Skip to content

Falcons cut pay of some office staff

Jeffrey Lurie, Arthur Blank AP

We can add employees of the Atlanta Falcons to the list of people whose pay has been cut because of the NFL lockout.

Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Falcons are implementing minor payroll reductions to members of the office staff. (I’m guessing those members of the office staff don’t consider their payroll reductions to be “minor.”)

The Falcons haven’t offered any details about whose pay is cut, by how much, or whether employees will be eligible for back pay if the lockout ends before games are canceled.

But for now, Falcons owner Arthur Blank can be added to the list of billionaire owners who are cutting the pay of their workers.

Permalink 43 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Atlanta Falcons, Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories
43 Responses to “Falcons cut pay of some office staff”
  1. mightygiants says: May 26, 2011 11:58 AM

    These pay cuts provide players proof that the lifting the lockout is in the public’s best interest. I hope the judges will do the right thing and end the lockout.

  2. hobartbaker says: May 26, 2011 11:58 AM

    Alf is now referred to as “That Cheap Blankety Blank” around the team offices.

  3. kingfamousamos says: May 26, 2011 12:00 PM

    All nfl fans
    boycott the nfl do not buy any of they gear and every Sunday until a deal is done go to the nearest team headquarters or if the nfl headquarters is near you so the nfl and the owner can here our voice that we are not happy about missing the off season and we are not happy about missing games or a hole season. We and the players is what make the nfl what it is today so do not allow them to take it from us. the more people that supports this the harder the nfl will work on a new deal.

    LETS BRING ARE GAME BACK

  4. depotnator says: May 26, 2011 12:00 PM

    As one team after another screws their FO staff for the owners decision to lockout the GAME, the irony will be that those resentful FO staff are gonna start hoping the players screw the owners like the owners screwed their own staff. In a just and perfect world, the collective FO staffs would submit a ‘ friend of the court’ brief to support ending the lockout for reasons of financial hardship and irreparable harm to thousands of families.

  5. willycents says: May 26, 2011 12:01 PM

    no/lower projected income= cutting costs
    normal intelligent business planning

  6. upperdecker19 says: May 26, 2011 12:03 PM

    In a related move, the team will be forced to travel via the school bus used in the overplayed “NFL Play 60″ commercial instead of private charters.

  7. agelardi says: May 26, 2011 12:11 PM

    This should be illegal. I wish some oportunistic lawyer would file a class action lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of the office staff that are getting their wages cut through no fault of their own.

    Just another example of rich people who think they are entitled to treat other humans like dog poop on the bottom of their shoe.

  8. prior0knowledge says: May 26, 2011 12:20 PM

    @agelardi,

    Lockouts and strikes are legal in the US and protected from incidental damage.

  9. thephantomstranger says: May 26, 2011 12:22 PM

    The problem is (assuming the owners are telling the truth about their costs), without the lockout the owners would have to be doing pay cuts and/or cutting staff anyway. The players don’t want to take less money so it has to come from somewhere. I say the players should get in the negotiating room and make a deal so these people who make a fraction of what they make don’t have to be hurt.

  10. thephantomstranger says: May 26, 2011 12:25 PM

    agelardi says:
    May 26, 2011 12:11 PM
    This should be illegal. I wish some oportunistic lawyer would file a class action lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of the office staff that are getting their wages cut through no fault of their own.

    Just another example of rich people who think they are entitled to treat other humans like dog poop on the bottom of their shoe.
    _________________

    There are thousands of businesses that have cut employees’ pay in the last few years. It happened to me. If the money isn’t coming in, cuts have to be made. Businesses aren’t charities. You may not believe that the lockout is necessary for the long-term health of the game, but that’s the owners’ position. That doesn’t make it illegal.

  11. rujax206 says: May 26, 2011 12:32 PM

    Love to see those billionaire owners stepping up and taking that risk. Awesome!

  12. b7p19 says: May 26, 2011 12:34 PM

    I hate big business. They shut down and make their workers pay for it. What an injustice.

  13. sko57 says: May 26, 2011 12:38 PM

    Wonder if the owners realize that if they keep cutting staff and their pay all these pro owner posts they seem to love so much are falling by the wayside….@the phantom, the nfl is making money hand over fist….wonder if they hadn’t lost that hidden lock-out insurance money from the networks would they still be cutting pay….my guess is….yep

  14. b7p19 says: May 26, 2011 12:38 PM

    @phantomstranger –

    Those businesses didn’t stop doing the one thing that makes money for them and counter by making the innocent suffer for it. Hard economic times caused those cuts. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the NFL is in financial trouble.

