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Why are the owners threatening a lockout??

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Pats726, Apr 5, 2009.

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  1. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    It's clear that many of the players believe that the 2011 season could start with a lock out by the owners. I know that this has been a tactic of business owners but really...what is the rationale by the owners in doing this? What do they have to gain by using this tactic? What are they going to tell the public to get the public on their side?
    It just doesn't make sense that the owners would do this especially in this environment. For them to take the game away from a public that loves football is one way of basically killing the NFL. I know others have looked at the CBA and understand it all better and I am sure they can help me to understand the owners reasoning.
    I know many have said that without football for a year or two, it will not mean much and that fans will be back, but I think many thought the same about baseball or basketball. Both have changed..and NOT for the better. The interest in baseball has been declining for years and the same for roundball. The NFL is king of the hill in pro sports and yet with a lockout and labor trouble could be skidiung down very quickly with these actions.
    Is it just a threat or would teh owners basically kill the sport?? Thoughts??
     
  2. Maroney TD

    Maroney TD On the Game Day Roster

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    Baseball has actually be increasing revenue for years although this year it might soften a bit. Last year for baseball was their best year ever so I don't agree that it's been in decline. There is no doubt that the NFL is #1 though which is why I think it would be foolish for the owners to cause any missed games. It would still be #1 upon it's return but there will certainly be some fans that are lost in the process.
     
  3. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    The really odd thing about it is that in the NFL, the owners prefer to have a labor contract, while the players would prefer to play without one.

    In their business lives, the owners are exactly the opposite, which makes them hypocrites, I guess.

    The difference is that the players have a lot more leverage in sports than workers do in corporations or industry.

    For this reason, the owners would much rather have a CBA in place rather than eliminate the draft and salary cap, and then try to keep salaries down through collusion.
     
  4. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    To answer your question. As far as I can make out, different owners have different motivations for wanting to force changes in the CBA at this time.

    The "revenue challenged" franchises want to be able to spend less on salaries in relation to revenues in a way that leaves them competitive (i.e., in a situation where everyone has to play by the same rules). Think Vikings, Raiders, Jaguars, to name just a few.

    The "rich" franchises (the Pats are clearly a member of this group) could afford to bust the cap, but are tired of watching less successful franchises be enabled to compete with them on an equal footing while getting away with not being aggressive when it comes to marketing their Brands, selling merchandise and getting paid for Stadium naming rights (think the Bills). Bob Kraft is a leading voice for this particular chorus, along with Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder.

    Other franchises create other reasons for some owners to want to alter the playing field. The Colts, for example, benefit from a Sweetheart Tax Deal that enables them to play in a state of the art stadium without incurring a lot of Debt. The Colts carry only $43 million of debt vs. nearly $300 for the Pats and even much more for other teams; this low debt service enables the Colts to generate an Operating Profit that is almost the same as the Pats, despite Revenues that are nearly $80 million lower. This doesn't sit well any more with Bob Kraft and several others.

    So, there are a variety of motivations among owners that make them willing to take a short term hit at this time. They are taking a long term view of franchises that are now worth over $1billion and could be worth a lot more in a decade or so. They have concluded that they will be better off in the long run if things are adjusted now and are ready to pay a price for that.

    It's speculation to say that a shortened or missed season would damage the League in the long run (i.e, beyond one or two years). No one can know what will be the outcome. However, the owners have built up War Chests in anticipation of a Lockout and have weighed the costs and benefits pretty carefully, I think, from their perspectives. These generally aren't the same yahoos that have run Baseball for decades, but are a pretty level-headed group of business folks who love the game but for whom their NFL investment is their largest personal investment (an exception of course exists in Seattle, but not everyone helped found Microsoft).
     
  5. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Baseball may be increasing revenue...but it's far less popular now than it was 40...50 yars ago when it was REALLY America''s past time. It's changed...and not for the better.
    Do you think the owners really wish for a CBA and the players do not? If the owners do want a CBA..then why would they be getting ready for a lock out?
    I undesrtand that owners have different reasons for wishing to change parts of the CBA..that has been thatw ay for awhile..but why the lockout?? Why basically shut down teh league? How does that make sense? Is that not a large gamble to have a lockout in this economy? What is odd is that few of the fans of todat remember the labor trouble in the 80s..which did not help it's growth at that time. Maybe the owners are looking at it long term, but shutting the league down is more like cutting one's nose to spite their face. Many may look at it as millionaire players battling billionaires who own teams..and will not care at all. I just think theres a large down side that is being overlooked.
     
  6. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Sorry for stating the obvious, but the owners want the players to make concessions in the next CBA.

