That type of thing gets under my skin and pisses us off. Who痴 taking
the real risks and who痴 making the real gains? Robert Kraft is
bringing in millions of dollars and he痴 never had a concussion.
He痴 never tackled anybody. I doubt he痴 had any knee replacements.
It hurts us to hear stuff like that. I would imagine he would
rethink it and I hope he doesn稚 really feel that way. It痴
impossible to say we池e not taking risks. Wes Welker will limp for
the rest of his life and will have arthritis. Tom Brady will deal
with that for the rest of his life. I want him to look those guys
in the eye and say they池e not taking risks.

According to the HogsHaven.com version of the interview, Foxworth added on the end, 的t痴 infuriating.

Though this point doesn稚 have as much pop as 斗et痴 take it from them because Kraft obviously wasn稚 addressing physical risks, in this game of high-stakes contract poker the slightest slip can be used by the other side. The only real surprise here is that it took the players so long to do it.

But, hey, better late than never. And though Foxworth may be grossly out of touch on a couple of other issues (more on that later this morning), he has done a good job of giving the rank-and-file a quick and easy way to characterize the league痴 objectives.

Instead of taking it from each other, let痴 take it from them.
Domonique Foxworth was right! Now Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is trying to fleece the public! Handouts to billionaires like Jerry Richardson

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Leaked NFL Documents: While Owner Cried Hardship, Carolina Panthers Had $112 Million Profit Over Two Years

Tommy Craggs



In 2010 and 2011, as the NFL prepared for and staged a lockout of its players, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was among the hardest of the hardliners, urging his fellow owners to "take back our league" by demanding a more management-friendly collective-bargaining agreement.

Meanwhile, according to an audited financial statement obtained by Deadspin, Richardson's Panthers were making more than $100 million in profit over the fiscal years covering those two seasons.

The statement is for the years ending March 31, 2011, and March 31, 2012. Over the first period, as Richardson argued that the NFL's business model was hopelessly broken and steered the owners toward a showdown to extract more money from the players, the Panthers recorded an operating profit of $78.7 million. The team had gone 2-14 on the field, but Richardson and his partners were able to pay themselves $12 million.

Over the following year, after the owners had won their lockout and reduced the players' share of league revenue from 50 percent to 47 percent, the Panthers brought in $33.3 million in operating profit. Richardson began lobbying for public subsidies to renovate his 17-year-old stadium. The team went 6-10.

The pro football business was very good in Carolina in those two years, even if the pro football wasn't. That much is evident from the document, which can be found at the bottom of the post and which offers a rare look inside an NFL club's books.

Team financials in all sports are closely guarded documents, particularly because so much league business耀tadium deals with municipalities, negotiations with players unions羊elies on obscuring the owners' financial picture. During collective bargaining in 2011, the NFL players union repeatedly asked owners to open their books. They were repeatedly denied.

"These franchises are a license to print money," says Dennis Howard, a business professor at the University of Oregon, who looked over the Panthers' financial statement at Deadspin's request. "This team is pretty damn healthy," he says, and its financial outlook is "very bright," citing the new, owner-friendly collective bargaining agreement and the league's fat new TV contract, signed in 2011, which kicks in next year. Under the terms of that deal, Howard estimates, the Panthers could bring in an additional $60-$65 million in annual TV revenue alone.



Richardson's public posture over the past two years certainly hasn't suggested a man presiding over a twentysomething percent profit margin in one of the NFL's smaller markets. He was management's point person in labor negotiations. A witness told Yahoo's Michael Silver about a March 2010 meeting at which Richardson addressed his fellow owners: "Jerry said, 'We signed a [expletive] deal last time, and we're going to stick together and take back our league and [expletive] do something about it.' He was practically yelling. It was amazing, and it set an incredible tone." In one memorable press conference before the work stoppage, Richardson, now 76 years old, drew a crude pie chart that showed the players swallowing up a preponderance of league revenue.

