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Chiefs should rescind lockout pay cuts

Commissioner Roger Goodell Press Conference Getty Images

We’ve been clear in our views that the manufactured financial crisis NFL teams currently are experiencing (which may or may not be an actual financial crisis yet) does not justify taking money away from non-player employees who are merely caught in the crossfire of the lockout.

Though plenty of teams have imposed reductions (with only one, the Ravens, changing its mind), we haven’t specifically called on any of them to reverse course.  (As if it would matter.)  Sure, we’ve pointed out that an unpaid furlough of one week per month (like the Jets are doing) is more fair than cutting pay but not cutting hours (like the Dolphins are doing).  We’ve also pointed out that teams like the Buccaneers, which stuffed its pockets with money not spent on players during 2010′s year without a salary cap or floor, should have set some money aside to pay non-player employees during the lockout.

Today, we’re compelled to specifically mention one team that has no legitimate reason to reduce employee pay, and to ask that team to stop doing it.  Per the Kansas City Star, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt (pictured) has said that his team is “leading the league in new ticket sales by a significant margin.”  And the Chiefs, like the Buccaneers, took full advantage of the absence of a spending minimum in 2010, with salary commitments as of the middle of September in the neighborhood of $90 million, well below the point at which the salary floor would have been.

So why are the Chiefs cutting employee pay during the lockout?  It’s a question that every affected employee — and his or her family members — should be asking.

On Friday, Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports ripped generally into the owners who have opted to make non-player employees suffer for some of the seven deadly sins of the men who are unable to figure out how to share ever-growing revenues.  Silver specifically singled out the Chiefs, calling Clark Hunt’s decision to cut employee pay “particularly unconscionable.”

We agree with Silver (even though we still disagree with his “let the media into lockout workouts” whining).  And we call on the Chiefs to make like the Ravens and rescind the employee pay cuts and refund the money that has been withheld.

We doubt that Hunt or anyone else in the organization will listen to us, but it still feels good to say it.  It’ll feel even better if the Chiefs do the right thing by their non-player employees.

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51 Responses to “Chiefs should rescind lockout pay cuts”
  1. tripg says: Jun 4, 2011 7:56 AM

    Que the rabid pro-owner comments in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1……….

  2. tripg says: Jun 4, 2011 8:02 AM

    National polls show a majority of Americans support the players. Yet PFT comments are overwhelmingly for the owners. I smell something coordinated going on here! Time to do some digging Mike.

  3. biggerballz says: Jun 4, 2011 8:27 AM

    Did you ever think maybe the readers of this site actually understand what would happen if the players got what they wanted through litigation. Unlike idiot fans who chant let’s just play football. We understand that a lockout for a year is better than football being ruined and turned into a free for all where a few teams win the championship and there isn’t competition. So take your player retoric and buy a hat with d smith.

  4. biggerballz says: Jun 4, 2011 8:27 AM

    No season means no profit, so why shouldn’t the chiefs be prepared by cutting salaries.

  5. panamon says: Jun 4, 2011 8:42 AM

    The conditions of an uncapped year let the owners have no salary floor which means they did nothing wrong by spending less, you can’t dig up that little fact everytime you want to make the owners look cheap. To be honest you have no idea what the owners have been doing with that or any other money and it’s irresponsible to wildly accuse them of purely pocketing it.

  6. sjesse6 says: Jun 4, 2011 8:48 AM

    1. Last season the Chiefs and Hy-Vee, a large wealthy grocery store chain teamed up to offer a pre-game “tail gate” experience just inside the turn stiles on the concourse in and around a customized Air Stream trailer… Part of the “tail gate” experience was a live band. When the Chiefs started booking the musicians it was made clear that they (the bands) would be providing the P.A., hauling it and the rest of their gear in through the throngs of regular tail gaters and, oh by the way, doing it all for FREE!

    2. On July 23, 2010 the Chiefs opened “The New Arrowhead” for a press tour. This was the same day they had given to independent photographer, Hank Young, as a deadline to hand over the rights to all his photographs or be fired as a gameday Chiefs photographer. You see, Mr. Young had been a gameday photog for the Chiefs since 1972 and “The New Arrowhead” is practically wall papered with photos he has taken through the years. Mr. Young has filed a lawsuit.

