The NFL and the NFLPA took a drastic step backwards today when the owners balked at a 50/50 revenue split proposal from the Player’s association and walked out on the meetings. They also canceled a session scheduled for the after noon, as well as postponed an owner’s meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
This doesn’t look good for either side, both of whom believe the negotiations are nowhere near being completed before the March 4th deadline.
Lockout here we come.
Under the current agreement, the owners are taking a $1 billion credit from the revenue and then the rest of the revenue is split 60/40 in favor of the players.
Right now the revenue stream for the NFL is $9 billion, so that means the players are getting approximately $4.8 billion and the owners are getting $4.2 billion.
If I’m counting this right, that means the players are proposing an even split of total revenue with no credits being taken off the top, which would result in their own pay decrease.
The Owners, on the other hand, are proposing a $2 billion credit off the top and then a 50/50 split of the remaining revenue, giving themselves $5.5 billion and the players $3.5 billion (61/39 ratio).
So, if you’ve been following this correctly, the owners want to take the current rate of a 53/47 split that’s in favor of the players, and turn it around to make it a 61/39 split in favor of themselves, meaning the players would take a 14 percent decrease in their share of the revenue.
Putting it in terms of money, they are going from $4.8 billion to $3.5 billion, which is a 27 percent pay decrease.
Really? Do they really think the hand that has been the reason for the boom of the NFL has been their own?
I’ll let you in on a secret, it’s not them, it’s the players. The players are responsible for putting fans in the stands and have done so at an increasing rate, remarkable considering the insane increase in ticket pricing. You really think I would drop $100 per ticket for terrible seats if I wasn’t enjoying what I was watching?
The reason all other leagues have failed is because the NFL is always the cream of the crop; it is not the football that makes it popular, it is the caliber of players.
Now, you may play devil’s advocate and ask me to explain how college and high school football is so popular. Well I’ll tell you.
It is because we all understand they are not professional athletes, so we’re OK with play that’s not exactly on par with the NFL’s standards. Not to mention the aspect of collegiate and high school loyalty; being a student or an alma mater gives you a sense of pride when you wear your team’s colors, whether it be high school or college.
The reason the NFL is so popular while we have no true affiliation with our teams other than city or family ties is because we know we are watching the absolute best players out there, and we’ll pay top dollar to see it.
Without the current caliber of players, the leagues would die off and we would all be watching college sports.
The owners have lost site of that, and we’re going to be the ones that suffer if they cannot come to an agreement.
Picture taken from the NY Daily News.