We said we wouldn’t have anything more to say about the labor situation today.
But we said that at a time when we didn’t expect any further news on that front.
As it turns out, Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation this morning. He said that, even if the percentage share of revenues paid to the players is reduced, the total dollars will continue to grow.
Goodell justified the reduction in total cents per dollar by pointing to the importance of the owners retaining money to devote to the growth of the game.
“You have to invest in these stadiums that we’re in today,” Goodell
said. “You need to find new ways of creating revenue, whether it’s
international or otherwise. And that takes investment. And we need to
make sure that the owners have the capital to be able to do that. And
then the pie grows, and everyone benefits.”
It makes sense. But the decision of union Executive Director De Smith to describe the league as wanting an “18-percent pay cut” makes it hard for the two sides to stake out a win-win solution.
Then again, it could be that Smith is characterizing the league’s position as being more onerous than it really is, which will allow him eventually to sell to the rank-and-file modest movement by the league as a dramatic jump.
If that’s the case, we’ll know a deal is close if/when Smith begins to characterize the talks in terms of the additional total dollars that the players will be paid — and if the league makes firm commitments as to the total money the players will receive moving forward.