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Dolphins owner says employee pay cuts will be refunded, if no games are missed

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Confronted with criticism for cutting non-player pay by as much as 20 percent, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says that the money will be given back to the employees, if the season is saved.

“If we play, they’re all getting money back or days off,” Ross told USA Today on Wednesday.  “So it’s not really a cutback.  We’ll definitely make it up.”

Right, but only “[i]f we play.”  As of right now, the “if” keeps getting bigger and bigger.

And comments from Ross himself about the players will likely serve only to widen the rift.

“Who the hell wants to own a team and not play?” Ross said.  “It’s about having a system that works.  It’s not about a bunch of greedy owners.  It’s a bunch of players looking to see how much they can really get.”

Congratulations, Steve.  After months of a split in public opinion regarding whether folks blame the players or the owners, you have just given most fans something around which they can now rally.

As annual revenues pass the $10 billion mark, the players and the owners each want more.  And that’s fine.  But please don’t say, “We’re not being greedy, they are.”  You both are.

Maybe Fergie should have purchased not a minority interest in the team but a majority interest.  We’ve got a feeling she never would have committed such an obvious P.R. blunder.

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39 Responses to “Dolphins owner says employee pay cuts will be refunded, if no games are missed”
  1. getyourpopcorn says: May 26, 2011 7:35 AM

    G*^ Dam#$t… It’s people like this guy who are gunna make this even worse. Its going to start getting more personal than it should be (or already is).

    If you don’t have an intelligent argument regarding the lockout, keep your mouth shut!

    Now, if your a Dolphins player, would you want to play for this guy?

  2. evrybdyhas1 says: May 26, 2011 7:43 AM

    Why don’t the owners take their last best offer and open for business with it in place?

    That may force DeSmith back to the table before players start agreeing to work under their individual contracts and new FA contracts without him or the union.

  3. whatsafairway says: May 26, 2011 7:44 AM

    “If we play, they’re all getting money back or days off,” Ross told USA Today on Wednesday. “So it’s not really a cutback. We’ll definitely make it up.”

    Does that include pre-season games?

    Does that include pay with interest?

    What about the bills of the folks not making 7 or 6 figures? When I hear a player say something stupid like “I’ve got kids to feed”, I get incensed at that moronic of a statement from someone who makes so much. Now the owners are targeting the very people who can seriously make that statement.

    Seriously owners, don’t pick on the little folks, you’re losing your fans with this stance. This is lose/lose no matter how you cut it.

  4. joe6606 says: May 26, 2011 7:49 AM

    @ Mr. Ross

    are you going to give back the lost wages plus interest if the season starts on time?

    didn’t think so…

  5. jasonfinfan says: May 26, 2011 7:51 AM

    I pretty much speak for all dolphin fans feelings..
    We miss Wayne Huizenga.. He might have made bad decisions but at least he never made the team a spectacle.

  6. moochzilla says: May 26, 2011 7:54 AM

    ““So it’s not really a cutback. We’ll definitely make it up.”

    Said the rich, out-of-touch white man. Seriously, is he for real?

    I’m guessing he’ll pay them back with interest? No, no interest. Nice to have a bunch of middle class people float you a loan when you are swimming in cash. Maybe he should have only given Michigan $97M if he’s this hard up for cash.

  7. duanethomas says: May 26, 2011 7:55 AM

    So why doesn’t he just wait until games are missed for the pay cuts? Does that make sense to you pro-owner boot kisser’s?

  8. billinva says: May 26, 2011 7:56 AM

    So why cut them at all? Are you going to fly on your private jet any less?

  9. 49erman says: May 26, 2011 8:03 AM

    The more Stephen Ross opens his mouth, the more I dislike him. He has not owned the team that long and to me, he’s one of the top 5 worst owners in the league.

    Too bad you can’t fire ownership because he is a part of the problem and not the solution.

  10. melaniebest says: May 26, 2011 8:05 AM

    Only someone who’s very anti-owners would think the statement is even half as bad as the article makes it out to be. Sounds like someone frustrated by the lack of negotiations to me, and it is the players who are not negotiating, not the owners. Why aren’t the players responding to the owners last 2 offers? Because they want to play the leverage game, they want it played out in the courts. Be careful what you wish for De Smith. The players are wising up to this strategy, and are starting to realize where this is going. One month-if not 2 weeks-from now, there will be a tidal wave of players who want to break from Smith.

  11. wyldsoul says: May 26, 2011 8:06 AM

    Cheap bastard. How much money is this guy worth?

