Friday, February 25, 2011

Sen. Rockefeller Urges NFL to Open Books

From Sports Illustrated:
The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee is urging NFL owners to open their financial books to the players union, arguing that will help resolve a labor dispute that is threatening next season's games.

"Reluctantly, I have come to the conclusion that the only way to sort out this stalemate is for the owners and the league to answer the biggest sticking point: money," Sen. Jay Rockefeller wrote in a Washington Post opinion column on Friday. "What I'd like to see from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners is a simple display of good faith: Show the union your books. Don't keep secrets. If there are financial pressures that keep you from agreeing to the revenue-sharing plan proposed by the players, let's see the proof."

Rockefeller, D-W.Va., suggested that a neutral third party review the financial data, remove anything sensitive and prepare an assessment of the league's finances.

The NFL declined to comment on Rockefeller's suggestion, citing a request by federal mediator George Cohen that the two sides not discuss negotiations while they're in mediation. Those negotiations are scheduled to resume next week.
Fans can only hope that this helps put an end to the seemingly endless fight over billions of dollars. I can't help but think that most blue collar union employees would want "revenue sharing plans" with their respective employers similar to the one that the players union is so desperately fighting for. Of course, when the median NFL salary is almost 800k per year, it's not hard to understand the fans' growing impatience with the inability of the parties to reach some type of deal before the CBA deadline in a few weeks.

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