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Union wants more financial info from NFL

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Union rep Scott Fujita wants more financial info from NFL owners 030811 - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN

    The NFL Players Association retained an international investment bank to help it decide whether the league's offer to reveal more financial information during negotiations will be enough to satisfy the union's call for full disclosure.

    Zeroing in on the crux of the labor dispute - how to split $9 billion in revenues - one NFLPA executive committee member, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, said in a telephone interview Tuesday with The Associated Press and NFL Network that what the NFL has turned over to the union so far ''hasn't been sufficient.

    Another executive committee member, Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, said as he left Tuesday's 9 1/2-hour mediation session that the bank would ''help judge how helpful the material they were offering to give us'' would be.

    The current collective bargaining agreement was set to expire last week, but two extensions now have pushed the cutoff to the end of Friday.

    While progress has been made, both sides have stuck to their stances when it comes to two central issues: The NFLPA has not agreed to any major economic concessions; the NFL has not agreed to the union's long-held demand that the league completely open its books, repeatedly saying the players have enough data.

    One key question is what cut team owners should get up front to help cover costs such as stadium construction and improvement. Under the old deal, owners received more than $1 billion off the top. They entered these negotiations seeking to add another $1 billion to that amount, before other revenues are divided with players.

    Although there might have been some movement in that area, the union says it is not enough.

    ''We're being asked to give back almost a billion dollars, so it's important for us to adequately analyze and interpret the little bit of information that's been provided,'' said Fujita, who attended negotiations last month but not this week. ''And ultimately, if they're unwilling to provide full audited statements, then we need to know what other information we need to make a sound decision.''

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    Asked whether having full financial transparency from the league is a deal-breaker, NFLPA assistant executive director for external affairs George Atallah replied: ''In the face of an almost billion-dollar ask? Yes.''

    Atallah would not identify the investment bank, which he said has been advising the union for a ''couple of months.''

    The NFL's lead labor negotiator, Jeff Pash, said the bank has not contacted the league.

    ''We feel like we've given a lot of financial information. And we understand they may have a different view,'' Pash said. ''But I'm not going to get into what we discussed with them this week.''

    He was part an NFL group Tuesday that included Commissioner Roger Goodell, New York Giants owner John Mara, Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay - chairman of the league's competition committee - and Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen.

    The NFLPA contingent included executive director DeMaurice Smith, president Kevin Mawae and several current or former players, including Cardinals kicker Jay Feely, Chiefs linebacker Mike Vrabel and Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth.

    Top NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler wasn't present Monday or Tuesday.

    When Smith exited after the longest of the 13 days of mediation since it began Feb. 18, he was asked why the union brought aboard the investment bank.

    ''Look, this is a $9 billion business, and the players are - and have been - very involved in what we call the business of football,'' Smith said.

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    ''Having the best and brightest people in the world advising us on financial matters - that's just good business,'' he added.

    If a deal isn't reached by Friday, the sides could agree to another extension. Or talks could break off, leading to, possibly, a lockout by owners or antitrust lawsuits by players.

    The NFL has not lost games to a work stoppage in nearly a quarter-century. By agreeing to continue with mediation, the league and union made it clear neither was quite ready to make the drastic move of shutting down a sport that is more popular than ever. The past two Super Bowls rank No. 1 and No. 2 among most-watched TV programs in U.S. history.

    Fujita said he's ''hopeful'' a deal can be reached by Friday, but he also noted: '''Hope' - I don't know if that means anything.''

    Either way, he considers it imperative that the players know more about the owners' financial records.

    ''What they've provided so far hasn't been sufficient. Asking for almost a billion dollars back - that's a huge, huge leap of faith. And that's kind of what it's been so far - them asking us to take a leap of faith,'' Fujita said. ''And we can't do that without sound judgment.''
     
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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  4. ntman68

    ntman68 Well-Known Member

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  5. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Yeah, possibly the blackest eye on Chargers history.
     
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    NFL insisting union has enough financial info - ESPN

    WASHINGTON -- The NFL's lead labor negotiator says the league has offered to turn over more financial information than it ever has given to the players' union -- and more than the 32 clubs have access to.

    On his way into Wednesday's mediation session, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash says the issue of financial transparency -- a key sticking point in labor talks this week -- "really should be behind us."

    Wednesday morning's talks may be the most critical yet in the collective bargaining process, a source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. Mediator George Cohen is meeting with smaller group of negotiators while the larger groups await word. The financial disclosures that remain the major stumbling block in the negotiations are believed to be Cohen's focus in mediation Wednesday.

    "We've made more information available in the course of this negotiation than has ever been made available in decades of collective bargaining with the NFLPA," Pash said. "Far more information. And we've offered to make even more information [available], including information that we do not disclose to our own clubs."

