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Are Front Office Employees Being Used As Pawns?

We’ve hinted several times at the possibility that some of the 31 NFL franchises whose financial information isn’t publicly available could be trimming expenses merely to create the impression that the league desperately needs to alter the current player compensation system, which devotes 59 cents of every dollar to the men who strap on the pads and take to the field.

In response to our latest item regarding the furlough imposed on the entire 49ers’ front office, one front-office employee with a different team tells us that there is “genuine concern” within the walls of said team regarding the question of whether front-office employees have become “pawns for the greater good” in the slowly-unfolding labor fight.

“They’ve cut back on many
things to create the impression our team isn’t making money,” the source said. 

The source also shared a sentiment that apparently is making the rounds among the folks who are facing the potential of a salary of “zero dollars plus benefits, babe.”  (The link is the closest that we could find.)

Said the source, “When the league makes $9 billion
one year and ‘only’ $8 billion the next year, that’s not
losing money.”

Meanwhile, the only team with open books (the publicly-owned Packers) generated an operating profit of $20 million in the most recently completed fiscal year.  (Investment losses drove that number down to $4 million.) 

And that team hasn’t laid anyone off yet.

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14 Responses to “Are Front Office Employees Being Used As Pawns?”
  1. HawgNSonsTV says: Jul 8, 2009 10:33 AM

    We are all just pawns…in this game of life!

  2. MushroomCloudMoFo says: Jul 8, 2009 10:38 AM

    Its also important to remember that the Packers have a GM who is puckered up tighter than a snare drum, and are more than 20M under the salary cap.
    I’m just sayin’.

  3. BigWalt says: Jul 8, 2009 10:43 AM

    The Lions were the only team that didn’t make money last year..so I’ve heard.

  4. Coutre says: Jul 8, 2009 10:49 AM

    No owner is losing money. They just aren’t making as much.
    Its all greed. Greedy owners, greedy players, a greedy union, greedy employees, greedy retirees.

  5. KingJoe! says: Jul 8, 2009 10:53 AM

    Who cares? WIll the teams show up on sunday? Will they have helments, pads, balls and refs? Will the game be on a tv channel so that I can watch the game? That is all i or any fan really should care about.
    As for losing money, if the league makes 9 billion one year and 8 billion the next, but project 9 billion, they are losing money they planned to have.
    If you make 100000.00 from this website this year and next year you only make 70000.00, wouldnt you consider it a down year and look to cut expenses? Stop playing the Obamaniac card, where the media puts out half a idea in an attempt to influence the easily led automatons.

  6. wowbaka says: Jul 8, 2009 10:59 AM

    I don’t like seeing people getting laid off or taking furlough, especially in difficult economic times, but what makes it different from all the big corporations trying to trim expenses? It is no different than Caterpillar or IBM who’s trying to cut cost by laying off tens of thousands of people… (And they make much more profit than Packers do).

  7. Pea Tear Griffin says: Jul 8, 2009 11:50 AM

    She took me by the hand….
    Made me a man….
    THAT ONE NIGHT! (one night)
    You made everything allllll-riggggghhhhttttt…

  8. UrMomToldMe2TellUHi says: Jul 8, 2009 12:20 PM

    while a net profit of $4 mil may seem like a lot to average joe, to have somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 mil (or more) invested and only (YES, “only”) turn a profit of .57% is not exactly raking in the cash…AND as stated above, the packers were WELL below the cap. They easily would have lost money if they would have been closer the cap ceiling.

  9. the mooster says: Jul 8, 2009 12:26 PM

    florio – you (and your source on this) need to take some basic accounting & finance classes. the nfl does not “make” 8 or 9 billion. “make” implies profit, not revenue, when clearly that number is intended to mean revenue. if revenue goes down 11.1% as this source is suggesting (from 9 billion down to 8 billion), costs must be reduced by a similar amount to keep profits the same. if costs go down by something less than the revenue decline, you “make,” or profit, less. there isn’t a single for-profit entity in their right mind that wouldn’t try to slash costs at least by 11.1% if revenue was falling that badly. that is a dramatic drop off. businesses are run into the ground by not adjusting your cost structure pro-actively when you expect revenues to fall (ask the auto industry). i’m not pro-owner or pro-players b/c I don’t have the necessary information to make that call. if you are going to use a source regarding financial information, don’t use an idiot who clearly lacks a basic understanding of finance. otherwise, you both look stoopid.

  10. Eddie Drycleaner says: Jul 8, 2009 12:30 PM

    kind of like what I said in my rant on the original 49ers furlough post that I got called an idiot, a braggart, and basically just got killed for… I guess people are happy being pawns. So pawn on!

  11. sand0 says: Jul 8, 2009 12:56 PM

    Players have special skills possessed by very few and that gives them the leverage to obtain very high salaries. It is god given talent and absolutely nothing more. Sure they work hard, but I guarantee I work much harder, more hours, less fun job than they do and I make 60k a year and am happy with it.
    The players make more than the owners. Green Bay gross profit of 4M after losses is less than some of thier players made. Add up the wages of players on each team and it will probably be higher than the ownership.
    Granted I am neglecting one very key element here. Most owners make money on the investment, not the annual profit. The idea is to buy a team for 200 million and sell it 10 years later for 600 million. But you could lose your arse also so there is financial risk being taken on.
    Players have it made though and don’t let anyone convince you different. Owners have it just as well made as any other aristocratic investor types do, and no better.

  12. Lavasse says: Jul 8, 2009 1:49 PM

    If the Packers start laying off front office people can we please start wed Ted Thompson!

  13. Kevin from Philly says: Jul 8, 2009 2:16 PM

    Jeffry Lurie bought the Annenberg estate last year. Annenberg as in billionaire Walter Annenberg. I’m guessing he’s not hurting for dough.

  14. east96st says: Jul 8, 2009 2:46 PM

    The reality is since all the other owners besides Green Bay (which is forced by law to reveal finances) refuse to open their books, none of us have any idea whether they are making money or not. Even if the books were open, there’s a million ways to hide/move money around so it doesn’t appear on the ledgers. If they’re crying poverty, there’s no way to prove that’s wrong. I would suspect that if money was really that tight, one or two owners would open their books to show that their teams are bleeding red ink. The “I’m poor, but don’t look into my finances” routine always comes off as insincere.

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