On Friday, the Packers announced that Commissioner Roger Goodell will attend the team’s annual shareholders meeting, and that he’ll answer questions submitted by the various public owners of the team.
As it turns out, Goodell may have some company.
Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that “it’s very possible” NFLPA Executive Director De Smith will pop in, too.
To the extent that the event ends up serving as an impromptu debate venue for the two key players in the ongoing labor drama, the Packers’ financial performance in the most recent fiscal year could end up providing a backdrop that favors the league’s objectives. Aaron Nagler of Cheesehead TV suggests that the numbers “will not be pretty.”
Last year, the team’s operating profits fell from $34 million to $20 million. At the union’s annual pre-Super Bowl press conference, Smith scoffed at the trend, which has raised legitimate questions regarding whether he understands fundamental concepts of business valuation.
Given that Smith shrugged off the $14 million reduction in operating profit last year, it’ll be interesting to see what he does this time around. We’ve got a feeling that the league hand picked the venue for Goodell’s appearance in large part because the league already knows that the news won’t be good for the Packers — which will end up being good for the league’s effort to reshuffle the current player compensation model.
UPDATE: For those of you who think that the drop in operating profits reflects investment losses, think again. Total profits, including investment losses, were only $4 million. That’s why we used the term “operating profits.”