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Lockout paycuts show “suffering” by folks who don’t need to be

GoldBarsAP AP

Larry Foote isn’t the only person who finds the practice of reducing non-player salaries during the lockout to be unsavory.  Plenty of folks have been scratching their heads when it comes to the decision by annually successful businesses to cower behind the lockout as the basis for cutting costs.

As pointed out in today’s one-liners, one economist thinks that the teams are doing it for show.

University of Chicago economist Allen Sanderson tells ESPN.com’s Mike Sando that, apart from the short-term connection between monthly revenue and monthly payroll, the teams want us to think they’re hurting right now.

“[P]olitically, psychologically or from a public-relations basis, it shows some suffering on the part of one side,” Sanderson said.

If that’s the case, then the league thinks we’re all stupid.  It’s one thing to use a recession as a pretext for trimming some fat and/or stuffing some pockets.  It’s quite another to create a phony financial crisis via a quest for a larger piece of the labor pie and then to use that manufactured red ink as the trigger for taking money away from non-player employees.

At the risk of reprising our recent rant regarding the practice of allowing the lockout to impact the folks caught in the crossfire, this practice is shameful.

And while Packers CEO Mark Murphy has drawn praise for declaring that his publicly-owned — and thus publicly-accountable — franchise won’t reduce pay until revenues are reduced, some of the money potentially saved by teams in 2010 via the absence of a salary cap and salary floor easily could have been set aside for the self-induced hard times arising from the lockout.

Meticulous planning occurred in advance of the lockout.  For plenty of teams, the staff apparently weren’t regarded as sufficiently important to be included in that meticulous planning.

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52 Responses to “Lockout paycuts show “suffering” by folks who don’t need to be”
  1. pppath says: May 29, 2011 5:17 PM

    I hate the owners. May the flies of a thousand camels nest in their Rolls Royces.

  2. chc4 says: May 29, 2011 5:25 PM

    Sorry but anytime a business, any business faces an uncertain future they cut costs. And saying it’s the owners fault b/c they locked out is disingenuous. The players decertified at which point the owners had no choice but to lock em out. So to insinuate the players aren’t as much to blame as the owners for this is just silly. Of course we know what side of the fence these folks fall on.

  3. bearsnoah says: May 29, 2011 5:31 PM

    Thanks for writing this, Mike.

    It disgusts me that the owners are playing politics with their lower paid employeeds’ salaries, people that depend on their salaries to put food on the table.

  4. panamon says: May 29, 2011 5:32 PM

    These men run their businesses and can do it how they see fit. With no football operations going on it makes sense to send some employees home and you have no idea what’s actually going in with the finances of these clubs. You said it makes sense for the Packers to begin these sorts of cuts when they start losing revenue, how do you know these teams that have done so aren’t losing revenue?

  5. countyk66ers says: May 29, 2011 5:36 PM

    It seems that part of the strategy of the owners is to prolong the lockout so they can layoff employees that would have been difficult to let go when facilities are in normal operation.

  6. melikefootball says: May 29, 2011 5:43 PM

    pppath- If you hate the owners are you you giving the players a standing ovasion??? Are they not just if not more responsable for the no contract and thus causing others to lose their jobs?

  7. moochzilla says: May 29, 2011 5:45 PM

    But the guy who is assistant associate manager at Wal-Mart tells me, a business owner with PR experience, that this is “the way business works”.

  8. blountforce says: May 29, 2011 5:47 PM

    Again, i say……let Dee Smith and the “partners” pick up some of the slack!!!

  9. ralphshere says: May 29, 2011 5:49 PM

    Owners making sacrificial offerings of cutting pay of their own people, because of their own tactic of “lock-out” is a despicable twisted antic…designed to bring more pressure to the players to succumb to the heavy hand of the owners.

    In no small way, a fear inducing act.
    Planned that way and carried out as part of their mission.

    Good-on the Ravens for having a conscience and reversing the tactic; and, the Packers for refusing to follow owner herd mentality.