    3. Finally, in the interest of continuing to pile on the poor, destitute Kansas City Chiefs: Mr. Hunt announced on May 5, 2011 that the price to park a vehicle at Arrowhead is INCREASING from $22 to $27 per game.

  7. kcfanatic says: Jun 4, 2011 8:52 AM

    I support the owners in the Owners vs. Players, but I do not support the owners taking money from their non-player employees. If/when there are actual losses then fine. I know that other large companies would cut employees or cut pay if they make less money, but NFL teams aren’t at that point. To take the employees money before there is an actual loss is dissapointing.

  8. kcfanatic says: Jun 4, 2011 8:53 AM

    I really like Clark Hunt. He is normally a very classy individual. I wonder who is giving him advice to do this.

  9. mybuttsayspft says: Jun 4, 2011 8:54 AM

    The Hunt family only cares about money, and filling the seats at camerohead. This is no big surprise that they’re withholding money from it’s employees. Carl Peterson was deemed the devil in KC but what he did without being able to spend because of the frugle Hunts was pretty impressive. KC will never be a winner due to thier cheap owner, yes I know they were AFC champs last year but go look at how they got it, by playing one of the weakest schedules ever.

  10. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Jun 4, 2011 8:57 AM

    PFT should mind its own business. I don’t think you’d appreciate it if the Cheifs publicly critisized the way you do business or your policies. Whether it felt good or not.

  11. duanethomas says: Jun 4, 2011 8:58 AM

    @tripg. Its coordinated by league employees and team employees to come on here and vent at the players. I know for a fact this is the only approved website league and team employees can access at work. They know the teams can track the websites they visit, and they will never go against the league or owners. They are blaming the players when teams like the Chiefs have made more money this off season then last, but are still cutting salaries.

  12. mick730 says: Jun 4, 2011 9:00 AM

    ” I smell something coordinated going on here!”

    And which union do you work for?

  13. mick730 says: Jun 4, 2011 9:11 AM

    ” I know for a fact ……”

    Duane, the one thing most of us around here are 100% sure of, is that when it comes to facts, you know next to nothing.

    By the way, I didn’t know that SEIU offices were open on Saturdays. Live and learn I guess.

  14. rickc10m says: Jun 4, 2011 9:25 AM

    In general I agree that the Chiefs are using their employees as pawns in this game. People do forget that the number one cost for a company are employees, thats why unemployment goes up during a recession. Here the Chiefs are just fat cat users of their workers. In general I do back the Owners over the Players. Since when can an employee tell the ones who are risking the money how much to give them. That is the reason for negotiations.

  15. bsandcs says: Jun 4, 2011 9:34 AM

    please stop with the “Cue the (fill in the blank) posts in 3..2..1″

  16. geo1113 says: Jun 4, 2011 9:41 AM

    By definition, with no business to conduct, there is less work for employees. Maybe it would be better to lay off those employees and bring them back when business starts up. That way, they won’t have to come to the office with nothing to do.

  17. duanethomas says: Jun 4, 2011 9:51 AM

    mick730 says:
    Jun 4, 2011 9:11 AM
    ” I know for a fact ……”

    Duane, the one thing most of us around here are 100% sure of, is that when it comes to facts, you know next to nothing.

    By the way, I didn’t know that SEIU offices were open on Saturdays. Live and learn I guess.
    ————————————————–
    Old mick730 my Irish Catholic stalker from the northeast.
    I’m not in a union nor have I ever been, so I dont get what you are talking about…SEIU or rubber rooms etc…

    Whats wrong with being a teacher? A very honorable job, that is grossly underpaid and thanks to people like you under apperciated. Maybe if you had applied what your teachers were trying to teach you, your station in life would be better.

    Move to the south since you cant get a Union job up North, you can go there and do back breaking work for peanuts. No safety workplace requirements, no benefits and you would be well qualified since its all labor…no brains.

    Also I live in a right to work state, smart guy.

  18. geo1113 says: Jun 4, 2011 9:55 AM

    @duanethomas

    I know for a fact this is the only approved website league and team employees can access at work.
    ____________________

    Please. Do tell. How do you know this “fact”?

  19. pjlva says: Jun 4, 2011 9:57 AM

    And you guys here keep bashing on old Danny Boy. At least he spent above the “floor”, but didn’t Yankee it, and still is paying his people. Just saying.

