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OWNERS APPROVE NEW LABOR DEAL! (1 Viewer)

For the record, I believe the Bills are in one of the smallest markets in the league, but they ranked 22nd in total revenue in 2004 with $173 million. Not too shabby.

 
For the record, I believe the Bills are in one of the smallest markets in the league, but they ranked 22nd in total revenue in 2004 with $173 million. Not too shabby.
All of this despite a senile owner. :thumbup:

 
Is it weird that the resolution of this thing has put me in a really good mood? No uncapped 2007, no potential lockout or decertification and strike, no "Yankees" gap in talent on the field, no more labor problems for 6 more years.

Anybody else feel like a cloud has lifted?
:goodposting: Definitely a cloud has lifted. As I am a Footballguy and die hard fantasy football fanatic, the prospect of renewed labor strife/strikes/lockouts a la NHL was not a fun thing to be confronting. NFLPA/college pro prospects also dodged a MLB-style NFL with Cincy spending $20 million (or whatever minimum they could get away with) a year and Dallas spending $200 million (or whatever maximum they could generate and still afford to keep the water in Jerry Jone's Texas-Stadium shaped jacuzzi hot) a year. Now I know that the best professional sport in the USA is going to be on the field throughout this decade, with a mostly-level playing field for all 32 teams and labor equity for the players! :excited:

No empty fall Sundays with nothing to watch, no replacement players/scabs, no empty stadiums (think XFL here). :thumbup: Kudos to commissioner Tagliabue.

Mark

 
It may not be 6 years of peace. The extension can be voided by either side after 4 years. Since the current CBA was fine in 2006, this contract may only buy us 3 more years beyond what the old one gave us before we may be put through it again. :(

 
Page 2 at ESPN

What a concession by the owners like Dan Snyder, who should be commended. Snyder creates innovative revenue streams specific to his team, but -- for the good of the league -- he's willing to simply give even more of it away to the other owners who either can't (or won't) be equally aggressive. (I don't want to hear any more anti-Snyder talk from fans of these small-market teams that will now be the beneficiaries of the largesse from entrepreneurial owners like Snyder and the equally unliked Jerry Jones.)
One very interesting thing to me is how much pressure a guy like Snyder was feeling about the impending cap bloodbath his team would be facing if a deal didn't get done. He is a jerk, but he desperately wants to win -- I wonder if he agreed to a deal that wasn't great for him financially just because it would allow him to remain competitive from a cap perspective.If that's the case, I have a new level of appreciation for a guy who would choose trying to win over squeezing out every last dime from the deal.

 
This quote from Snyder on Tags sums it up for me: "It's been a long, long process," Redskins owner Dan Snyder said. "Halfway through today I didn't think it was going to get done. I think Paul did a heck of a job of corralling people who could have gone in a lot of difference directions and built some consensus."

I'm not afraid to say it - Paul Tagliabue may be the greatest commish of all time for any sport.

As a leader he gets my :bow:

Getting 32 people of any ilk together on an issue is tough enough. Pulling together 32 people when that group includes some of the largest egos in the universe who compete against each other most of the time is an amazing feat.

J

 
One very interesting thing to me is how much pressure a guy like Snyder was feeling about the impending cap bloodbath his team would be facing if a deal didn't get done. He is a jerk, but he desperately wants to win -- I wonder if he agreed to a deal that wasn't great for him financially just because it would allow him to remain competitive from a cap perspective.

If that's the case, I have a new level of appreciation for a guy who would choose trying to win over squeezing out every last dime from the deal.
From everything stated publicly by Snyder, Gibbs, and Cerrato (especially Gibbs) prior to the agreement, they badly wanted a new agreement with the NFLPA. That's despite the fact that, after 1 year of belt-tightening through contract restructurings, they could have spent all they wanted to add and retain players. He has the money, he knows how to earn it, he's willing to spend it, yet he still wanted a new CBA with a cap. Draw your own conclusions. It's pretty easy to see he understands the value of competitive balance within the league.
 
This quote from Snyder on Tags sums it up for me: "It's been a long, long process," Redskins owner Dan Snyder said. "Halfway through today I didn't think it was going to get done. I think Paul did a heck of a job of corralling people who could have gone in a lot of difference directions and built some consensus."

I'm not afraid to say it - Paul Tagliabue may be the greatest commish of all time for any sport.