  15. paulitik74 says: May 26, 2011 12:44 PM

    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Arthur Blank, and working with his fantastic staff on a couple occassions. Blank is a great, humble man, one of the nicest, most caring billionaires I’ve ever met.

    That said, this is extremely disappointing, and uncalled for.

    This needs to stop.

  16. p4hbiz says: May 26, 2011 12:50 PM

    That’s a Damn Shame! get your ppl out like the Raiders and sell tickets not cut ppl…

    GO RAIDERS!

  17. smacklayer says: May 26, 2011 1:00 PM

    Gentlemen, it is very simple. Thes businesses are projecting lower income (possibly no income, and very possibly having to pay significant amount of damages to players who have sued them). It is simple fiscal planning that they are cutting extra expenses where they can. And payroll is generally a very large chuck of a business’s budge.

    It is just like if you you and your wife have jobs, in three months your wife’s job very possibly will be ending. Right now won’t you be saving, and pinching and cutting stuff out of your spending that you might otherwise spend when you knew she was going to have a job.

    In my opinion, the players are just as much to blame for this as owners. We don’t need to rehash all that, but get out of court and negotiate so we all can get back to football.

  18. paulitik74 says: May 26, 2011 1:10 PM

    A business under an unecessary, self-imposed lockout is screwing it’s employees out of pay when there is ZERO evidence of any financial hardship, and ZERO willingness to prove there is hardship. This was a lockout of choice to get leverage in a partnership (a partnership that the Commissioner himself has acknowleged in several town halls with season ticket holders).

    The court will ultimately decide whether the Owners legally can lock the players out, but whether they can or not, doesn’t make it ethical,and it doesn’t make it good business.

  19. moochzilla says: May 26, 2011 1:13 PM

    smacklayer, a lot of people at a PR agency counted on you posting exactly that when the idea of cutting staff across the league was developed.

    Any PR plan requires lapdogs among the consumer base to tow the party line.

    Good boy.

    Sit. Roll over.

  20. thephantomstranger says: May 26, 2011 1:14 PM

    b7p19 says:
    May 26, 2011 12:38 PM
    @phantomstranger –

    Those businesses didn’t stop doing the one thing that makes money for them and counter by making the innocent suffer for it. Hard economic times caused those cuts. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the NFL is in financial trouble.
    ________________

    Agreed, but if it’s true that the NFL’s business expenses are increasing to an unsustainable level then they will be in financial trouble in the future (financial trouble being relative; they’ll still be making money). Their strategy for addressing this is to impose a lockout in order to get a new CBA that’s more favorable to them. That means they have to cut expenses because the revenue might not be coming in this year. You can argue that their motivation is wrong or that the lockout isn’t a good strategy, but it does make sense to cut expenses.

    That said, every team isn’t doing this and I don’t think it’s necessary to do it right now. They can all probably afford to wait another couple months to see how things play out. I guarantee that these employees will be getting the money back if the season goes on as scheduled, though.

  21. chapnastier says: May 26, 2011 1:15 PM

    mightygiants says: May 26, 2011 11:58 AM

    These pay cuts provide players proof that the lifting the lockout is in the public’s best interest. I hope the judges will do the right thing and end the lockout.
    ——————————————————

    Or maybe the players getting back to the negotiation table is in the public’s best interest?

  22. moochzilla says: May 26, 2011 1:17 PM

    smacklayer – do you own a business?

  23. joe6606 says: May 26, 2011 1:21 PM

    “The businesses are projecting lower income (possibly no income, and very possibly having to pay significant amount of damages to players who have sued them). It is simple fiscal planning”
    ————————————–
    A good, moral businessman would wait until actual losses were incurred before cutting employee wages.

    The pre-emptive cuts in anticipation of lost games, (which given that we are more than 4 months from the scheduled start of the season, is FAR from certain, or even likely to occur) is indefensible.

    These owners should be forced to sell their team similar to how the LA Dodger’s owner is being forced to sell his.

  24. Magic blueberry says: May 26, 2011 1:24 PM

    Poor planning by the owners. They’ve known for a long time that this situation (which they created) was a distinct possibility. If the “companys” survival was in jeopardy, then such action would be reasonable. But sooner or later the NFL will be back printing money again.

    Poor job, owners. You’re showing you don’t know how to run a business.

  25. ralphshere says: May 26, 2011 1:26 PM

    I hope theses cuts don’t mean the owners are actually preparing for a long protracted mess.

    Hope they settle.