  20. ktcmoving says: Jun 4, 2011 10:06 AM

    “… that the manufactured financial crisis NFL teams currently are experiencing (which may or may not be an actual financial crisis yet) ”

    So, let me get this right.

    - You have no idea whatsoever whether it’s an actual financial crisis or not, or how hard up teams may or may not be.

    - But you’re going to hedge your bets and call it manufactured anyway?

  21. thesmiteofthewicked says: Jun 4, 2011 10:08 AM

    Biggerballz:

    You guys understand nothing. All you do is spout anti-player rhetoric, and almost like a mob, overwhelmingly vote down anything that might even be slightly pro-player.

    In no way, shape or form is the state of football “better” if a year is taken off. Ask baseball or hockey how that worked out.

    It’s so foolish and well, delusional, to think that either side has good intentions in regards to this. They don’t. It’s also foolish to believe that the league as we know it would disintegrate if the players won. It wouldn’t.

  22. vahawker says: Jun 4, 2011 10:11 AM

    duanethomas(aka DeMoron Smith or maybe Mrs. DeMoron Smith) rational people are able to separate the CBA situation from other “business” decisions. Try to stay with me here…therefore..it is possible to support the owners(or in my case not support the NFLPA) because the players walked out of negotiations and have made no offers except to maintain the status quo(which is the equivalent of saying everyone knows we are screwing you with this CBA and we want you to continue letting us screw you) while still thinking the owners are dirt balls for other actions they take.

    As an aside, I wonder if these cuts would have been made if the owners would have been collecting the “lockout insurance” money. I bet yes

  23. autumnwind999 says: Jun 4, 2011 10:19 AM

    biggerballz says:
    Jun 4, 2011 8:27 AM
    Did you ever think maybe the readers of this site actually understand what would happen if the players got what they wanted through litigation. Unlike idiot fans who chant let’s just play football. We understand that a lockout for a year is better than football being ruined and turned into a free for all where a few teams win the championship and there isn’t competition. So take your player retoric and buy a hat with d smith.

    ——————————

    Actually, people supporting the players do understand. The players are on record as willing to continue to play under the terms of the deal that just expired. The owners are the ones demanding more. The players are not jeopardizing the season with a strike. The owners are doing it with a lockout.

    What’s not to understand.

  24. irishjackmp says: Jun 4, 2011 10:21 AM

    Sure Mike, because if you had a large debt service running PFT, and there was a good possibility most, if not all, of your revenue was going to be cut off in a few months (and possibly for a very long time), you would do absolutely nothing to reduce expenses now and address the severe cash flow problems that will be forthcoming…

    (rolls eyes)

    But I guess it’s easy to grandstand and be generous with someone else’s money, isn’t it?

  25. autumnwind999 says: Jun 4, 2011 10:27 AM

    rickc10m says:
    Jun 4, 2011 9:25 AM
    … In general I do back the Owners over the Players. Since when can an employee tell the ones who are risking the money how much to give them. That is the reason for negotiations.

    ———————–

    Hate to break it but labor negotiations are about exchanging demands regarding compensation. How else should the players go about this than by “telling” the owners how much they believe they should get? How could they possibly negotiate without doing that? And, if you place any value on negotiating, rather than just meekly accepting whatever ownership feels it can get away with paying, what in the world is wrong with submitting negotiable demands?

  26. txchief says: Jun 4, 2011 10:47 AM

    So the national polls show the majority favor the players. I would suggest in actuality that the majority of Americans actually doesn’t care at this point. One might also consider that polls such as those on ESPN (and PFT) are poorly designed, allowing individuals to vote multiple times. The results may also be stacked due to the ways in which the poll questions are phrased.

    “Leading the league in new season ticket sales” is not the same as leading the league in revenue. In fact, season tickets may be “sold” before any payments are made. Many season ticket holders may not be making their scheduled payments. I rather suspect that the Hunt family has rather substantial loan payments on stadium renovations that are not going away, and with questionable prospects for business to resume, how could anyone not consider the need to control costs? How do all of you economics professors know the details of the Chiefs’ and other teams finances? If you do, why didn’t you turn the information over to the NFLPA, so that they could do their audit?