  12. biggerballz says: May 26, 2011 8:17 AM

    so since people won’t have work to do without a season they should still get paid fully? God I wish I could get these kind of benefits in the real world.

  13. zoxitic says: May 26, 2011 8:22 AM

    It’s easy to read what is going on here. This is to put more pressure on the players to to get a deal done.

  14. fin72 says: May 26, 2011 8:25 AM

    This guy is the Mr. Maggoo of NFL owners.

  15. tommynatorii says: May 26, 2011 8:28 AM

    No on Huizenga. I think we would all like Joe Robbie back.

  16. AlanSaysYo says: May 26, 2011 8:38 AM

    Stephen Ross is a jackass, and this is coming from a Dolphins fan. In one season he’s already caused more organizational embarrassment than Huizenga did for his entire stint.

  17. worldsgreatestbearsfan says: May 26, 2011 8:40 AM

    Has he lost a penny of revenue yet? It my understanding the teams owner receive revenue from the TV contracts, from merchandise, and from actual games. I’m not sure when these payments are made, but I would bet TV and games are based upon the schedule and are only received during the season, so the owners bank that money and pay it out to the full time employees over the year. If you are going to pay back the employees, you have lost their wort for the time period. The only reason to let these guys go is to save money is if you know games are not going to be played.

  18. benh999 says: May 26, 2011 8:45 AM

    “Congratulations, Steve. After months of a split in public opinion regarding whether folks blame the players or the owners, you have just given most fans something around which they can now rally.”

    It must really piss you off that the majority of fans blame the players more than the owners for the current situation. (Hint: We view abandoning negotiations, decertifying, and suing as being roughly the same, if not worse, than going on strike.)

    In case you really are as out of touch with the real world as some of your comments indicate, people around the country have been taking pay cuts for the past several years. Some companies, like Hewlett-Packard, even instituted 5% pay cuts across the board.

  19. PFTiswhatitis says: May 26, 2011 8:46 AM

    Booo! Ross, is just plain low. Last guy on earth I would want to work for.

  20. winkeroni says: May 26, 2011 8:57 AM

    whatsafairway says:
    May 26, 2011 7:44 AM
    “If we play, they’re all getting money back or days off,” Ross told USA Today on Wednesday. “So it’s not really a cutback. We’ll definitely make it up.”

    Does that include pre-season games?

    Does that include pay with interest?

    What about the bills of the folks not making 7 or 6 figures? When I hear a player say something stupid like “I’ve got kids to feed”, I get incensed at that moronic of a statement from someone who makes so much. Now the owners are targeting the very people who can seriously make that statement.

    Seriously owners, don’t pick on the little folks, you’re losing your fans with this stance. This is lose/lose no matter how you cut it.
    ————————————–
    I completely agree.

    I don’t think he’s helping his case when he says “it’s not about a bunch of greedy owners.” We all know that teams are all turning a proffit and the league is thriving there is no need to be cutting peoples salaries, especially the folks that aren’t making 6-7 figures a year.

    I’m sorry Dolphin fans but Ross makes me want to wish Chad Henne as the qb for another 10 years.

  21. georgeanderson2 says: May 26, 2011 9:02 AM

    Would love to hear the ‘water cooler’ talk amongst Dolphins employees. Notice the , “or days off”.
    So, if and when the lockout is lifted, those employees who sell tickets, which are the ones who are being blamed for the paycuts, are forced to take days off instead of pay, do you think they can afford to be out of the office?
    “But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”- Carl Sagan

  22. playerbeware says: May 26, 2011 9:05 AM

    These owners are crazy !!! I totally understand wanting to keep their money but more owners make their money outside the stadium during game days. Stephen ross is the second riches owner in the league( after Allen of the seahawks) and if you have ever been to Sun Life Stadium anyone would know that the tents and other things along the Red Carpet area are rented out so that is extra money in his pocket and not given to the players, as long as I know. I’ve been to eagles games and I dont see this at all. Ross hasn’t been around long enough to be a major player in this squabble. He is trying to become a Jerry jones or Snyder, atleast they have many years as an owner

  23. dwight123 says: May 26, 2011 9:09 AM

    Coming from a Dolphins fan “Mr Ross,are you on drugs sir?” this lockout reminds me of..you wont play with my toys,I wont play with yours..the owners need to stop this trash and get the 2011 season underway!.

  24. ajduhe77 says: May 26, 2011 9:10 AM

    Treat your employees like you want them to treat your best customers.