"I don't think many business schools would say that's a model that's going to sustain itself," Richardson said, claiming that team owners had "a negative cash flow of $200 million."

In 2011 and 2012, however, the cash position of the Panthers was healthy: $8.3 million and $38.4 million, respectively. Assuming Richardson's number has any basis whatsoever, it's likely he was factoring in an accounting sleight-of-hand known as the roster depreciation allowance (more on which later). "If one is searching for a reason for the early termination of the CBA and the lockout in 2011," writes Roger Noll, a sports economist at Stanford, in an email, "financial distress is not it!"

Last fall, the team began drawing up plans for renovating Bank of America Stadium, which was built largely with Richardson's money and which opened in 1996. The Panthers figured renovations would cost $300 million, $200 million of which, they'd hoped, would come out of the public till. Charlotte has been eager to help, to the tune of $144 million. But the state thus far has been less accommodating, and with good reason.

"Based on the team's financial condition, there is absolutely no justification for such a large public subsidy," Howard writes in an email. The financials "show unequivocally that the team has the capacity to finance the improvements on its own. The team could easily pledge a portion of the anticipated increase in TV revenues to finance the debt service for the improvements."

A few other notes about the Panthers' financial statement:

  • Why the big gap in operating profits between 2011 and 2012? The Panthers decided to spend money on talent. Player payroll jumps from $78 million to $100 million, and amortization of player signing bonuses goes from $24 million to $54 million.
  • If we shuffle around the line items on page 5 in the viewer below, we can get a broader sense of where an NFL team's revenue comes from. The Panthers' local revenue揚ame receipts, luxury suites, and so on謡as $95 million in 2011 and $98 million in 2012. (Incidentally, Carolina's ticket prices are among the lowest in the league.) Revenue from the league溶ational TV contract, NFL Ventures謡as $150 million in 2011 and $155 million in 2012. In other words, the league kitty accounts for more than 60 percent of the Panthers' operating revenue. Why is that important? Local money lay at the heart of the lockout. The impetus behind the work stoppage wasn't so much player costs as it was a widening gap among teams in stadium-generated revenue. The lockout, as we've written many times before, was actually an intramural dispute that the owners chose to take out on the players instead. At bottom was a growing imbalance between those clubs with new, revenue-rich, luxury-box-fattened stadiums, many of them built through the league's G-3 financing program, and those in older facilities.
  • Richardson's claim of $200 million in negative cash flow is difficult to fathom, says Howard, who a decade ago had access to profit and loss statements for NFL teams and recalls only two teams, the Arizona Cardinals and the Oakland Raiders, suffering operational losses. One possibility is that Richardson was figuring in the infamous roster depreciation allowance. The RDA is an accounting gimmick whereby a new owner of a sports franchise gets to write off 100 percent of the purchase price of the team over a 15-year period, on the specious logic that a roster depreciates the same way, for instance, that your office's new fax machine does. That tax deduction shows up on the books as an operating expense, even though it's a pretend-loss that exists only in the quirks of the tax code. Thus, Stephen Ross, who purchased the Miami Dolphins for $1 billion, can claim an operational hit of nearly $70 million. "It has a huge impact on the bottom line," Howard says. "You're able to transform a real profit into an operational loss."
  • On page 7 of the viewer, you'll see an $80 million loan repayment in 2011. That's explained on pages 16 and 17. The NFL offers revolving credit to teams at very low interest rates, another perk of ownership.
  • Regarding the $12 million self-payment (page 6, "Distributions to partners"): We don't know if this is typical without access to other teams' financials. But given the Panthers' financial success under Richardson, Howard says, "I think he's extracting his fair share." You can find the team's organizational chart and entity listing here.

Carolina Panthers, 2011 & 2012

[Download as PDF]

Last edited by El Minion; 03-07-2013 at 06:46 PM..
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:47 PM   #115
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