    I am certainly pro-owner for the most part, being a business owner who has had to make tough business decisions and ride out tough economic times myself. And yes, I’ve been an employee in the past. The life of an employee is alot easier and far more predictable by the way. The repeated paranoia and acusations that there are pro-owner “shills” posting here is ridiculous. I’m a disappointed Chiefs season ticket holder, but I’ve never had any other relationship with an NFL team.

    What is absolutely consistent here is the bolshevik anti-business leanings of many who write and post on PFT. Like all good bolsheviks, they seek to create a conspiracy that others are acting against them. Their standard marching orders also consist of insulting and mischaracterizing the comments of those who do not agree with them.

    Keep up the good work PFT!

  27. wannabeqb says: Jun 4, 2011 10:55 AM

    I would have no problem with an NFL franchise telling it’s employees that they will lose pay from the usual start of the season if the lockout continues. But right now there is no reason for them to be doing this.

    They all made profits last year.

    The league has not shut down (yet) so these employees are unlikely to be sitting around doing nothing, as many pro-owners commenters seem to assume. Its the offseason for crying out loud, they are probably doing exactly what they do every offseason.

    NFL costs have been lowered this offseason as they havent paid any players anything since the start of the lockout.

    This is simply a cash grab by owners.

  28. myballsmyrules says: Jun 4, 2011 10:57 AM

    @ Mike at PFT

    Duanethomas said the following:
    “Its coordinated by league employees and team employees to come on here and vent at the players. I know for a fact this is the only approved website league and team employees can access at work.”

    *****************************************

    This is your website he is accusing. Would you care to address his statement?

  29. 1kcfan says: Jun 4, 2011 10:59 AM

    This is clearly each greedy effing man for himself……it is sickening.

  30. tombrookshire says: Jun 4, 2011 11:09 AM

    It’s disgusting in my view to cut the people’s salaries who can’t afford to take a cut. These teams are not losing any money. They are still making fans send in their ticket money as if there will be a season. They are still selling plenty of gear. So where’s the hit? They are doing it simply because they can. There is no shortage of people out there who would do their jobs under any conditions and for much less money simply to have a job. That fact is not lost on the owners and team management. Seems that today more than any time since the Great Depression, big business is deliberately making life tough just because they can. They want to make it crystal clear that they are the “haves” who have control over the have nots, which is the rest of us. We must do what they say or starve, lose our homes, not send our kids to college, or live in your car or a refrigerator box. It’s all out class warfare. Hard to understand why so many readers defend the big business team owners. These guys are also owners of big corporations that have put thousands out of work. Maybe even your brother or wife. The Rams owner also owns Walmart. Any Rams fans out of work because of that company?

  31. wallyhorse says: Jun 4, 2011 11:15 AM

    Do we know the real reason why a lot of teams are cutting payroll like they are? It might be they some of these owners actually need to get back some of the money so they don’t wind up (nor does the NFL) in a situation where the spouse of an owner pulls a Jamie McCourt and wrecks the franchise the way the Dodgers are being ruined right now (with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt struggling just to meet payroll at the moment).

    I would think the owners have one or two among them who could wind up in a similar boat if the players get everything they want.

  32. myballsmyrules says: Jun 4, 2011 11:17 AM

    As anyone who regularly reads the comments here knows, I am about as pro owner as they come.

    But the Chiefs decision to cut employee pay is something I strongly disagree with. I have been a lifelong Chiefs fan. Born and raised in K.C. just 5 minutes from Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums. I have been to more games at that stadium and met Mr. Lamar Hunt more times than I would bet anyone here has. I since have relocated and don’t get back “home” as often as I would like but I do still know a few things.

    Since Lamar passed away and Clark took over, the Chiefs have turned their backs on the community, turned off their fans, and ended logtime relationships. Clark Hunt is alienating his fanbase.

    It’s true what the poster earlier said about the Chiefs photographer. It’s also true that the team is going back on their word when the citizens of Jackson County voted to renovate Arrowhead stadium.

    Lamar Hunt would NEVER have made these moves and cut his employees pay. He would NEVER have turned his back on longtime faithful employees and tried to steal their work. Lamar Hunt would never place such an obsession on profit over fans/family/community.

