Posted by Will Brinson
The matter of sharing revenue is a big deal for the NFL and NFLPA. In fact, most people would probably agree it's the biggest deal with respect to the current labor negotiations.
However, the issue of revenue sharing between owners is also a tremendous obstacle that the owners have to overcome before finding common ground with the players.
And if you think it's not a problem, then you haven't heard Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talk about how the rest of the owners are helping to pay for the Vikings new stadium.
"Right now, we are subsidizing this market," Jones said, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "It's unthinkable to think that you've got the market you got here - 3.5 million people - and have teams like Kansas City and Green Bay subsidizing the market. That will stop.
"That's going to stop. That's on its way out."
As Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal noted on Twitter, there's a reason why this subject has not been written about much despite being an important matter: the owners aren't going to budge off their stance.
Well, at least the rich(er) ones anyway: Jones and the rest of the owners with extraordinary deep pockets were talked into revenue sharing for the first time in the last CBA deal.
And such distribution of money, along with the revenue split given to the players, was precisely why they opted out of the deal that they agreed to back in 2006. (Ironically, Mike Brown of the Bengals and Ralph Wilson of the Bills were the only two owners to oppose the deal.)
It's also one of the unstated obstacles to a new CBA; you might hear talk from ownership of player factions during this process, but the notion that the owners are completely unified is just silly.
There are owners who want more money from other owners, and there are owners who don't want go hand out additional money simply because they're more committed to generating revenue by investing in their product.
From a negotiating standpoint, this is problematic, because the various factions of owners have differing viewpoints on splitting up the $2 billion pie of revenue.
But it's something that'll have to be bridged before the NFL and NFLPA can reach a deal; and Jones' hardline stance could be an indication that everyone's on the same page.
Or an ominous forewarning that there's some clear-cut dissonance amongst owners on the topic.
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