  10. mneal69 says: May 29, 2011 5:49 PM

    Heres what I think: I hate the owners and the players. I could really careless if there was a season or not. I hope all of them going freaking broke. Why should the fan care about their lives when neither of them care about the fan that pays their salary and keeps their business lucrative. Both of them can take their endless whining and shove it straight up their @$$.

  11. prmpft says: May 29, 2011 5:56 PM

    …hey man – never mind those little guys – what about the PLAYERS’ suffering – the PLAYERS man, the poor players…(@$$hats)!

  12. friendlylittletrees says: May 29, 2011 5:56 PM

    Pro sports are getting ready to die in America little kiddies!

  13. nineroutsider says: May 29, 2011 6:05 PM

    Is there any data on how much season ticket sales have declined due to the lockout? It would be interesting to see how much money they lose in ticket sales vs the gains they net from the new CBA, when it happens.

    Most of the fans will come back in droves I imagine, but some of the fans like me surely won’t renew this year no matter when the CBA gets done.

    It would be pretty funny if they lose more in ticket sales than they gain from a new CBA…

  14. tiredofthestupid says: May 29, 2011 6:15 PM

    @melikefootball

    Ummm…the owners opted out of the last CBA. They are now both using every tactic in the book to renegotiate.

    The people getting their pay cut are all individual persons with no CBA of their own, meaning they are left to the whims and fancies of the powers that be.

    So, if you help a company make LOTS of money, the owners can keep all of the profits for themselves, but if the owners are responsible (at least as much as the players) for losing revenue: You are S.O.L.

    A truly enlightened philosophy of these great human beings. We truly ARE reaching our goals of exceptionalism, if only in the pursuit of gorging a beneficial few on profits and damn the consequences to anyone who gets in the way.

  15. fatfreddystubbs says: May 29, 2011 6:18 PM

    I think if there are people who have a job that is now not necessary due to the lockout, while it still sucks for them, a pay cut or lay off is perfectly legitimate.

    However, if there are people that are still coming to work every day and doing the same job at the same level for the same hours, pay cuts are complete crap (and yes, i know that people all over America are taking cuts despite fitting that criteria, but it’s not the same circumstances).

  16. gridassassin says: May 29, 2011 6:21 PM

    College football appears to be my Pigskin methodone this Fall. The NFL is dead to me right now…

  17. bigsuede says: May 29, 2011 6:23 PM

    I find that I am incredibly sad reading these comments. We have no regard for the livelihoods of our fellow citizens, so many here are so quick to take up for owners every single time.

    Not a penny has been lost yet in revenue by the league- and those on staff are made to suffer for it?

    We are so callous towards other people- I really hate the society that we have become.

  18. goawayeverybody says: May 29, 2011 6:42 PM

    Do not forget who started this fight: THE OWNERS.

    Greedy morons that they are. And who thinks the work force (i.e. the players) deserves a pay cut during the most profitable time in the history of the NFL.

  19. flyboy123456 says: May 29, 2011 6:44 PM

    The Pack!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. kenchambers says: May 29, 2011 6:48 PM

    There is a principal called law of the farm.
    You get in return what you give. Cutting staff salaries is going to bring the owners a cut in their revenues.

  21. jackdiesel says: May 29, 2011 6:48 PM

    All the more reason to love Tom Benson and the Saints organization. One of the few teams that haven’t cut employee salaries.

  22. commandercornpone says: May 29, 2011 6:50 PM

    actually the owners’ weak representation last time around laid all the groundwork.

    the owners had the right to opt out, and they did.

    the union* pulled a sham decert. so, lets make sure that dishonesty is front and center. they also want to dictate all terms as if they hold all cards. sounds like duh is used to playing THE CARD to get his way. not everyone subscribes to his BSD, apparently.

    if people arent that damn busy and the employer doesnt need them all, or need them all full time, any business would do what some teams are doing.