  25. stanklepoot says: May 26, 2011 9:22 AM

    biggerballz says: May 26, 2011 8:17 AM

    so since people won’t have work to do without a season they should still get paid fully? God I wish I could get these kind of benefits in the real world.
    ______________________
    Guess what, a lot of people do work that doesn’t have anything directly to do with play on the field. As long as the team exists, they need a lot of employees whether or not games are being played. Are Ross and his front office people doing their own secretarial work, arranging their own travel, cutting the checks, or doing any number of other things every business has to do. Besides, he didn’t furlough these people or lay them off. He obviously thinks that he still needs them to show up for work. He’s simply slashed their wages, and expects them to work the same hours that they worked before. Besides, if he really wants to save money, he’d be slashing the salaries of the front office personnel and team executives. That’s where the real non-player salary is. Guess it helps to be the boss’ crony.

    Oh, and melaniebest, you don’t need to be extremely anti-owner to have a problem with his comments. You have to be extremely pro-owner not to. So, the problem has nothing to do with the owners locking the players out because they want more money? No greediness there? Not according to Ross. Nope, the real greediness comes from trying to keep what you’ve already got. Maybe Ross is frustrated by a lack of negotiations, but there’s no cause to say something as ludicrous as that. Then again, Ross has committed one gaffe after another since he bought the team. So, maybe it’s not really a labor issue at all. Maybe Ross is simply clueless in general. No wonder Parcells got the heck out of Dodge. Ross is more worried about trying to get fans excited by bringing in celebrity minority shareholders than he is about trying to put a product on the field that Dolphins fans deserve. Oh, and this can end any time the owners want it to end. They simply have to open up shop under their last best offer or last years rules, while continuing mediated negotiations. There not going to do that, however, as their entire strategy involves starving enough players into submission that the players accept a deal that’s worse for them than the owners claim the previous one was for them. Yeah, there’s a path to long-term labor peace.

  26. moochzilla says: May 26, 2011 9:24 AM

    For those of you wondering why they are doing this now, when revenue has not been lost…it’s all about PR.

    They want to show the poor old lady who has worked as the receptionist for 50 years out on the street so they can generate anger towards the players.

    She has to suffer, and suffer a lot and ideally in front of cameras, for owners like Ross to get a PR “win”.

    It’s the most cynical thing I’ve seen in this lockout so far.

  27. stanklepoot says: May 26, 2011 9:39 AM

    benh999 says: May 26, 2011 8:45 AM

    “Congratulations, Steve. After months of a split in public opinion regarding whether folks blame the players or the owners, you have just given most fans something around which they can now rally.”

    It must really piss you off that the majority of fans blame the players more than the owners for the current situation. (Hint: We view abandoning negotiations, decertifying, and suing as being
    roughly the same, if not worse, than going on strike.)

    In case you really are as out of touch with the real world as some of your comments indicate, people around the country have been taking pay cuts for the past several years. Some companies, like Hewlett-Packard, even instituted 5% pay cuts across the board.
    _______________________________
    Man, are you off base. This place is about the only place where the fans seem to blame the players more than the owners. Every other poll (you know, the scientific ones that aren’t based on who is more interested on clicking a link) show a large percentage blaming both or unsure (and in cases where you’re asked which of two sides to blame and not given the option of both, not sure typically means both), another large percentage blaming the owners, and a smaller group (though still sizable) blaming the players. The fact that you feel the need to view the unscientific polls on a single site as proof of who the fans either support or blame more i proof that you either don’t do any research on the issue before you go on a rant, or that you know better but refuse to acknowledge the facts that are out there.

    Oh, and there’s a huge difference between a company having real problems due to the economy cutting wages by 5% and teams in the NFL cutting wages by 20% or more when they’re coming off of record revenue and are only facing a possible loss of income because they’ve shut their doors. In the first case, the company is doing what it has to in order to remain competitive and not have to fire or lay off a whole bunch of their workers. In this case, the owners are just cutting costs to help them outlast the players in a war of attrition for leverage in negotiations. These cuts probably have less to do with the lockout than it does the loss in the lockout insurance case. That’s $4 billion dollars the owners won’t have to hold them over while they try to starve the lesser affluent players into submission.

  28. Spencer says: May 26, 2011 9:40 AM

    These employees will not get their money back, not with Goodell hinting that pre-season games are going to be canceled soon.

  29. PanchoHerreraFanClub says: May 26, 2011 9:42 AM

    This is great for the Miami employees! When their rent is due they can just tell the landlord that they will pay him “if” the season starts.