As a leader he gets my :bow:

Getting 32 people of any ilk together on an issue is tough enough. Pulling together 32 people when that group includes some of the largest egos in the universe who compete against each other most of the time is an amazing feat.

J
For hardcare fans, this whole story will make for an interesting documentary when all the stories come out. I wish they'd had a videocamera in that room for those two days.
 
This quote from Snyder on Tags sums it up for me: "It's been a long, long process," Redskins owner Dan Snyder said. "Halfway through today I didn't think it was going to get done. I think Paul did a heck of a job of corralling people who could have gone in a lot of difference directions and built some consensus."

I'm not afraid to say it - Paul Tagliabue may be the greatest commish of all time for any sport.

As a leader he gets my :bow:

Getting 32 people of any ilk together on an issue is tough enough. Pulling together 32 people when that group includes some of the largest egos in the universe who compete against each other most of the time is an amazing feat.

J
For hardcare fans, this whole story will make for an interesting documentary when all the stories come out. I wish they'd had a videocamera in that room for those two days.
They probably considered doing it, but then decided they would have to share the revenue from it with the players, so... ;)
 
This quote from Snyder on Tags sums it up for me: "It's been a long, long process," Redskins owner Dan Snyder said. "Halfway through today I didn't think it was going to get done. I think Paul did a heck of a job of corralling people who could have gone in a lot of difference directions and built some consensus."

I'm not afraid to say it - Paul Tagliabue may be the greatest commish of all time for any sport.

As a leader he gets my :bow:

Getting 32 people of any ilk together on an issue is tough enough. Pulling together 32 people when that group includes some of the largest egos in the universe who compete against each other most of the time is an amazing feat.

J
Even better than Bud Selig :D
 
After review, Wilson stands by 'no' vote

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"It's a bad deal. And it's particularly a bad deal for medium- and small-market clubs."

By MARK GAUGHAN

News Sports Reporter

3/10/2006

Buffalo Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. thinks the National Football League's owners got ripped off in their new collective bargaining agreement with the players union, and he stands by his vote to reject the deal.

"This is a bad deal for the NFL for the next six years," Wilson said Thursday from his home in Michigan. "It's a bad deal. It's too much money; 59.5 percent [of revenue for the players] is far too much. It's a bad deal. And it's particularly a bad deal for medium- and small-market clubs."

Wilson cast one of only two votes against ratification of the deal, which extended the league's contract with the players through 2011. Cincinnati also voted negative in a 30-2 decision.

The Bills' 87-year-old owner says that in addition to the fact the players got too big a share of the league's $6 billion in annual revenue, the extension does not come close to adequately addressing the disparity in revenue between the big-market teams and the small-market teams.

"The new plan doesn't address the real structural defect in the whole sharing of revenue," Wilson said.

Big-market teams like Washington, New England and Dallas have tapped into revenue streams - from sales of stadium naming rights, luxury boxes, local sponsorships and other areas - that do not have to be shared with the other clubs. The result is Washington took in $287 million in revenue in 2004, according to Forbes Magazine, while the bottom-earning team (Arizona) took in $153 million. The Bills ranked 22nd at $173 million, Forbes estimated. That local revenue drives up the costs to all teams because it increases the salary cap. When Washington sells a luxury box for $200,000, the cap for every team gets bumped up an incremental amount.

The owners did approve a new mechanism for sharing local revenue. The plan will transfer an average of about $150 million a year in league earnings to low-revenue clubs. That seems like a lot, perhaps an average of $10 million a year to the bottom 15 clubs, depending on how the formula works. However, Wilson says it's not nearly enough because player costs overall go up so much.

Under the terms of the CBA extension, the players' share of the total revenue is going up from 54.5 percent (in 2005) to 59.5 percent for the next six years. Wilson says the new local revenue sharing, in effect, will allow the low-revenue teams to make up that increase. It's not designed exactly to cover those costs, but that in reality is what it does, Wilson said. However, he says the disparity in local revenue remains as great as it was in the past.

"Nothing's changed," Wilson said. "Basically, without going into all the details, the deal is just about the same. Maybe the high revenue clubs are picking up a slight increase in money. But it's still not good."

That being said, Wilson said he believes the Bills still will be able to compete on the field with the big-revenue clubs.

"Yeah, we'll compete," he said. "We have to watch our costs in all directions and run a very cost-effective operation. We will be active in free agency. And we'll try to make prudent decisions on players. But we're not going to be able to throw money away like these high revenue clubs. That hasn't changed."

