It’s not the $40 million per year that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell makes, but new XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck will be able to buy steak whenever he wants.
According to SportsBusiness Journal (via Rachel Bachman of the Wall Street Journal), Luck will receive $20 million guaranteed over multiple years as the leader of Vince McMahon’s resurrected football venture. The number could end up going north of $30 million, if the league succeeds.
The number of years in “multiple” is key, for a couple of reasons. First, it reveals the average salary; $20 million over three years obviously has much more annual value than $20 million over five years. Second, it may shed light on the number of years that are funded by McMahon for the second attempt to make the XFL a first-class operation.
“Vince in a very sort of clear-eyed way analyzed the original XFL [and] realized that there are a number of things that needed to be done better,” Luck said last week in a visit to the #PFTPM podcast. “Clearly there was a belief that the quality of play simply wasn’t at the point that it needed to be, particularly when you consider there was national television. We’re going to be very, very focused, laser-like focused on making sure that as we prepare for a 2020 launch. The good news is we have the time to do this in a very sort of methodical manner. Very focused on producing a high level of play. We believe that football is popular because people understand it in many cases in this country and want to make sure that we’re offering a great level of play.
“I think our business plan is solid. I think the capital structure and that money of course is coming from Vince who’s got an incredible passion for the game. I think that’s solid. All in all I think that lessons were learned from the original league. Also I think at the end of the day, it’s a little bit of a different era in the sense of technology and what we have available both from a health and safety standpoint, for players, for coaches in terms of competition on the field, for practice, for fan engagement. I think it’s almost a different world if you think about what was around 2001 versus today. I think that’s going to be a real benefit for us.”
Regardless of how it turns out, Luck will be getting real money to turn the XFL into a real football league. If similar money is available for players, the tug of war between the AAF and the XFL could get interesting.