  26. cscfriarbob says: May 26, 2011 1:27 PM

    You know, I’m absolutely NO fan whatsoever of the FoulClowns. In fact, they’re absolutely #1 on my list of most hated teams. Seriously, I am not exaggerating.

    That said, is it really fair to call this guy one of “the list of billionaire owners who are cutting the pay of their workers”? Truly and completely fair? Remember that MANY of these owners are billionaires solely because of the value of their team. Outside of the Forbes-estimated value of their team (which is just a number pulled out of the rear ends of some admittedly talented and smart people, but still a made up number), MANY of these guys are merely millionaires.

    They’re still rich. But they aren’t “true” billionaires. They don’t have three or four billion sitting around in semi-liquid investments that they can easily tap to help their office staffs out. The vast majority of their “personal wealth” is tied up in their teams. And nobody in their right mind just leaves 20 million dollars sitting around in a bank. Even those who have those tens of millions of personal wealth available still don’t have it sitting in a completely liquid form where they can grab it at need to help their office and coaching personnel.

    Should they still try to find another way? Yes! Absolutely! They should have saved last year, or they should have converted some money to a more liquid form last year, or both. And teams who have deserve praise for doing so.

    But are they all just “scumbag greedy billionaires”? Some probably are. But not all of them. And I’m not sure Blank is fairly one of them, no matter how much I despise his team.

  27. ravenspit says: May 26, 2011 1:30 PM

    Maybe they can go work as cashiers at Home Depot. Lord knows the service at the one by my house stinks.

  28. nyfootballgiants says: May 26, 2011 1:39 PM

    People keep forgetting one thing. Football is a business. It should be run as a business.

    Just because someone may be wealthy, doens’t mean that they have to prop up a business that isn’t covering costs.

    Owners have expenses now. There is debt on the stadiums that need to be paid. Many owners still have debt on the purchase of their franchise.

    The owners have been blocked on receiving revenue from the TV agreements, and people are hesistant to commit to season tickets when they are unsure about the season. So of course, revenues are down.

    People forget that before the owners locked out the players, the players received the last offer from the owners, walked out of the negotiations without a counter proposal and “disbanded” the union – with the idea of trying to win through the courts. This happened before the owners locked them out.

  29. moochzilla says: May 26, 2011 1:46 PM

    cs – I don’t think Home Depot has liquidity issues, does it?

    Good post, reasonable caveats you place on this discussion.

    But, in the end, I see it as a PR ploy.

  30. beeker24 says: May 26, 2011 1:56 PM

    So let me get this right… NFL team staffers and office personnel are now taking pay cuts and/or losing their ‘five-figure’ jobs all because of the NFL lockout in which owners and players want more money??? Where is Robin Hood when you need him?

  31. upperdecker19 says: May 26, 2011 2:01 PM

    Can always hire the immigrant day workers from the parking lot at the local Home Depot at a lower cost for some of these office positions????

    Or just outsource all white collar positions to third world countries like all other businesses.

  32. realfann says: May 26, 2011 2:06 PM

    @cscfriarbob

    You’re forgetting this time of year there are no games played and no revenue coming in. It’s the same every frikkin year.

    So all Blank had to do this year was save enough of his revenue from last season to pay his staff through the summer months.

    Which, of course, is exactly what he did do.

    The only difference is that he’s using the lockout as an excuse to keep the money in his pocket and to screw his employees by not paying them.

    This is not “being a good business man”, this is being a DB.

  33. bluvayner says: May 26, 2011 2:08 PM

    Sorry Arthur………I guess I’ll have to do my shopping a Lowes until the lockout is over, or until you pay your employees what they have coming to them.

  34. realfann says: May 26, 2011 2:09 PM

    One and only one side in this dispute can end the litigation in a heartbeat.

    The owners.

    All they have to do is lift the lockout.

    The league can start working again and the players & teams can start preparing for next season.

    And negotations can take place on the next CBA.

    Only the owners can do this. the players want to but can’t.

  35. radrhatr says: May 26, 2011 2:18 PM

    @kingfamousamos

    I want football back as bad as you, but I don’t want the owners to cave. I want a CBA that’s going to last for 20 years, not 2 years.

    Getting the players back to the negotiating table is the most important thing right now. The longer the players think they have the upper hand, the longer this thing is going to go on.

    From the offers I’ve seen, the owners aren’t trying to gouge the players, but the players aren’t even considering the offers. In fact, it looks like they’re getting as much(or more) than they had.

  36. smacklayer says: May 26, 2011 2:19 PM

    I have been on both sides of this issue. I have been let go from jobs due to constriction as well as had to make difficult decision in letting staff go. This is not easy and no one is praising the owners for having to let staff go.