    Question: Who are the greediest 32 people on earth?
    Answer: The NFL owners. Number 33 on the list is Satan.

  30. malthor says: May 26, 2011 9:46 AM

    I thank god i’m not as spoiled and brain dead as most of the commentors on here.

    The employees are lucky to get anything at all, when an auto factory goes on furlough they shut down and no one gets paid.

    Paying people anything to do work that may not be productive is always questionable but to act like the employees are “OWED” this?

    completely absurd.

  31. CKL says: May 26, 2011 9:52 AM

    ajduhe77 says:
    May 26, 2011 9:10 AM
    Treat your employees like you want them to treat your best customers.
    __________________________________
    Good point. Also love your screen name, I LOVED that guy…one of my favorite people in the NFL ever.

    I think quite a few people realized already what a jerk Ross comes off as and didn’t need this latest mess to cement that. There are some jerk owners? Who knew???
    /sarcasm.

  32. moochzilla says: May 26, 2011 10:06 AM

    “The employees are lucky to get anything at all,”

    And just understand that that attitude is, in large part, why we face the prospect of no 2010-2011 season.

  33. dolphindad says: May 26, 2011 10:59 AM

    what am i missing here. the guy just said he plans on backpaying employees if games are not missed. Isn’t that a good thing?

    and who in the world doesnt think the players are trying to see what they can get .i.e. get the best possible deal. that is exactly what the players union is doing and should do. if the union didn’t do that it wouldnt be fulfilling its fiduciary duties to the players. ross is exactly right about that.

    everyone criticizes ross for cutting salaries, then criticizes him for saying he will give back pay. then he’s criticized for saying something everyone in the world already knows. none of the players are looking for a “fair deal” and neither are the owners. people getting paid billions to play a game and owners making billions off of people playing games. meanwhile the teacher down the street just lost half her pension and health benefits. gimme a break.

  34. jbcommonsense says: May 26, 2011 11:19 AM

    ”But please don’t say, “We’re not being greedy, they are.” You both are.”

    _______________________

    I don’t think it’s greedy for players to seek 50% of the growing pot. The players are the product, they have the skills people pay to watch, they are enduring dangerous physical pain and injury, and there are around 1,700 players in the NFL to split their share. And by the way, NBA players earn MUCH more, while playing a much less risky sport than players in the NFL do.

  35. finsbooyah says: May 26, 2011 11:55 AM

    jbcommonsense, you obviously don’t use common sense.

    Why do NBA players typically earn more? Because NFL rosters are more than double the size of NBA rosters. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

    Players wanting 50% of a growing pot sounds fine at the surface, but the players want to be viewed as partners and they take none of the financial risk. Taking 50% of the growing pot does not include lowering their wages if the NFL gross revenue decreases in any given year. Not to mention the owners also have to pay out salaries and health benefits to hundereds of other employees, pay for team travel and equipment expenses, pay for stadium maintenence and upgrades, advertising, etc. This could also amount to billions in annual expenses. People seem to forget that the players aren’t the only ones the owners need to pay.

  36. texasphinsfan says: May 26, 2011 12:13 PM

    I miss Wayne Huizenga :-(

  37. benh999 says: May 26, 2011 12:38 PM

    @stanklepoot,

    Fine, then it must just piss him off that his readers are more anti-player than anti-owner. (Although since we are not talking about a poll intended to predict the outcome of a political election, I have no idea how the various techniques employed by Rasmussen, Gallup, etc. used to control for variables could be applied to a random sampling of fans.)

    As for the Dolphins’ move to cut pay, you are right, it is part of being able to withstand the lockout longer than the players. However, when HP cut salaries, they did so due to a depressed stock value, not cash flow problems or poor earnings. But my larger point is that companies are not going to continually pay people more than they have to. This applies, lockout or not, good economy or bad, and the NFL or the typical private sector company.

    Personally, I view the players’ decision to refuse to counter league offers, abandon negotiations, decertify and sue as being worse than a strike. They decided that via the courts of legislation they could get a better deal than they could through bargaining.

  38. marinofreakout says: May 26, 2011 2:56 PM

    hate to break it to you guys but hes right. just like an employee at any company- if you dont like what your getting paid, fine, go get a new job at a different company.

    Its not the owners fault that there isnt another company.

  39. joemontanawasthegreatest says: May 26, 2011 4:13 PM

    How many of the Dolphins fan are longing for the Robbie family to make a return? The Dolphins used to be one of the best in the biz.

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