In economic times, it’s hard to fathom an argument between millionaires and billionaires fighting over billions of dollars. Unfortunately, that is the quintessential sticking point (amongst a few other topics), as to why a new CBA (collective bargaining agreement) wasn’t signed, and why we are now faced with a work stoppage in the NFL. In 2008 the owners opted of the newly proposed CBA after only two years. The owners are claiming losses and inflation, needing more money to cover costs, stadium maintenance, etc, so they opted out in hopes that the new agreement would allow them a larger sum of revenue. That is the underlying issue as to why we have a work stoppage. (Let’s not forget that the NFL brought in over 9 Billion dollars last year in revenue.)
In a time where the NFL offseason is in full swing, with coaches active in signing free agents and trading players, we have nothing to report. In what should be an exciting time for NFL fans, now seems eerily quiet and dormant. The fact is- you don’t really have to a pick a side in this argument. Whether you agree more with the players or happen to side with the owners, you need to know the facts. Here is the main issue between the players and the owners, standing between us and football.
The revenue split. The split essentially operates as follows, the owners were taking one billion off the top to cover miscellaneous operating expenses. The remainder of the revenue was then split between owners and the players, with the players receiving 59.6% of the rest, with that money coming in the form of a salary cap. What the owners are proposing now due to increase costs, they would take two billion off the top, but continue the current percentage split. Basically, the owners want the players to have the same percentage of a smaller pie. The players want figures to back up the losses, the owners won’t show them exactly what they are looking for, and thus we have breakdown in negotiation and a lockout in the NFL.
This sticking point has brought about a decertification of the Players union, which will allow for players to individually sue the owners for the lock out. This means that instead of negotiations, we’ll have litigations, as this issue will take to the courts. Who knows if we’ll have football next season, but this certainly a step in the wrong direction!