EDIT: Since the labor talks are pretty much all we've got to talk about at this point, I'd like to highlight this post with another perspective on things. - Chris
Edit: I want to thank Chris for placing this article on the front page. He is often more generous with his space than I am with my words.- LLV
Now that both sides of the labor dispute have published their views on the mediation session I thought I would review the two points of view and give an unsophisticated viewpoint.
The present CBA was signed by both sides in 1993. It has had extensions and tweaks every 6 years or so, but basically the framework of the players receiving about 50% of the revenues has been in effect since then. The free agency rules, along with franchise tags, transition tags, ect also have been in effect since then. All of those terms were a result of the 1987 player strike and the lawsuits which followed that strike.
Here is a quote from WWPM media net as to how both sides have flourished under the agreement.
Players have done quite well under these terms, with the median NFL salary in 2009 equaling $790,000 a year, according to data provided by the National Football League Players Association. Since 2000, the earliest year with data available, we calculate that the median NFL player salary increased by 79 percent, and since signing the 2006 extension, median player salary has increased by 9.4 percent, meaning that player salaries have increased even during very tough recession years.Similarly, the owners have done quite well under the current agreement, despite their claims to the contrary. Since 1999, the year Forbes magazine started to value NFL franchises, the average franchise value has risen by 171 percent, so that by 2009, the average franchise was worth $1.04 billion, with 19 of the 32 franchises valued over $1 billion, according to Forbes’s annual “Business of Football” valuations. Since 2006 when the current CBA was signed, the average NFL franchise value has increased by 16.2 percent, a growth rate that is faster than the median player salary increase.
So, why now? Why after 24 years of labor peace have the owners decided to stand their ground and change the way things were going? I think the response letter from the Players to the Owners give us some insight. Here is one bullet point from that letter. ( click here for entire letter)
*Your proposal also would have given the owners 100% of all revenues above the low projections, including the first year of new TV contracts in 2014. Your offer did NOT meet the players halfway when it would have given 100% of the additional revenues to the owners.*
It has been written by smarter people than me that the new TV deal will net the owners about double what they are presently receiving. "They estimated that new long-term NFL rights agreements with ESPN, CBS, Fox and NBC could add $46 billion in additional sports commitments for the TV industry.. That's an additional 4 Billion dollars per year. Under the current deal the players salaries and benefits will also double at that time. Boil all of the rhetoric down and this is what the fight is about.
Most businesses don't have the luxury of anticipating their revenues doubling in the next three years. Most businesses don't have the luxury of contracted employees being the product they sell. In most cases if a business doubles its revenues, it also hires more employees. It has to buy more product to sell. It has to expend a lot more money to earn lots more money. In the case of the NFL all the Owners need to do is stop sharing the revenue with the players and cap everything the way it is. This will cause an additional 4 Billion in profit to flow directly to the owners, each year. Not to the fans. Not to the players. Not to the citizens that built the stadiums for them. Just into the pockets of the Owners. That's 125 Million in profit to each and every team, each and every year.
Now, I'm the first to admit that I am no genius. But 4 Billion per year seems like a real good reason for the Owners not to worry about revenue sharing among the teams. The lousy 10 Million the Vikings received last year is diddly squat compared to what they will receive in 2014.
Now, I'm no genius, but 125 Million per year seems like a good reason for the league to want the Players to disband their union. The only organization standing in the way of this largess coming to the owners.
Now, I'm no genius, but it appears that the NFL might want to start over with brand new players in 2012 . New players with lower contract demands and no revenue sharing. The new league will be pretty much up to snuff in 2014 and the pockets of the wealthy will be bulging even further.
Everyone has always been asking "Why would either side kill the Golden Goose?" Well, I think we have our answer.
The new goose will create more gold for one than the other. The only sticking point is that darn free agency issue. The courts could rule that the NFL is not exempt from the anti-trust laws and any form of free agency and the draft will be out the window.
For those old enough to remember, the suits filed after 1987 forced the league to negotiate one more time. I'm not so sure this time. Last time no one projected 125 Million per team per year in extra profits if they didn't negotiate.
The Players association is saying that the owners no longer wish to share the revenue with the players.
The Owners are saying they will pay what they pay now ( and probably some extra) but they won't continue to share the increasing revenues with the players.
For once both sides agree. They have pinpointed the real issue for us.
I'm sure the Owners will win this battle since they have all the power and money. I'm sure the two sides will come down to the end and make some kind of deal, although a year of lost revenue for the Owners pales in comparison to what they will make later.
But for all those citizens that have paid out Billions of dollars for stadiums because the Owners couldn't afford it. To you the Owners owe an apology and a check, if this unfolds as it appears.
Well that's how this non genius sees the truth of the matter.