    Clark Hunt, quit trying to impress the league and your immediate family as a shrewd businessman. Impress the league, your immediate family, your CHIEFS family, your communities, and fans everywhere by realizing just what kind of legacy your father left you to carry on and reexamining your priorities by displaying some of the traits you inherited from your great father.
    Lamar Hunt would not approve of what you are doing Clark.
    You know it, I know it, and it’s a damn shame you are tarnishing his legacy and giving HIS team a bad rep.

  33. tophertencha says: Jun 4, 2011 11:22 AM

    Didn’t NBC lay off support staff during the writer’s strike a few years ago?

  34. paperlions says: Jun 4, 2011 11:28 AM

    I also have a hard time reading the comments sections here anymore. The comments are blindly pro-owner, clearly seem coordinated and spin everything at every opportunity. Usually, after a half-dozen eye-roll worthy posts, I stop reading the comments and just go on to the next post.

    The comments here don’t reflect anything like reality or the general view of the NFL fans I know.

    ….and please stop with the “how do we know it isn’t a financial crisis” and “the players need to make less for the long-term health of the league” BS. During the last CBA every single team made money every single year. Every owner will make more money off his team than even the most highly paid player will make during his career. If there was any kind of financial problem in the league to justify the owners’ claims, they would have opened their books up for the world to see to prove it. The only reason not to open up the books is that the numbers are consistent with the rhetoric.

    Owners, in general, add no value to the league. In fact, owners that are least involved with the football side of operations have more successful teams. It is the coaches and players that create 100% of the value, and the players that are put at risk to earn the money. The owners just decided that they should get a higher percentage of the money generated by the players.

    In any case, the owners don’t spend any of their own money (if there is such a thing) on the league, ALL of the money the owners and players are arguing over is the fan’s money.

  35. toiletking says: Jun 4, 2011 12:02 PM

    I hate these people so much. They should nationalize the sport and kick them out. All teams should be publicly owned like the packers—the team with the best stadium experience, the best fans etc.

  36. sickcuz says: Jun 4, 2011 1:14 PM

    @myballsmyrules….Chiefs owner sounds like a cheap version of Dan Snyder

  37. willycents says: Jun 4, 2011 1:17 PM

    I think every company in the last 5 years that laid off employees/cut salaries because of decreasing/projected decreasing revenue should hire them all back/return them to their original salaries, even if they have nothing to put them to work at. If it applies to one business, it should apply to all them.

  38. smittydub says: Jun 4, 2011 1:25 PM

    To the NFL shills who have flooded this site: YOUR pay cuts could be next…

  39. jeff061 says: Jun 4, 2011 1:31 PM

    Idiot reporters should mind their own business.

    It is a business – and how they run it – and what they pay their staff – is none of our business.

  40. myballsmyrules says: Jun 4, 2011 2:08 PM

    paperlions says:
    Jun 4, 2011 11:28 AM
    I also have a hard time reading the comments sections here anymore.
    *****************************************

    THEN LEAVE!

    paperlions further says:
    “Usually, after a half-dozen eye-roll worthy posts, I stop reading the comments and just go on to the next post.”
    ******************************************

    Yet you take the time to type a lengthy rambling essay?

    paperlions continues on to say:
    “The comments here don’t reflect anything like reality or the general view of the NFL fans I know”
    *****************************************
    Then you don’t know many TRUE NFL fans do you?

    paperlions nimwit also says:
    “Owners, in general, add no value to the league.”
    ******************************************

    WTF? I guess providing 401k, free health insurance, generous salaries, taking on liability risks, paying thousands of other employees, and giving 59.6% of revenue to criminals does not provide value?

    Where do these idiots come from?

  41. CKL says: Jun 4, 2011 2:08 PM

    @ myballsmyrules…well said.
    A LOT of times the kids who inherit teams (or outside of the NFL, the kids who inherit anything their family built from nothing) fail to do their families proud. Most of the time it seems that the fathers were self made men who don’t forget that good & loyal employees are a big part of a company’s success. Their children probably didn’t have to work for much (which is the fault of the parents if they don’t instill that work ethic and give their kids everything instead of making them earn it) so they don’t get it. It’s sad.