    If they don't they get locked out and we have a work stoppage until the two sides can bridge their difference and come to an agreement.

    That's why any management team would threaten a lockout.

    We can debate the issues as to whether WE feel its worth it for the owners and players to have a disagreement, but all that matters in the context of a lockout or strike is that either side believes they have an issue.

    Or am I missing something?
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  7. cmasspatsfan

    cmasspatsfan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Check attendance records 40-50 years ago, they're much, much higher now. Football was second class back then, its been the last 20+ years that football has gained a big following, so in relation to football today, baseball may not be as big but its more popular than ever.

    Believe me, the owners have calculated any losses that may incur to the gains they may benefit from going forward, they know.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  8. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    PFS74 hit on many of the reasons that the owners are looking at a lockout.
    Here are some others.

    One of the reasons the owners are threatening a lockout is because they realized that they gave away too much when the last CBA was signed. So they used their "get out of jail free" option to shorten the length of the CBA.

    Another reason is the economy. The owners know that their attendance and therefore the revenue is going to be down because people aren't going to drop $500-$600 to take a family of 4 to a single game. There are things that just are more important.

    I think that the more propserous owners want the NFLPA to realize that the league losing 1 or more franchises hurts the players much more than it hurts the owners. And with such "small market" franchises as Jacksonville, Buffalo, and others being unable to pay out the money needed to be competative, that its much more likely that they will disappear, and thereby causing a loss of a minimum of 61 player spots. Losing one NFL franchise won't be that problematic for the other teams. In fact, they will actually end up with more money to spend in the long term.
     
  9. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    good analysis and good point. from the owners' perspective, there's nothing "magic" about "32" as the number of NFL franchises other than it makes for two equal-sized conferences and four divisions of four teams each; (also, there's nothing magic to them about the specific locales in which those franchises are playing today). many owners feel that marginal franchises have been subsidized for too long without even trying to pull their weight (best example, the Bills).

    And, according to the stories published at the time, it was Bob Kraft and Jerry Jones (along with Dan Snyder and a couple of others) who salvaged the last CBA by going against their own self-interest at the time. They won't be so generous this time around.

    And, while Bob Kraft is too good a businessman to let his emotions cloud his business decisions, it doesn't help that several of the less viable and more dependent franchises were leading the chorus against the Pats during Spygate. He doesn't owe those guys anything and might relish sticking it to them, all other things being equal of course.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  10. fnordcircle

    fnordcircle brady plz PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The NBA's flagging popularity has more to do with the loss of #23 than their labor issues.

    Yeah fans of baseball proved to definitely not be worth their word when it came to all the anger over the strike season back in the 90s. It's as big as it ever was in terms of sheer numbers.

    Fans of the NFL will do the same if there is a lost or shortened season. There might be a season at most of lower attendance/viewer numbers and then it will go right back up again.

    So to answer the question, the owners have more to lose if they show weakness at the bargaining table than they do if they go ahead with a lockout.
     