When Wilson came out of the owners' meeting Wednesday night, he said he voted against the deal because the "didn't understand" the terms of the revenue-sharing plan. That quote got widespread national attention.

Wilson said Thursday many owners didn't understand it.

"With less than an hour left before the union's deadline, the owners were presented with a hastily drafted and complex term sheet for a revenue sharing pool put forth by the league," Wilson said.

"Several critical elements of the term sheet had not been previously discussed or reviewed by team executives. Examples included the funding of payments by as of yet unidentified revenue sources, the use of bank financing of the league to fund annual pool shortfalls and qualifiers based on club efforts."

"Most of the owners didn't understand any of this stuff, including me," Wilson said.

Wilson said the owners and their chief aides barely had time to read the proposal before it was time to vote.

Asked why the other small-market teams, such as Jacksonville, Oakland and Kansas City, voted in favor of the plan, Wilson said:

"I got a sense in the room that these fellows were just afraid of any work stoppage. They were afraid of the union. They were going to accept anything. The union should have asked for a heckuva lot more. They're happy with what they got, I'm sure."

Wilson said the NFL's general managers got a dose of the tough terms of the deal from a league perspective on a conference call Thursday morning.

"The general managers of each club had a conference call this morning with the staff of the league," he said. "And when it was through, one of the general managers asked, "Did we get anything out of this [meaning the league, as opposed to the players]? And the reply from the league staff member was, "If you've got a blank piece of paper in front of you, that's what you got.' "

Wilson said it is going to be up to the Bills organization to work as hard as ever to maximize its local revenue capabilities.

"We have no pricing power," he said. "Some of our seats are half the price of seats in other stadiums. Our suites are maybe a third of what other franchises get in their brand new stadiums that we helped pay for in the last 10 years."

"We'll just do our best," Wilson said. "We've got such great fans in Western New York. This deal is not a good one for the league, and it's certainly not a good one for the small-market teams. It's not good for Buffalo. I ask the fans, the businesses and the media to continue their wonderful support, because this is going to be a tough deal for Buffalo over the years. It's not going to get any better."

"We'll make it," Wilson said. "All we've got to do now is win a few games."
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060310/1027103.asp
 
After review, Wilson stands by 'no' vote

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"It's a bad deal. And it's particularly a bad deal for medium- and small-market clubs."

By MARK GAUGHAN

News Sports Reporter

3/10/2006

Buffalo Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. thinks the National Football League's owners got ripped off in their new collective bargaining agreement with the players union, and he stands by his vote to reject the deal.

"This is a bad deal for the NFL for the next six years," Wilson said Thursday from his home in Michigan. "It's a bad deal. It's too much money; 59.5 percent [of revenue for the players] is far too much. It's a bad deal. And it's particularly a bad deal for medium- and small-market clubs."

Wilson cast one of only two votes against ratification of the deal, which extended the league's contract with the players through 2011. Cincinnati also voted negative in a 30-2 decision.

The Bills' 87-year-old owner says that in addition to the fact the players got too big a share of the league's $6 billion in annual revenue, the extension does not come close to adequately addressing the disparity in revenue between the big-market teams and the small-market teams.

"The new plan doesn't address the real structural defect in the whole sharing of revenue," Wilson said.

Big-market teams like Washington, New England and Dallas have tapped into revenue streams - from sales of stadium naming rights, luxury boxes, local sponsorships and other areas - that do not have to be shared with the other clubs. The result is Washington took in $287 million in revenue in 2004, according to Forbes Magazine, while the bottom-earning team (Arizona) took in $153 million. The Bills ranked 22nd at $173 million, Forbes estimated. That local revenue drives up the costs to all teams because it increases the salary cap. When Washington sells a luxury box for $200,000, the cap for every team gets bumped up an incremental amount.

The owners did approve a new mechanism for sharing local revenue. The plan will transfer an average of about $150 million a year in league earnings to low-revenue clubs. That seems like a lot, perhaps an average of $10 million a year to the bottom 15 clubs, depending on how the formula works. However, Wilson says it's not nearly enough because player costs overall go up so much.

Under the terms of the CBA extension, the players' share of the total revenue is going up from 54.5 percent (in 2005) to 59.5 percent for the next six years. Wilson says the new local revenue sharing, in effect, will allow the low-revenue teams to make up that increase. It's not designed exactly to cover those costs, but that in reality is what it does, Wilson said. However, he says the disparity in local revenue remains as great as it was in the past.