    Earlier this week, the NFL agreed to disclose league-wide profits and to show how many clubs had declining profits during the course of the most recent CBA, agreeing to a request NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith made in October and it had originally balked at.

    When the NFL did, the NFLPA declined to see it, a source familiar with the process told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, because it would compromise its public position on financial transparency.

    The NFL's proposal, also reported by The Associated Press, included:

    • audited league-wide profitability data with dollar figures from 2005 to 2009, based on individual club statements;

    • the number of teams that have seen a shift in profitability in that span;

    • an independent auditor to examine the data.

    The league thought it was the first step in the beginning of financial transparency, but it was not transparent enough for the NFLPA.

    The NFLPA declined comment when contacted by ESPN, saying it has been asked by the mediator not to discuss specific matters with respect to negotiations.

    The current collective bargaining agreement was set to expire last week, but two extensions now have pushed the cutoff to the end of Friday.

    The NFL Players Association retained an international investment bank to help it decide whether the league's offer to reveal more financial information during negotiations will be enough to satisfy the union's call for full disclosure.

    Zeroing in on the crux of the labor dispute -- how to split $9 billion in revenues -- one NFLPA executive committee member, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, said in a telephone interview Tuesday with The Associated Press and NFL Network that what the NFL has turned over to the union so far "hasn't been sufficient."

    One key question is what cut team owners should get up front to help cover costs such as stadium construction and improvement. Under the old deal, owners received more than $1 billion off the top. They entered these negotiations seeking to add another $1 billion to that amount, before other revenues are divided with players.

    Sources familiar with the process told Schefter last Friday that the sides narrowed the financial gap between them by roughly $5 million per team per year. Nevertheless, a significant divide exists -- roughly $25 million per team per year. With 32 teams in the league, the gap equates to $750 million to $800 million per year.

    "We're being asked to give back almost a billion dollars, so it's important for us to adequately analyze and interpret the little bit of information that's been provided," said Fujita, who attended negotiations last month but not this week. "And ultimately, if they're unwilling to provide full audited statements, then we need to know what other information we need to make a sound decision."

    Asked whether having full financial transparency from the league is a deal-breaker, NFLPA assistant executive director for external affairs George Atallah replied: "In the face of an almost billion-dollar ask? Yes."

    Atallah would not identify the investment bank, which he said has been advising the union for a "couple of months."

    Commissioner Roger Goodell was joined by three members of the owners' 10-person labor committee: Art Rooney II of the Pittsburgh Steelers, John Mara of the New York Giants, and Clark Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs. More owners are expected to attend mediation Thursday, when once again the sides will be nearing the expiration of the CBA.

    "We've got a long ways to go, but as long as we stay at it, we've got a chance of getting an agreement done," Pash said.

    If a deal isn't reached by Friday, the sides could agree to another extension. Or talks could break off, leading to, possibly, a lockout by owners or antitrust lawsuits by players.

    "The commissioner said 'talking is better than litigating.' Talking is better than, you know, going to DEFCON 3 or whatever term I've heard thrown around," Pash said. "So let's keep at it."

    The NFL has not lost games to a work stoppage in nearly a quarter-century. By agreeing to continue with mediation, the league and union made it clear neither was quite ready to make the drastic move of shutting down a sport that is more popular than ever. The past two Super Bowls rank No. 1 and No. 2 among most-watched TV programs in U.S. history.

    Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
     
  7. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    It may be splitting hairs, but how is guy who was drafted #1 overall a bigger bust than a guy who was just as bad, but was drafted #1 overall?
     
  8. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    A lot of words about nothing.
     
  9. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Because people are so used to saying it's Ryan Leaf that it's just a given now. Why would anyone put any thought into it and actually realize that Russell got paid a lot more, did a lot less, and completely washed out of the game? On top of that, he was the number one pick overall, a spot ahead of Leaf, so it could be argued the expectations were higher for Russell, and thus his failure that much worse. Leaf actually got picked up by other teams after he failed in San Diego, JaPlumpus is completely gone and doesn't seem to give a damn.

    I also take issue with Bosworth being above Russell. He at least played some for a few years before injuries did him in, not his complete lack of desire like Russell. And the Bo Jackson thing has to be one of the most overrated plays ever. It's not like he knocked Bosworth on his *** or something. He ran into Bosworth, Bosworth grabbed him and tackled him, but Jackson's momentum took him into the end zone. Yeah, Bosworth might have done a better job, but it's hardly the truck job people make it out to be.

     
  10. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Its all subjective. You ask 100 people and you would probably get about 90 different answers, all as valid as the next...
     

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