  23. moochzilla says: May 29, 2011 6:52 PM

    “Sorry but anytime a business, any business faces an uncertain future they cut costs. ”

    And when a business is not currently incurring the most expensive costs of its calendar year (signing FA’s and draft picks) then they have a surge in cash they otherwise would not have.

    Let’s recap, shall we?

    2010 – May and June involve millions of dollars out to FA’s and draft picks, revenue is minimal.

    2011 – May and June involve NO dollars to FA’s and draft picks, revenue remains minimal.

    That means in 2011 the team has millions more in hand than in previous years.

    When you can get some cahones and start your own business, maybe you’ll learn to analyze and better assess the needs / expenses of a business.

    Until them, punch the timeclock and tow the line of a bunch of C- businessmen who enable you to chastise the players you are so jealous of.

  24. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: May 29, 2011 6:58 PM

    Pro sports in America are being killed off by lawyers. Lawyers! Like they can pass, kick or punt their way out of a wet paper bag.

    Keep filing Federal lawsuits De Mo Reece. That’ll speed up the process – NOT!

    Tom Brady – did you realize that the anti trust case you put your name on could last for four years or longer?

  25. imsmartandyouarenot says: May 29, 2011 7:00 PM

    The players and the leading Shyster is to blame. If Upshaw were still in charge a deal would be in place by now.

    This is exactly how I predicted things would go as soon as the players elected an outsider attorney to lead them.

  26. thetooloftools says: May 29, 2011 7:01 PM

    LIKE NOBODY SAW THIS COMING?
    JOIN THOSE STATE EMPLOYEES WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE BULLET (recession) PROOF TOO.
    PLAN PEOPLE PLAN.

  27. dangcote says: May 29, 2011 7:28 PM

    The owners should be prepared to pay the salaries of non-players during this time. If they were smart enough to negotiate TV contracts in case of a lock out, they should have been smart enough to save the money to pay employees who have nothing to do with the lockout. Even the player’s union, (now decertified union), have been saving for this event for the past two years.

    There is no doubt that greed is behind this, and owners should do the right thing and pay these people.

  28. moochzilla says: May 29, 2011 7:33 PM

    “Tom Brady – did you realize that the anti trust case you put your name on could last for four years or longer?”

    Because he’ll be too old to play in 4 years? And therefore never reap the benefits? Unlike, say, Ralph Wilson or Al Davis…who will love forever?

    “If Upshaw were still in charge a deal would be in place by now.”

    Yes, and he’d have kicked the owner’s rear-ends so badly they’d whine and cry about it and weasel out in a few years. Ya know, like what just happened?

  29. moochzilla says: May 29, 2011 7:34 PM

    PS – Ralph Wilson and Al Davis will, in fact, love forever.

    But they won’t live forever. Which was what I meant to write!

  30. hedleykow says: May 29, 2011 7:39 PM

    “If that’s the case, then the league thinks we’re all stupid.”

    All of Corporate America thinks we are stupid. And you know what, they are right.

    The league would move to China tomorrow if it thought it could make a dime more than it makes here.

  31. saints25 says: May 29, 2011 7:43 PM

    This season lost,because the Players are drinking the posion De Smith is pouring in their glass…See ya next year..Keep lockout owners,they will ruin the NFL if you give into the players,or you could “make them a deal they cant refuse”..thats was a good movie:-).

  32. moochzilla says: May 29, 2011 7:45 PM

    LIKE NOBODY SAW THIS COMING?

    JOIN THOSE LEHMAN BROTHERS EMPLOYEES WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE BULLET (recession) PROOF TOO.

    Oh, wait, they’re all still millionaires and no one went to jail.

    Sorry.

  33. grandsonofcoach says: May 29, 2011 7:47 PM

    So you go from one economist who “thinks” teams “might” be cutting salaries to show suffering…to assuming teams are in fact doing it for show and labeling it shameful. It is one of the things that truly concerns me about this site…that if someone says something it is treated as fact.

