02.21.06

Getting A Boner Over Owner Vs. Owner

Posted in Gridiron at 11:15 am by

The only thing nicer than knowing the NFL’s power brokers are forever committed to screwing the impotent NFLPA is the knowledge that they’re equally devoted to fucking each other over. From the Washington Post’s Leonard Shapiro and Mark Maske.

The revenue-sharing debate among NFL team owners has become so combative that a group of owners of the most prosperous franchises has threatened to take legal action if a revenue-sharing plan they don’t like is forced upon them.

Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney said yesterday that the threat has been made by a group of six to nine teams. Rooney said he regards it as “an idle threat” that will not be carried out by the clubs, which he did not identify.

“I think they might vote against revenue-sharing, but what are they going to sue for?” Rooney said in a telephone interview. “They’re trying to say if we get the votes [to approve a revenue-sharing plan], they’ll sue. I don’t see what they can sue about. They have the right to vote no.”

The threat is a sign of how fractious revenue-sharing deliberations among owners have become. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue is attempting to get owners to agree to a plan to increase the amount of locally generated revenues that teams would share, but a faction of owners of the wealthiest clubs has resisted.

Any revenue-sharing plan would have to be approved by at least 24 of the 32 teams. It has been widely believed around the league throughout the revenue-sharing debate that a group of eight teams has surpassed the rest of the league in revenue-generating capabilities. Those eight are thought to include the Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns.

The 32 teams share national revenues, primarily from television contracts, equally. But growing disparities in locally generated revenues — including those from stadium-naming rights, local TV and radio deals, sponsorships and luxury suites — have created sizable revenue gaps between teams. The Redskins are the top revenue-generating team and are thought to have annual revenues, at approximately $300 million, that are about twice those of the bottom-dwelling Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings.

Leave a Reply