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New wave of owner letters begins

Jeffrey Lurie, Arthur Blank AP

After the players’ union decertified and sued and the league locked them out, most if not all NFL teams sent letters to fans and/or season-ticket holders regarding the situation.  It was, by all appearances, a coordinated effort — indeed, it may have been too coordinated.

The second wave has begun.

So far, we’ve seen letters sent via e-mail from the Eagles to all fans and a letter from the Falcons posted at the team’s website.

Both letters continue the criticism of the players for walking away from the bargaining table after a “fair” offer was made by the NFL on March 11.

“We want to assure you that we want this resolved,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and president Joe Banner wrote to season-ticket holders.  “We believe we offered a fair proposal that would pay the players an estimated $19-20 billion over the next four years, 2 billion more than they made over the previous four. There would be no pay-cut for players, only a slowing in the growth rate of their compensation.  The proposal included a wide range of other improvements for both current and retired players.  Contrary to what you may have read, we offered to provide to a third-party accounting firm the 2005-2009 club-by-club operating profits, along with audited financial statements, so that the union would know the league’s profitability in those years and the number of clubs that have experienced declines in profits.”

Falcons owner Arthur Blank’s letter contains an eerily similar paragraph.

“During the last day of our mediated discussions on March 11, the NFL clubs put a balanced and fair proposal on the table in a good-faith effort to resolve our differences,” Blank wrote.  “The proposal included payments to players of approximately $19-20 billion over the next four years, including a 14 percent increase from 2011-2014.  In addition, there would be no pay-cut for our players – only a slowing in the growth rate of their compensation.   The proposal also included a wide range of other improvements for both current and retired players.  Further, we offered to share financial information that goes far beyond the requirements of federal labor law.”

Look for that same (or at least eerily similar) paragraph to show up in letters or e-mails or other types of communication from other teams in the coming days, as the league tries to strike a delicate balance between getting the fans on the owners’ side without making the fans too upset with the players, whom the fans ultimately will be expected to re-embrace once this all ends.

If it ever ends.

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25 Responses to “New wave of owner letters begins”
  1. chapnastier says: Mar 28, 2011 7:29 AM

    So let me see if I am following you and your “logic”. The teams coordinated to send similar letters to all season ticket holders informing them of what actually took place? Of course it is going to be similar because it is what ACTUALLY happened!!! I find it laughable that the teams are catching grief for taking the time to contact their customers and letting them know the status. I do not understand what the big deal is here. The league didn’t de-certify, they have all the right in the world to send out letters that may have similar content accurately representing what actually took place. It is far better than hearing anything the players are saying.

  2. bartpkelly says: Mar 28, 2011 7:41 AM

    Who cares if the owners talked and had letters drafted! I am happy they are coordinated and talking with each other.

  3. broncobeta says: Mar 28, 2011 7:48 AM

    This is the smallest picture ever.

  4. neilanblomi says: Mar 28, 2011 7:52 AM

    The eagles sent me this stupid letter blaming the players, but still forced me to pay my season tickets in a lockout. Go figure

  5. jc1958cool says: Mar 28, 2011 7:59 AM

    how many B.S. letters do you have to send? everyone knows the owners are full of ____!!!

  6. j0esixpack says: Mar 28, 2011 8:00 AM

    What’s the big deal – it’s the NFLPA that says it’s decertified – not the owners. I don’t think “collusion” on talking points is going to come back to haunt them.

    The owners have been very patient while the NFLPA demands to know how they spend their money.

    I wonder how the players would feel if the owners demanded to know how the PLAYERS were wasting THEIR money, blowing it on bling and broads instead of contributing towards healthcare benefits for retired players.

    It’s time to end this silliness.

  7. Patriot42 says: Mar 28, 2011 8:01 AM

    The owners and the players are of course on separate sides on this issue so it would seem the owners would have similar concerns so whats new?

  8. seabreezes51 says: Mar 28, 2011 8:10 AM

    As the fans sit patiently on the sidelines, these two fight over what the fans will pay for.
    Fans buy the tickets, watch the TV, buy the advertised products, the paraphernalia……… everything that is money made comes from the very patient fans.
    You guys better remember what happens when seasons are not played.
    Fans stop supporting you for a long time, sometimes forever.

  9. vomitingliberals says: Mar 28, 2011 8:14 AM

    Why would anyone find it odd or suspicious if the owners are coordinating a general message to send out to fans (especially when that message is the truth)? After all, some of the players are out there making ridiculously insane, ignorant, and out of touch comments about slavery and by doing so, permanently degrading any respect they once had from rational fans!

    The league needs to make it clear that they are fighting for the future financial sustainability of their member franchises and they are still offering to overpay their greedy, underacheiving employees. If they use a similar body of words to express that point, who cares?

  10. chapnastier says: Mar 28, 2011 8:17 AM

    @ neil

    Did they tell you that you would be refunded for any canceled games? That is what I have been told for my particular season tickets. Seems like by paying for them I locked up my seats just in case the season goes as planned and yet they are willing to give me my money back if they don’t play them. Seems kind of like putting a deposit on something like a lot of businesses do. Odd that you find it evil when the Football owners do it.

    Of course if you have been told you wouldn’t get a refund then you would be 100% correct in your claim.

  11. Kave Krew says: Mar 28, 2011 8:18 AM

    Fella, this is 2011, not 1987……don’t go back to your 1987 notes and duplicate things from that strike.

    Today, fans want action. Today, fans are 1000 times more knowledgeable on the issues. Today, fans are informed instantly and form thier opinions instantly.

    A letter from either side is worthless. Don’t insult us with any bs information. We already know the facts and we know both parties are very wrong.

    I suggest spending the time getting back to the table and come up with an agreement instead of letter writing.