  34. nolesshabitual says: May 29, 2011 7:52 PM

    The support for the owners is baffling to me.
    chc4 says: May 29, 2011 5:25 PM

    “Sorry but anytime a business, any business faces an uncertain future they cut costs. And saying it’s the owners fault b/c they locked out is disingenuous. The players decertified at which point the owners had no choice but to lock em out. So to insinuate the players aren’t as much to blame as the owners for this is just silly. Of course we know what side of the fence these folks fall on.”

    The players did that because the owners opted out of an agreement they negotiated. Now they are laying off lower compensated employees because they aren’t sure how long they will continue to keep their teams from playing in hopes of getting an extra billion dollar slice of the pie. Oh and the players should just take their word for it that they like totally need it. You can’t get a credit card without an examination of your financials from the last seven years, but these owners can get ten figures out of the players with only their word, give me a break. If they weren’t happy with the last labor deal, they shouldn’t have approved it.

    panamon says: May 29, 2011 5:32 PM

    “These men run their businesses and can do it how they see fit. With no football operations going on it makes sense to send some employees home and you have no idea what’s actually going in with the finances of these clubs. You said it makes sense for the Packers to begin these sorts of cuts when they start losing revenue, how do you know these teams that have done so aren’t losing revenue?”

    If you run a franchise in the National Football League, with the T.V., merchandising, and in some cases retail cash they have pouring in, without having actually missed even a preseason game and without having to cut a single check to players (the majority of their expenditures) then they have absolutely no business being in business.

  35. moochzilla says: May 29, 2011 8:09 PM

    Best will be all the anti-union cro-mags calling him a liberal economist from a liberal elitist college, totally ignoring the U of C’s heritage with iconic conservative figures.

  36. indyeagle says: May 29, 2011 8:11 PM

    I’ve been all over the players during this lockout because, well, it’s their own unwillingness to play give and take that is causing this whole mess.

    However, in this instance, the owners are 100% wrong. First of all, why would they risk the P.R. hit by cutting everyday employees when all they will save is MAYBE a hundred thousand bucks or so? It makes no sense. When you add that to the fact that they really haven’t lost any revenue yet, it becomes mind boggling. I don’t know, maybe they are trying to re-coup lawyer fees? Ridiculous.

    Also, can we please stop with the misleading argument that this is all somehow the owners fault because they are the ones who locked out the players. Save that for a site with fans who aren’t educated on how the game, or more specifically, the financial game, works.

  37. moochzilla says: May 29, 2011 8:12 PM

    “if people arent that damn busy and the employer doesnt need them all, or need them all full time, any business would do what some teams are doing.”

    Nope, actually you are incorrect.

    Commadercornpone…Another clock-punching, easily replaced monkey pretending he knows about business.

  38. moochzilla says: May 29, 2011 8:17 PM

    indyeagle…

    “First of all, why would they risk the P.R. hit by cutting everyday employees when all they will save is MAYBE a hundred thousand bucks or so? It makes no sense.”

    It isn’t a financial play at all, it is a PR play by the owners. Plain as day.

    They hope that the hit they take will be minor if more people (and by people I mean anti-union cro-mags) blame the players for the suffering of the little old lady who has worked for the Bills for 50 years as she filed for food stamps.

    As you correctly assess, this is a long-shot play. This is how desperate they are. The count of the embittered and / or dim-witted to blame it on the players.

    And, as you can see, many of the usual dum-dum suspects on this site took the bait.

    In fact, the owners have MORE money than they would have had if there had been NO LOCKOUT. As they are not putting out cash for FA’s and draftees. And revenues are flat since this is a dead time for teams.

    Less expenses.

    Flat revenue.

    That’s what we can enhanced profitability in the business world.

  39. moochzilla says: May 29, 2011 8:19 PM

    “The league would move to China tomorrow if it thought it could make a dime more than it makes here.”

    My man.

  40. indyeagle says: May 29, 2011 8:20 PM

    @nolesshabitual-

    If you are going to argue on here, at least get your facts straight.

    1) The owners offered 5 years of financials, the players decided they wanted 10. I have a feeling if 10 were offered, the players would have wanted 15….