"Nothing's changed," Wilson said. "Basically, without going into all the details, the deal is just about the same. Maybe the high revenue clubs are picking up a slight increase in money. But it's still not good."

That being said, Wilson said he believes the Bills still will be able to compete on the field with the big-revenue clubs.

"Yeah, we'll compete," he said. "We have to watch our costs in all directions and run a very cost-effective operation. We will be active in free agency. And we'll try to make prudent decisions on players. But we're not going to be able to throw money away like these high revenue clubs. That hasn't changed."

When Wilson came out of the owners' meeting Wednesday night, he said he voted against the deal because the "didn't understand" the terms of the revenue-sharing plan. That quote got widespread national attention.

Wilson said Thursday many owners didn't understand it.

"With less than an hour left before the union's deadline, the owners were presented with a hastily drafted and complex term sheet for a revenue sharing pool put forth by the league," Wilson said.

"Several critical elements of the term sheet had not been previously discussed or reviewed by team executives. Examples included the funding of payments by as of yet unidentified revenue sources, the use of bank financing of the league to fund annual pool shortfalls and qualifiers based on club efforts."

"Most of the owners didn't understand any of this stuff, including me," Wilson said.

Wilson said the owners and their chief aides barely had time to read the proposal before it was time to vote.

Asked why the other small-market teams, such as Jacksonville, Oakland and Kansas City, voted in favor of the plan, Wilson said:

"I got a sense in the room that these fellows were just afraid of any work stoppage. They were afraid of the union. They were going to accept anything. The union should have asked for a heckuva lot more. They're happy with what they got, I'm sure."

Wilson said the NFL's general managers got a dose of the tough terms of the deal from a league perspective on a conference call Thursday morning.

"The general managers of each club had a conference call this morning with the staff of the league," he said. "And when it was through, one of the general managers asked, "Did we get anything out of this [meaning the league, as opposed to the players]? And the reply from the league staff member was, "If you've got a blank piece of paper in front of you, that's what you got.' "

Wilson said it is going to be up to the Bills organization to work as hard as ever to maximize its local revenue capabilities.

"We have no pricing power," he said. "Some of our seats are half the price of seats in other stadiums. Our suites are maybe a third of what other franchises get in their brand new stadiums that we helped pay for in the last 10 years."

"We'll just do our best," Wilson said. "We've got such great fans in Western New York. This deal is not a good one for the league, and it's certainly not a good one for the small-market teams. It's not good for Buffalo. I ask the fans, the businesses and the media to continue their wonderful support, because this is going to be a tough deal for Buffalo over the years. It's not going to get any better."

"We'll make it," Wilson said. "All we've got to do now is win a few games."
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060310/1027103.asp
Wow, very interesting read. So basically his belief is that the only thing that basically changed for the smaller teams is that the players get more money. I think it seems as if he's mostly upset that the smaller teams aren't being subsidized by the larger teams. I don't recall seeing anything about the "cash over cap" issue and I know that some teams are not happy that some of the larger revenue teams have been able to spend so much money on coaches. But if those are his gripes, I can't give them much weight. I know Wilson is old-fashioned and that Buffalo is a struggling area, but I think that there probably are other avenues for revenue to explore.

 
sounds to me like the new revenue sharing plan will help cover most (if not all) of the increase in player costs, so this deal basically keeps things as they were. I'm sure most owners and fans can live with that. The richer teams will still have an advantage, but it won't be insurmountable. Ralph will probably come across as a bad guy here for his no vote as many outsiders probably think he's just being greedy or cheap, but I think it's more about his willingness and desire to stick up for all the small market teams in the league (some of whom apparently were too scared to do so themselves). He's been around a long time and has done a lot for the game. I don't think he's as clueless as some people probably think after hearing his "I didn't understand it" comments. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this whole agreement shakes out, but like most fans, I'm very happy it got done.

The Bills have done a great job over the past 5 or 6 years of becoming a more regional franchise, bringing people in for games from all over Central NY and down from Canada, etc. They've also made significant improvements to the stadium (one of the oldest and biggest stadiums in the league) in the form of adding luxury suites and club seats to increase revenue, and I believe they'd probably rank pretty high in overall attendance numbers as well. The problem still remains that the economy in Buffalo isn't great, people who live there don't have a ton of disposable income, and there aren't any Fortune 500 companies located there like there are in many of the league's larger markets. So, their ticket prices are always going to be low in comparison to the rest of the league, but the fact that they are able to generate the 22nd largest amount of revenue despite charging the lowest ticket prices and having an old and somewhat outdated stadium in a cold weather city is pretty impressive actually.