  42. myballsmyrules says: Jun 4, 2011 2:09 PM

    Paperlions is now added to my list of players on this site posing as “fans”

  43. kcwolf88 says: Jun 4, 2011 2:10 PM

    Of the $5 increase in parking, 4.50 goes to the county. Hunt also paid 125 MILLION out of his own pocket for stadium renovations. How greedy of him to cut the pay of employees who have no work to perform.

  44. jeff061 says: Jun 4, 2011 2:22 PM

    The comments arent blindly pro owners. They are obviously pro owners. The owners have worked in good faith from day 1 presenting offer after offer – while the idiot players have resorted to pot shots in the press to deflect from their strategy of ignoring the offers, not negotiating – and taking this to the courts.

    They have yet to counter one line item -of any offer.

    Now that they are getting crushed in the courts they are rethinking their idiotic strategy – while the players are wondering how they got into this mess to begin with – by following the D Smith – the pied piper more focused on his own agenda – then negotiating in good faith

  45. icewalker946 says: Jun 4, 2011 3:19 PM

    August 1st is my deadline. No contract, no football for me. If they sign after August 1st, it’s too late for me.

    Just that simple. No watching on TV. No buying yearbooks. No more buying hats, t-shirts, jerseys. No PFT. Avoid it until next year.

    Baseball lost me as a fan after not playing the World Series. I have not watched a full game since 1994.

    August 1st. Yes I know I’m one fan. Just stating what I, myself will do.

    What will YOU do? Have a deadline in your head?

  46. txchief says: Jun 4, 2011 3:50 PM

    Hey paperlions, once you give your money to the team to watch the game, it is theirs! Do you think there would be an NFL if there were no owners to finance and manage the teams? If the players and sports agents were in charge, all funds would be dispersed in one season, and there would be nothing left for the next year. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that the NFL, AFL, WFL, UFL, CFL or any other sports league was created or sustained by the players.

    As an apparently hardened socialist, you must believe that businesses are created by someone just buying a sign and others immediately throwing money at them. Perhaps you and the others with a similarly uninformed viewpoint posting on this site will undertand after you all learn how to create someting more purposeful and lasting than a foul odor.

  47. richatthelake says: Jun 4, 2011 3:51 PM

    @myballsmyrules

    As a 60-year old who’s been a Chiefs’ fan from the start, I agree with his assessment on Clark Hunt. His father must be spining in his grave. Lamar Hunt was an owner who was both frugal & community-oriented. Cutting office staff’s pay would have never happened under his leadership.

    I understand the team has a $300 million debt load since the stadium was renovated, but when you’re leading the league in new ticket sales, are these payroll cuts absolutely necessary?

    I fear since Lamar’s death, his four children are fighting for a bigger piece of the pie than they received when their father ran the franchise. How many great businesses are wrecked after the founder dies & his mercenary children begin battling for money.

    I don’t have a side in this fight, if the players win, I fear it will be MLB all over again with wild free agent spending, no college draft etc. If the owners win, we’ll have an 18-game season, more price increases, international games & more empty seats.

    I for one am encouraging every NFL fan to boycott the purchase of any NFL Licensed gear. It’s about our only option to make both sides know we’re even here, they really don’t care until it costs them $$$. Swear off all NFL products from now until one year after the CBA eventually gets signed, cut both sides out of a couple of hundred million dollars.

  48. normswifevera says: Jun 4, 2011 5:17 PM

    Why exactly are the Chiefs and the Bucs getting targeted for supposedly “taking advantage” of not having a salary floor?

    Because the last time I checked, KC made the playoffs and the Bucs were within an eyelash of the postseason themselves.

    So yeah, let’s criticize two teams that actually know what they’re doing. They should try to be more like the Cowboys and Redskins, paying top dollar and getting nothing in return for it.

  49. joetoronto says: Jun 4, 2011 8:32 PM

    They’re not known as the Kansas City Cheapskates for nothing.

    No class at all.

  50. myballsmyrules says: Jun 5, 2011 4:08 AM

    @joetoronto

    Nice to give us all a perfect example of what a PUNK means

  51. capslockkey says: Jun 7, 2011 3:43 PM

    The Chiefs just shelled out $125 million for stadium renovations over the past two years. So you are right, they aren’t in the same financial situation as other teams, just not the side of the fence you are trying to paint. Conveniently left that part out of the story though just to bash another owner.

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