    2) The owners expenses are not solely based on their player contracts, in fact, their is NO WAY the players salaries are the “majority of their expenditures”. If their is no football, the stadium leases/mortgage payments are still there, insurance for health and property is still there, etc…. Please don’t act like the owners have nothing to lose in this whole mess

  41. jjssockpuppet says: May 29, 2011 8:30 PM

    dangcote says:

    “The owners should be prepared to pay the salaries of non-players during this time. If they were smart enough to negotiate TV contracts in case of a lock out, they should have been smart enough to save the money to pay employees who have nothing to do with the lockout”

    I believe you’re working on the mistaken assumption that the owners give a rats ass about anything other than their profits. They planned for the lockout, most of the employees fall in the disposable asset category. I agree with your statement, which probably explains why I’ll never be rich.

  42. sdiegosteel says: May 29, 2011 8:42 PM

    “If that’s the case, then the league thinks we’re all stupid.”

    They got it half right – - half the people here think ownership can do no wrong. Little people be damned – - Dan Snyder needs another ivory backscratcher!

  43. moochzilla says: May 30, 2011 12:39 AM

    indyeagle…

    1) I was born in Holmesburg, NE Philly…unless you are from the 5 county Philly area, beat it and cheer for someone else you loser. This is a union town, stop hopping on the bandwagon, be a man, and find a team in your own area to cheer for. Seriously, screw.

    2) Please describe, in detail and using accounting rationale why the financial info offered by the NFL owners was sufficient for purposes of these negotiations. Please expound on why the players issues regarding these figures were invalid. Back up with legal precedent. Oh, I forgot…you are just parroting some BS you read on some blog.

    3) “their is NO WAY the players salaries are the “majority of their expenditures”. ” It’s about CASH FLOW, something you would understand if you owned a business. Which you don’t, do you?

    Now go buy an Austin Collie jersey and stop sullying the franchise I grew up with.

  44. kire562000 says: May 30, 2011 12:46 AM

    The owners true colors are showing. Cutting salaries after THEY chose to opt out of the deal and lock out the players. Swell bunch of guys. Big props to the owners that haven’t.

  45. moochzilla says: May 30, 2011 12:53 AM

    indyeagle,

    For real, bro. Tell me how you wheel and deal and bring down the smack on the Wal-Mart night shift.

    Seriously, I’m here to learn from a master businessman such as yourself.

    I spent most of the week and holiday working to improve my business. Developing strategies and plans given the new economy and consumer habits.

    You spent all last week and weekend concocting a plan to leave early on Friday so you could see a crappy movie like Hangover II.

    And you’re gonna lecture me on business? For real?

  46. moochzilla says: May 30, 2011 12:56 AM

    Sorry if I am being aggressive…maybe I am a product of the business world.

    Because if you make the statements you did with no backup – in my day-to-day – you get lit the bleep up.

  47. tombrookshire says: May 30, 2011 7:52 AM

    It’s shocking the number of brainwashed, defenders of NFL owners. Taking someone’s job away especially when so many are struggling to keep make ends meet is another corporate money grab that we live with as a normal part of the volatile economic times we now live in.

  48. melonnhead says: May 30, 2011 9:33 AM

    Making lockout paycuts for show? Jerry Jones, widely characterized here as the greediest, most underhanded bastard’s bastard that ever set foot in an NFL office, has no freaking idea what you’re talking about.

  49. camp69 says: May 30, 2011 9:59 AM

    The owners are ruthless and greedy. The care about themselves, not the fans or their employees!

  50. moochzilla says: May 30, 2011 10:05 AM

    Got a bit carried away. Maybe it was when someone chided me that the owner of my team had stadium payments. He doesn’t. Know why? Because my tax dollars built it for him.

    The gall of these people.