  11. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Joe6pk----It is obvious that they will try to use the hammer to not give up concessions to the players...welcome the lock out..and it MAY have different owners wanting it for different reasons..but bottom line..as they MAY look at it in the long run..they have a BIG PR problem with the public. They can look at all calclations and such..but selling the public on it is a big difference. they may not wish to lose out on a weak CBA..and they should not..but on the other hand, talking about a lock out will not, I believe, sit well with the public. How will they explain bargaining in faith when they are quietly planning a lockout way in advance? They risk REALLy poor publicity and will have to sell it to the public. SO it does matter what the owners do. Both sides may feel strongly..but getting to an agreement MAY be more important than a work stoppage/lock out..There's TONS of money...bet on football and fantasy footnall and the like..I do not think it would be at all popular to pull the plug on a season. Killing the golden goose is something neither side wishes for.
    CMassPF---I think while raw bumbers are certainly higher now..I mean with expansion and TV those should be higher, but many years ago baseball was in America's soul it was America's past time..It is NOT that now at all. Football rules...THAT is the way it has become. It's not just what happened with labor in baseball but how the league is run and that has put baseball on a downside. Stats do not tell the whole story. There is a whole generation or two that has a LOT less interest in the game than a LONG time ago. THAT long agao..I could not see baseball in decline as it has been. Ask this question to any of the older people in the sports media and they say how it has declined..a smaller piece of the overall pie of sports.
    Also owners may KNOW...but there is a large untangible in a lockout..all calculations could be skewed and unknowns may change those figures.
    DBrz---Yes,,they gave up a bit too much..but other things in the CBA might not have worked out well for them..I think they were wise in doing what they did..as THAt extension was done rushed and under the gun.
    It's funny that this has not been mentioned...losing a franchise or two or three. Instead, Goodell is wanting to more or less expand in time. I agree that a new CBA has to reflect the whole economy and the players know that as well. But they also need to get started on this early to prevent bad things in thefuture. Owners who are counting on a lockout as helping thesport may be out of luck. Things are golden in the FL...thinking they will always be like that is folly. A blind spot could easily make the league stumble. I do agree that there will be a big fight again betwen the larger prosperous markets and the smaller ones.
    PF74---Nothing magical, but I do not think any of thepro leagues wish to shrink at all. There may not be anything magical about 32..it does work out freat in many ways..but I do not see any league wishing to contract..Yes it was Kones..Kraft who did give in a bit against the maller owners..and they may NOT do that this time.I really think that that also was another reason why they got out of the CBA...not sure they will concede again..in that way.
    fnc---I Agreed Bird, Johnson and Jordan are all gone..and that has a lot to do with it..not the same game though...it is still quite popular but down some from its peak.
    Baseball is better now..steroids REALLY saved baseball..without the Sammy and Mark homer derby and Bonds..would baseball have made the comeback? But teh one thing about all of this..looking back at labor problems in sports..all of those times took place in more economic good times..having labor issues with bad economics might be a LOT different. I am sure the hard core fans would be back...but would all the fans of the sport?? I was at one time a die hard sports fan..baseball and basketball as much as football. Both those sports to me have changed..and to me lessened...much more the occasional fan if at all.
    A bad CBA could hurt the owners of course..but planning for that so far in advance is hardly bargaining in good faith. Planning that it will not be negotiated is hardly one of strength..and it will not be popular. Both players and owners have a lot to gain by getting a new CBA done..I really think BOTH have a lot to lose if there is either a lock out or other labor trouble.
     
  12. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    It's just like any job. You can still work without a CBA. Most employers prefer it that way. Usually workers go on strike when they don't have a contract for a long while. In football though, players might prefer playing without a contract.
     
  13. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Oh...I agree..as others have pointed out..it is the OWNERS that may want a CBA to be in place...and that may be their excuse for a lockout. It will show though a LOT about SMith and Goodell whether this gets done or not..time for both to step up to the plate!! Hopefully they will not whiff.
     
  14. fnordcircle

    fnordcircle brady plz PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If you are gauging popularity in percentages you are right, if you are gauging popularity in sheer numbers, you are wrong.

    Baseball is bigger now numbers-wise than it ever has been. Sad to say it, but the strike did not hurt the sport.
     
  15. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There really are only two tactics for each side. The parties can either negotiate or withhold their side of the contractual relationship. The players can threaten not to play. The owner can threaten not to allow them to pay. It really is that simple.

    OWNERS
    negotiation
    lockout

    PLAYERS
    negotiation
    strike
     
  16. Frezo

    Frezo In the Starting Line-Up

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    #50 Jersey

    I'm more worried Attorney Smith arguing with Attorney Goodell and the whole thing dragging on in typical lawyer fashion.
     
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Contracts as important as this SHOULD drag out in typical lawyer fashion. They have almost a year to work on a new agreement. They need to have a new agreement before franchisees are designated in February 2010.

     
  18. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's misleading. Baseball in baseball towns like Boston, NY, Chicago, etc. are making big revenues. But baseball is increasingly becoming a regional sport. There are teams in certain parts of the country that can't give away tickets. Even the Tampa Rays had trouble selling tickets when they were leading the American League East for most of the season.

    The problem with MLB is that many teams know they are eliminated from playoff contention before the first pitch of the season. Teams like the Pirates have absolutely no chance of competiting for the playoffs barring some fluke. Even when a team with not a big fan base and revenues like the Rays hit it big, typically it is only a short term thing since they will get picked apart when their best players hit free agency. This is what the NFL wants to avoid.
     
  19. E Belichick Unum

    E Belichick Unum On the Game Day Roster

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    If you want to know why the owners feel the need to reopen the CBA, below is valid reason. If they are going to pay millions to players they should be able to recoup lost salary in the case of player misconduct/stupidity.


    FOX Sports on MSN - NFL - Source: Plax wins battle vs. Giants over bonus $$
     
  20. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    As was pointed out before..RG is not at attorney..he has helped before with the CBA negotiations..but it was Tags who really moved it along and got it done. They have a lot of rime..but they have larger issues than before...and these are rookies.. I don't care how much Goodell did in the past..as now he is grand poohba, he has shown poor leadership.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
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