    But Arthur Blank can’t just “pull money” out from Home Depot and fund his NFL business. The shareholders of Home Depot would not allow it, and probably would be illegal. Could he liquidate some of his personal assets to fund it? Maybe. Does it make sense from a business standpoint? Not really. Does it make sense from an “I’m a nice guy and want to provide some charity for my employees” standpoint? Maybe, and only he can decide that. Maybe he gave them excellent severance packages, or guaranteed employement once the lockout ends. Avoid being so judgemental unless you really know all the facts.

    Also employees of an NFL franchise are not special just because it is the NFL. We all like to think of the NFL as this great majestic empire that churns out cash faster than the US Treasury. But each franchise is a just a plain old business at the end of the day, with budgets, and payroll and expenses and CFO doing their job, which is to make sure the business doesn’t go under.

  37. b7p19 says: May 26, 2011 2:39 PM

    @phantomstranger –

    Fair enough. I guess what it comes down to is if you believe them that the current system is not sustainable. I agree that those employees will likely recieve a bonus equal to what they lose unless considerable time is missed.

  38. moochzilla says: May 26, 2011 2:46 PM

    I was driving around and it actually occurred to me that of course he couldn’t pull from Home Depot, you are correct.

    The reason I ask if you own a business is because you’d know that doing this to employees is a last resort, and we aren’t there yet as no (significant) revenue has been lost and the league was healthy in terms of profit (less profitable is not the same as unprofitable).

    When you have SKILLED workers you have to factor in the cost of lost / lower productivity, training their replacements, retaining them should they get upset enough to threaten to leave, and the losses you incur when you lose experienced people / are breaking new ones in. Factor in both time and money. You don’t necessarily “save” anything in the short-term to mid-term.

    That’s why all of this smacks of a PR move. If it happened in 5 weeks when preseason games were being canceled, I would not be writing what I have been.

    PS – by now – had there been no owner-initiated lockout – Blank would have been putting out cash for FA’s and lower round draft picks, and their benefits and training and equipment.

    Yes, revenues are down…but so are operating costs. The latter seemingly far outpacing the former as even street FA’s make same or more than most of the people in the daily office operations.

  39. depotnator says: May 26, 2011 2:46 PM

    Arthur Blank was one of the founders of Home Depot, but he retired from the company in 2001. Blank is the Chairman, President, and CEO of AMB Group, LLC, and the Arthur Blank Family Foundation.[4] He serves on the Board of Trustees of Emory University. His recent net worth is estimated at 1.3 billion. It is ironic that Blank is known for his philanthropy, yet is cutting salaries of his Falcon office staff. No one ever claimed that NFL owners are not hypocrites.

  40. PFTiswhatitis says: May 26, 2011 3:04 PM

    As an owner of a software company me and my partner would forego our own pay when times got tough but we never missed a payroll or had cutbacks. These wealthy owners (that opted for the stoppage) have absolutely no excuse for not continuing to pay their people at this point in time. I hope it backfires on them.

  41. mick730 says: May 26, 2011 3:18 PM

    425,000 people filed first time unemployment claims in this country last week, yet we have the union shills on here posting to each and every story about NFL employees taking cuts in pay as if it were a major disaster. Do any of you have any conection to reality whatsoever?

    Get real. The owners of the NFL teams, and yes children, the NFL is a business, do not want to continue to be forced to give multi-millionaire players 15% pay increases on top of the millions they already receive each and every year forever. That is what this is about. The last CBA was financially unsustainable for too many franchises.

    While millions of people are unemployed and underemployed, the union shills are crying about multi-millionaire football players not getting larger raises each and every year than everybody else in America. Remember the owners are not talking about cutting any NFL players salary, they are just saying that the players cut off the top cannot continue to grow as fast as it has.

    The union shills don’t give a rats patutie about the NFL office staffs who are taking minor, temporary pay cuts, which will be paid back, they’re just grasping at straws in defense of the indefensible unions.

    Were the NFL players not members of a union, and a union that is a subset of Richard Trumka’s AFL-CIO, these Shills wouldn’t be around. Sans a union, the NFL players would just be more members of the evil rich; people who make more than 250k per year.

  42. wvuandsteelers says: May 26, 2011 3:44 PM

    I have a solution: Government Bailout!!!

    Our taxes can pay Falcons (and other NFL teams’) employees salaries.

  43. rcali says: May 26, 2011 4:06 PM

    Remember, the NFL was killing it during one of the worst financial times in the history of this country. Team owners could sacrifice a little of those profits to keep up morale, they just choose not to. The money machine will be churning again soon.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!