 
Is anyone else suspicious about this $102M cap number? Where did that come from? For days we've been seeing anywhere from $105M to >$110M, and all of a sudden its just 102? That's a $3-$8+ Million difference per team, or $100-$250M total difference.

I think the NFLPA caved on revenue more than is being reported. When the "Final Offer" was made and Tags said he would take it to the owners, I saw one report that listed 59.6% of "increased revenues over DGR" instead of "Total" revenues. One of the contentions made by teams was the debt payments they had, specifically regarding stadium construction. Onlookers had been predicting an agreement closer to 58%, and instead we get a 0.4% settlement by the NFLPA?

I say :bs:

Upshaw caved a lot more than is being reported, but got Tags to agree to spin it so that it appeared he only caved a little bit.
Answered here by Mark Maske. Basically, when people talked about 59.5%, everyone assumed that the cap would be set at that level. Instead, the cap is set two percentage points below that, on the assumption that teams would outspend the cap (with prorated signing bonuses and such) by that amount. The cap would be adjusted each year if this "cash over cap" amount is higher or lower than that.Pretty creative, if you ask me -- both sides get to look like winners.

 
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NFL does Bills no favors with new labor agreement

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What the NFL has done is widen the chasm between large- and small-market teams

3/12/2006

By BOB DICESARE

The quest for a new NFL collective bargaining agreement was never about the owners versus the players. The league knew the players' association, once the weakest in sports, finally had its act together. There was no doubt the owners would to have to surrender a larger cut of the colossal revenue pie.

How big a piece the players would receive was relatively incidental to reaching an agreement. The central issue was the manner in which owners would address the widening disparity in gross team revenues and ensure a long-term competitive balance in a sport that worships at the altar of parity. It's on that front the league failed, and miserably so.

What the NFL has done is widen the chasm between large- and small-market teams. Franchises such as Buffalo and Cincinnati that spend to the cap would incur $20 million in player salary increases over the next two years, a burden that exceeds what they'll receive from the NFL's laughable, bare-bones revenue-sharing plan.

It's no wonder Bills owner Ralph Wilson was struggling to comprehend the finer points of the deal. Who could make sense of backward logic that places a greater financial burden on the franchises least equipped to bear it?

Bengals President Mike Brown joined Wilson in voting against a deal that was - let's be clear about this - a railroad job. Big-market owners dragged their feet until the threat of an uncapped season terrified their little brothers. Then they offered meager revenue-sharing concessions to create the illusion of an in-house compromise.

It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if small-market interests remained united and called their bluff. There's only so much small-market teams can spend on players, cap or not. Remove the ceiling, however, and the big boys would have availed themselves to bidding wars that would have taken a substantial chunk out of their profit margins. They're the ones who should have been shuddering at the prospect of no salary cap.

But the small-market bloc collapsed, with only Wilson and Brown standing firm in dissent.

"The deal is tremendously costly," Brown told Bengals.com. "The high-revenue teams, although they were willing to shift money to low-revenue teams, they weren't prepared to shift money in proportion to the amount they put cost on us."

It won't take long at all for the downside of this new collective bargaining agreement to come to the fore. Large-market franchises will continue to lure prime talent by offering signing bonuses their little brothers lack the liquidity to match. Never mind that bonuses have been capped. They still remain an issue of affordability.

Teams rolling in revenue will continue driving up salaries on the coaching market, further taxing clubs on the lower end of the financial scale. Remember, Gregg Williams doubled his salary when Washington hired him as defensive coordinator after he was fired as head coach of the Bills.

Time will show the Williams signing was the beginning of a trend. Ego assures there will always be a pool of head coaching candidates. But how deep will that pool be once big-market clubs are paying coordinators $5 million a year, twice what the little guys are budgeting for head coaches?

Reports are circulating that Paul Tagliabue is ready to step down as NFL commissioner at this point, which would be a shrewd bit of timing on his part. Better to leave while the applause still resonates, labor peace having been achieved, than to stick around while the deal plays out and the debilitating ramifications are exposed for all to see.

