One of the biggest complaints throughout the labor disagreement between the NFL and NFLPA is that the owners won't "open their books" for the players. In case that term isn't clear, the players want to scrutinize the financial records of the owners to see if the owners are making as much (or as "little," if you will) money as they claim they are.
This opening of the books may turn into a dealbreaker. In fact, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reports that it might become a dealbreaker beginning almost immediately.
According to one of Mullen's sources, the union has decided that they will give "not 1 dollar more [without] financial transparency."
This is in reference to the fact that there's been movement on the issue of revenue sharing between the two sides -- once $1 billion apart, they were reportedly just $750-800 million apart by the time mediation ended on Monday night.
"The players really think that the NFL opening their financials has become the key to getting a deal done," Mullen's source told her early Tuesday.
The players are probably correct. As of right now, the owners keep claiming "We're making only $XX,XXX,XXX.XX." This is a problematic claim, however, because they refuse to provide any evidence to prove that this claim is true.
Given what the NFLPA was able to uncover in the most recent momentum victory -- Judge Doty's ruling on the NFL's television "war chest" contracts -- it's difficult to blame them for completely and inherently trusting that whatever the owners tell them is 100 percent true.
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