The NFL plans to end supplemental revenue sharing after the 2009 league year. The union planned to file a special master case regarding the situation last week.
The union will be proceeding with the special master case this week, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal. Per Mullen, the delay results from a disagreement regarding the amount of money at issue; the league reportedly has admitted that the amount is closer to $200 million than $100 million.
As we pointed out last week, the NFL believes it’s not pulling the plug on supplemental revenue sharing, but that the 2006 agreement between the league and the union calls for the program to end after the last capped year.
So why is the NFLPA fighting the issue? “This is purely a diversionary tactic by the union,” an NFL source told Mullen.
The union ostensibly is concerned that the absence of supplemental revenue sharing will give low-revenue teams less money to spend in 2010, when there’s no salary floor. Still, with no salary cap, the revenue that the high-earning teams won’t have to surrender can be used on players, too.
As we’ve been told by multiple sources, supplemental revenue sharing was intended to help the low-revenue clubs keep up with a salary floor driven up by the inclusion of all football revenues (including unshared revenues) in the formula for funding player payrolls. With no salary floor inflated by disproportionate unshared revenues, there’s no reason to share unshared revenues.
So, basically, this is another example of the reality that the uncapped year, sold to players for more than a decade as a good and desirable thing, won’t be such a windfall, after all.