This was the defining test of Tagliabue's 17-year reign as commissioner. He should have been championing the cause for a form of revenue sharing that would have appeased the haves while fortifying the have-nots. Instead, he catered to the whims of Robert Kraft, Jerry Jones and the like, acquiesced to the mighty instead of taking a firm stance in defense of the league's overall good. "Dr. Feelgood," as one NFL owner calls Tagliabue, couldn't carry Pete Rozelle's briefcase.

Bills fans have more reason than ever to sweat the fate of the franchise in the post-Wilson era. This agreement ensures the gap in franchise values will continue to broaden, jeopardizing the stability of teams in smaller markets. If the Bills are ultimately offered to the highest bidder, which is a reasonable expectation, only an act of philanthropy born of geographic loyalty will ensure the team stays put.

Because while the Bills might remain mildly profitable in Buffalo, they would be immensely profitable in San Antonio, Las Vegas or Los Angeles. And do you really believe the owners who approved this deal would stand in the way of such a move?
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060312/1058979.asp
Naysayer Wilson stands on principle

3/12/2006

By LARRY FELSER

Ralph Wilson's "no," one of just two against the peace-at-any-cost pact between the NFL's large-market owners, the small-market owners and the Players Association, was a vote on principle. He didn't think the small-market teams were protected enough in the new six-year contract.

Yes, there is still principle in pro sports and if anyone is surprised at Wilson's protest vote they shouldn't have been. The Bills' owner has always been a for-the-good-of-the-league man. Remember that his under-the-table investment in the Oakland franchise during the early AFL days kept the Raiders from dissolving. He also saved the Patriots by staking owner Billy Sullivan to a hefty loan when Sullivan ran out of funds.
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060312/1051634.asp
 
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MANAGEMENT TYPES SAYING UNION "KICKED OUR ###"

We've heard from several front-office types around the league who believe that the NFL Players Association "kicked our ###" in conjunction with the new CBA.

"The union ate the league's lunch -- big time," said one league source.

"The owners were so focused on their pockets and infighting, they never talked about the CBA," added the source. The thinking is that Commissioner Paul Tagliabue just wanted to get the CBA done, so that he could ride into the sunset as a hero.

And some see trouble in 2008, if/when either the league or the union invoke in November of that year their right to terminate the new CBA two years early. By then, there will be a new Commissioner and possibly a new NFLPA executive director. The new duo won't have the working relationship that Tagliabue and Upshaw enjoyed, and the new Commish (whoever it might be) will feel compelled to score a slam dunk once the NFL owners realize how skewed the new deal is in the union's favor.

From a dollars-and-cents standpoint, the new CBA pumps more than $600 million into the players' pockets in 2006 and 2007 than the old deal would have paid. Indeed, some owners were wondering last week whether the league shouldn't just ride it out under the prior CBA, pocket the extra $600 million, and take their chances with the union in 2008. Beyond the money, most of the revisions seem to favor the union. As one source said, "The NFLPA folks are laughing their asses off as the new rules are revealed."

So the new CBA is, in reality, nothing more than a short-term Band Aid that solved the revenue sharing conundrum -- but that set up what could be an ugly fight in a few years between labor and management.

It's a "recipe for disaster," we've been told, since it won't be Tagliabue and Upshaw won't be the ones working out the terms the next time around.

 
Indeed, some owners were wondering last week whether the league shouldn't just ride it out under the prior CBA, pocket the extra $600 million, and take their chances with the union in 2008.
Philanthropists.
 
MANAGEMENT TYPES SAYING UNION "KICKED OUR ###"

We've heard from several front-office types around the league who believe that the NFL Players Association "kicked our ###" in conjunction with the new CBA.

"The union ate the league's lunch -- big time," said one league source.

"The owners were so focused on their pockets and infighting, they never talked about the CBA," added the source. The thinking is that Commissioner Paul Tagliabue just wanted to get the CBA done, so that he could ride into the sunset as a hero.
And that's just on the outright money issues. How about the fact that teams can no longer deactivate players that cause disruptions? Or the fact that teams can no longer insert clauses into contracts regarding returning portions of the signing bonus for drugs/alcohol or getting injured doing stuff that they're not supposed to be doing.Or how about the provisions changing how franchise tags are calculated? Or how a player franchised for 3 years in a row gets the average of the top 5 QBs, no matter who position he plays?

From the looks of things, the owners didn't get one single thing in their favor.