  12. jc1958cool says: Mar 28, 2011 8:20 AM

    roger pinnochio republican is the problem! he sides with the owners on everything, jerry jones can build a BILLION dollar stadium and he’s broke! you owner lovers need to wake up!

  13. jimphin says: Mar 28, 2011 8:34 AM

    Sounds like you are making it sound like these individual owners are in some type of LEAGUE or something. Oh snap! That’s what NFL means. I’ve never heard of such a one voice policy.

    Looks like the real story in this letter (that you conveniently let slide) is that the owners are claiming that “D” lied about the financial info they agreed to share. Shazzam, they are claiming to release 5 years of team by team audited “profits” along with team by team audited statements.

    Didn’t “D” suggest that they just wanted to write down a 4 year number on a used napkin?

  14. realitypolice says: Mar 28, 2011 8:40 AM

    Are you insinuating that there is something wrong with the owners collaborating on the message they want to get out to the fans? Of course they did, and they absolutely should.

    Consistency of Message is a pretty standard business practice.

    The only way this would be unethical is if there was something in the letter specifically stating it was prepared without any input from the league or fellow owners.

    I don’t see that, so the owners are fine here.

  15. imongo says: Mar 28, 2011 8:52 AM

    Bring on the SCABS! I wanna watch the senior citizens play, like last time. Then we can get a whole slew of bad movies and fights on the picket lines.

  16. moseszd says: Mar 28, 2011 8:59 AM

    LOL

    There are only so many ways you can write a letter containing a narrative of the facts and circumstances of any issue. And that letters may address the same narrow group of facts and circumstances in similar fashion is not proof of conspiracy.

    It is, probably, proof of nothing more than a slow news day…

  17. norfva says: Mar 28, 2011 9:00 AM

    If they really wanted this thing resolved it would be resolved. The owners are greedy and the players are greedy. What the owners don’t understand is not only did they lock out the players but they locked us out as fans. I mean the fans will be the true ones paying for any lost revenue. The real question is will the fans put up with it and for how long?

  18. tdotsteel says: Mar 28, 2011 9:59 AM

    jimphin says:

    Re:Looks like the real story in this letter (that you conveniently let slide) is that the owners are claiming that “D” lied about the financial info they agreed to share. Shazzam, they are claiming to release 5 years of team by team audited “profits” along with team by team audited statements.

    ====================================
    For years Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, etc produced audited statements claiming profits and years later we learned the validity of those balance sheets.

    Anyone can “show profits and/or losses” on paper, where these expenditures are generated is more revealing.

    I don’t trust the owners for a second. They didn’t get rich by accident.

  19. neilanblomi says: Mar 28, 2011 10:16 AM

    @Chap

    Obviously the money will be refunded when no deal is reached and games aren’t played. The point is I would have rather not gave Jeff Lurie (eagles owner) a no interest loan while he writes me letters trying to sway public opinion in a lockout. If he was serious about trying to win my “support” not taking my $1900 would have done a much better job then some stupid letter whining.

  20. mcwest1 says: Mar 28, 2011 10:50 AM

    How many different ways can you say:

    1. We offered a fair proposal that would pay the players an estimated $19-20 billion over the next four years, 2 billion more than they made over the previous four.

    2. There would be no pay-cut for players, only a slowing in the growth rate of their compensation

    4. The proposal included a wide range of other improvements for both current and retired players.

    5. We offered to provide to a third-party accounting firm the 2005-2009 club-by-club operating profits

    6. A 14 percent increase from 2011-2014

    At least they’re showing consistency and that they’re on the same page. Maybe the players and their represenatives should take heed.

  21. poweredtoast says: Mar 28, 2011 10:53 AM

    May the owners lose every penny they have ever and will ever make. I’m tired of their politician style rhetoric, lies, and greed.

  22. steelerer says: Mar 28, 2011 11:12 AM

    chapnastier says:
    Mar 28, 2011 7:29 AM
    So let me see if I am following you and your “logic”. The teams coordinated to send similar letters to all season ticket holders informing them of what actually took place? Of course it is going to be similar because it is what ACTUALLY happened!!! I find it laughable that the teams are catching grief for taking the time to contact their customers and letting them know the status. I do not understand what the big deal is here. The league didn’t de-certify, they have all the right in the world to send out letters that may have similar content accurately representing what actually took place. It is far better than hearing anything the players are saying.

    ——————————————–

    Keep buying in to the owners PR machine, because we all know they are telling the truth.

  23. edgy says: Mar 28, 2011 12:39 PM

    Of course, there are two reasons why they’d make more than $2 billion more and that’s because:

    1. The owners know that revenue will keep going up.

    2. The owners shorted them a significant amount of money to get their lockout insurance.

    The deal limits what the players get and while it may not get quite to the % of the gross that the players got in the ’50s and ’60s, they’ll get pretty close. In the meantime, the owners are taking the money that the players have given up and building new palaces while not sharing a single dime of that extra money with their players OR each other. Soon, we’ll be seeing the MLB model and the haves will be driving the have-nots away to other cities or extinction. You guys can support the owners but as long as Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder are running this show, they’re going to screw the players AND the other owners, rather than being satisfied with the wonderful piece of the pie that they have right now.

  24. chapnastier says: Mar 28, 2011 12:46 PM

    @ steelerer

    As opposed to the players side which are telling us they are modern day slaves and were offered the worst deal in sports history right?

    Genius on your part.

  25. steelerer says: Mar 28, 2011 2:40 PM

    @chapnastier

    I didnt say i believe the players did I?

    Lets see its the owners who are collecting for season tickets with possibility of no season. Its the owners that are locking out the players not the other way around, im not taking sides, but making the assumption that what the owners are telling us is the truth is ridiculous. Somewhere in the middle is the truth.

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