  51. indyeagle says: May 30, 2011 3:42 PM

    Mooch,

    Some of what you say is accurate, but the rest is simple contradiction. You claim you are “union” on one hand and then claim to own your own business on the other. Which is it? Maybe it’s both? Well, I’m sorry that everything in life is so black and white to you, but I tend to look at the gray area in life. Just because I support the owners, doesn’t mean I can’t support the players on some issues. Or, it doesn’t mean I won’t criticize the owners when they are wrong, such as I did on my first post on this very thread.

    To answer your asinine, off the subject, so called insults, I was not born in the Philly area. I was born in Newport News, VA because my father was a ship builder who was born and raised in Chester, PA. He met my mother who was born and raised in Oreland,Pa. and he left the shipyard for a job in VA. My entire family are Eagles fans and I was raised the same. I moved to Indiana after I graduated from PSU and went to Ball State University to receive my Masters in entrepreneurship (One of the top 5 programs in the country). I then started my own small business with only 45 employees. You’re right, I am no business tycoon, but I also don’t work the night shift at Wal-Mart.
    My posts tend to be later at night because I have a newborn and I like to be a real man and get up to help take care of him. However, I do thank you for not only trying to insult me, but all working Americans who happen to work at Wal-Mart or whatever job you have determined to be below you and a punching bag for your PFT insults.
    With that being said, I might as well defend my Eagles fandom to you. I have lived in two areas of the country that are dominated by different fan bases (Redskins and Colts)and one that was split between the Birds and Steelers, yet I still have remained a fan. In fact, my father and I have season tickets to the birds and I travel from Indiana for every home game. I also go to one or two road games a year. So, Maybe I don’t meet your approval, but that’s ok, you’re an idiot anyhow.
    Let me get this straight, you want me to take the time to look up legal briefings of labor disputes to find a case file that shows precedent being set for five years of audited financials being sufficient? Uh, no thanks, I’ll pass. I don’t need a court to tell me when a union has an agenda that doesn’t involve negotiating, but rather lawsuits. Five years (amount of time since the last cba) should be more than enough proof of financial hardship from the owners.
    I find it convenient that you would change the subject from players salaries to cash flow. But, since you did, lets talk about cash flow. Since you are so quick to point out your prominence as a business owner (while at the same time stomping about being a “union town”) then you should understand a thing or two about cash flow. Such as, when your revenues are less than your expenses, it creates a negative cash flow. Cash flow is precisely what this whole thing is all about. What else would it be about? Are the players supposed to get a piece of the owners net worth? Are stadium values supposed to be included in the cba?
    Last thing, you say your tax dollars paid for your stadium. Well, so have mine. However, the difference between me and you is that I don’t cut off my nose to spite my face. I understand the advantages of economic development and the amount of jobs created by local professional sports organizations. Send the Pats packing and see how many jobs are lost. Of course, they will just be lowly stadium workers, construction jobs, parking attendants, hotel employees, pavers, restaurant employees, vendors, etc……people that are nothing but a punchline to you.

  52. indyeagle says: May 30, 2011 3:57 PM

    Oh, and don’t worry, just because you were born and raised in NE Philly doesn’t make you extra tough or your ability to “light someone the bleep up” any less impressive. Contrary to your “me centered” belief, people who grew up outside of Philly aren’t all soft and don’t all run from a good argument. I just don’t have all day to spend on the internet, so I am just now getting around to replying.

    I’m sure you’re a very wise businessman who opens up your financial records for all of your employees while negotiating their pay. I think all of us use that same approach. In fact, I try to split my revenues with my employees on a 50/50 basis (after Knocking off 1/9th for growth) why wouldn’t I? I mean, I pay for all supplies, insurance, cost of goods, taxes, E&O insurance, unemployment, utilities, advertising, their mistakes, gas for vehicles, gas for heat, electric, internet, computers, employee parties, bonuses, company matched 401′s, etc…..I may as well give them their pay based on half of all revenues and I will pay expenses out of my half. Yeah, that makes sense. It also makes me anti-union in your eyes, which is ridiculous. I see the value of unions and I support them as long as they do their job which is protecting the working man. Not biting off the hand that feeds.

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