 
Wilson expresses concerns about Bills long-term viability

By JOHN WAWROW, AP Sports Writer

April 4, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Bills owner Ralph Wilson expressed concerns about the long-term viability of his and other NFL small-market teams during a meeting Monday with New York Gov. George Pataki.

"While I am committed to Western New York, the long-term viability of our franchise may be in serious doubt," Wilson told Pataki during a private meeting in Albany.

Wilson's comments and the meeting were made public in a release issued by the team and confirmed by Pataki spokesman Kevin Quinn on Tuesday. Wilson was not available for comment.

In the meeting, Wilson said he believes the Bills will be hampered by the new collective bargaining agreement approved last month, extending labor peace through 2012. The Bills and Cincinnati Bengals -- two of the NFL's lowest-revenue franchises -- were the only teams to vote against the deal.

Wilson believes the agreement establishes an unequal playing field between large- and small-market teams because it produces an equal allocation of player costs with an unequal allocation of revenues.

"I have 46 years invested in this franchise," said Wilson, the Bills' sole owner since he founded the team in 1960. "There are those who don't care about us, our passionate fans or our hardworking taxpayers. Well, I do. I am not going to sugarcoat this, and I am not going down without a fight. The people who have supported us for these 46 years deserve more than that."

Pataki sent a letter to NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue this week about the collective barganing agreement.

"The secure future of the Buffalo Bills in Western New York is of vital interest to me and the people of New York State," Pataki said.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said he was aware of Wilson's concerns and said the league is intent on making sure the new CBA and revenue-sharing arrangements work for all 32 teams.

"The goal of the league is to continue to have 32 strong franchises that have an equal opportunity to compete for the Super Bowl," Aiello said.

The agreement will add close to a billion dollars to the players' revenue pool.

Explaining his vote, Wilson said he didn't like being rushed into approving a deal on what he described as "a very complicated issue."

While large-market NFL franchises can draw on their region's wealth and corporations to generate additional revenue, the Bills are handcuffed because of the area's poor economic health. The region has lost hundreds of thousands of residents over the past two decades.

The Bills have been successful, however, in establishing themselves as a regional franchise. In 2000, the team moved its training camp site from Fredonia to Rochester, a much larger community home to numerous companies such as Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb and the Wegmans grocery store chain.

The Bills have taken advantage of the move by securing sponsorship deals.

The team is also limited by its stadium, which was built in 1973. Although Ralph Wilson Stadium has a seating capacity of about 74,000, it features only 164 luxury suites.

The Bills have seven years left on their stadium lease with Erie County, although Wilson has always insisted he plans to keep the team in Buffalo.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-b...ov=ap&type=lgns
 
Doesn't it seem that Ralph Wilson should be hiring someone else to help the Bills make money? While the Bills' financial security may be in question with him at the helm, is that due to the CBA or to Ralph? If the CBA and revenue sharing are confusing to him, shouldn't he hire someone to whom they're not confusing? That would give the Bills a better chance at remaining competitive. If Ralph's abilities have declined due to age, the Bills do not have to decline along with him.

 
The Bills and the Bengals (and soon be Steelers) are maintaining an ownership model that is not suited for the future of the NFL. I am speaking of the small family owners such as the Rooneys, Browns, Bidwells and Wilsons.

Please don't jump on me Steeler fans, Rooneys are doing a fine job at this time.

However, the problem is there is this big pie called NFL Revenue. Of this revenue a significant portion goes to maintaining the NFL franchise (franchise expenses) and another significant portion goes to player personnel expenses (rosters and the player payroll). The 'take home' portion of annual cash for each franchise is getting smaller and smaller. The real value in an NFL franchise is the appreciation of the franchise; but this results in very little take-home pay (annual cash).

The problem is (as I see it) is these single-family owners are looking at their cut of the pie and asking, "If this much goes for operating expense, and this much goes to player personnel then where is our [my family] suppose to get cash\revenue to pay for house, cars and other living expenses that we have grown accostumed too?"

The fact is (as I see it), the 'small family owner' [business model] is dying and the majority of owners are more interested in growing their equity (franchise appreciation) instead of annual take home cash.

 
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The Bills and the Bengals (and soon be Steelers) are maintaining an ownership model that is not suited for the future of the NFL.  I am speaking of the small family owners such as the Rooneys, Browns, Bidwells and Wilsons.

Please don't jump on me Steeler fans, Rooneys are doing a fine job at this time.

However, the problem is there is this big pie called NFL Revenue.  Of this revenue a significant portion goes to maintaining the NFL franchise (franchise expenses) and another significant portion goes to player personnel expenses (rosters and the player payroll).  The 'take home' portion of annual cash for each franchise is getting smaller and smaller.  The real value in an NFL franchise is the appreciation of the franchise; but this results in very little take-home pay (annual cash).

The problem is (as I see it) is these single-family owners are looking at their cut of the pie and asking, "If this much goes for operating expense, and this much goes to player personnel then where is our [my family] suppose to get cash\revenue to pay for house, cars and other living expenses that we have grown accostumed too?"

The fact is (as I see it), the 'small family owner' [business model] is dying and the majority of owners are more interested in growing their equity (franchise appreciation) instead of annual take home cash.
You do know that the NFL regularly sets records in revenue per year, and acquires over $5 BILLION in revenues every year now, don't you?That's over $160 MILLION on average per team. After operating costs including player salaries, the owners are still making millions every year, and the NFL operates on a system where it takes large majority block of owners to change anything.

Snyder can cry & whine all he wants. The fact is that his NFL team is nothing more than a status symbol & a toy to him, and he's still taking away beaucoup $$$ every year after paying all the bills, all the while watching his team appreciate in value. He won't change the league setup no matter how many tears he sheds. Most of the other owners realize exactly what a cash cow the NFL is - hence not wanting to alienate fans with either a strike or lockout, even though they had to make major consessions in the recent labor contract extension.

 
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The Bills and the Bengals (and soon be Steelers) are maintaining an ownership model that is not suited for the future of the NFL.  I am speaking of the small family owners such as the Rooneys, Browns, Bidwells and Wilsons.

Please don't jump on me Steeler fans, Rooneys are doing a fine job at this time.

However, the problem is there is this big pie called NFL Revenue.  Of this revenue a significant portion goes to maintaining the NFL franchise (franchise expenses) and another significant portion goes to player personnel expenses (rosters and the player payroll).  The 'take home' portion of annual cash for each franchise is getting smaller and smaller.  The real value in an NFL franchise is the appreciation of the franchise; but this results in very little take-home pay (annual cash).

The problem is (as I see it) is these single-family owners are looking at their cut of the pie and asking, "If this much goes for operating expense, and this much goes to player personnel then where is our [my family] suppose to get cash\revenue to pay for house, cars and other living expenses that we have grown accostumed too?"

The fact is (as I see it), the 'small family owner' [business model] is dying and the majority of owners are more interested in growing their equity (franchise appreciation) instead of annual take home cash.
You do know that the NFL regularly sets records in revenue per year, and acquires over $5 BILLION in revenues every year now, don't you?That's over $160 MILLION on average per team. After operating costs including player salaries, the owners are still making millions every year, and the NFL operates on a system where it takes large majority block of owners to change anything.

Snyder can cry & whine all he wants. The fact is that his NFL team is nothing more than a status symbol & a toy to him, and he's still taking away beaucoup $$$ every year after paying all the bills, all the while watching his team appreciate in value. He won't change the league setup no matter how many tears he sheds. Most of the other owners realize exactly what a cash cow the NFL is - hence not wanting to alienate fans with either a strike or lockout, even though they had to make major consessions in the recent labor contract extension.
So you are making the statement that each team gets 160 million a year in revenue and indicating you think this is plenty? I would be interested to see all the expenses an NFL team has. The salary cap alone accounts for 65.6% of that 160 million; which would leave about 55 million left for the remaining operating expenses of an NFL Franchise.I would be interested in seeing what the other NFL expenses are associated with NFL Franchises. For example, if a team pays 106 million on player salaries, I assume they are almost responsible for paying additional taxes on top of that (not sure what the Tax-Form for playing professional athletes are).

 
So you are making the statement that each team gets 160 million a year in revenue and indicating you think this is plenty? I would be interested to see all the expenses an NFL team has. The salary cap alone accounts for 65.6% of that 160 million; which would leave about 55 million left for the remaining operating expenses of an NFL Franchise.I would be interested in seeing what the other NFL expenses are associated with NFL Franchises. For example, if a team pays 106 million on player salaries, I assume they are almost responsible for paying additional taxes on top of that (not sure what the Tax-Form for playing professional athletes are).
Well, figuring $100M go to player salaries, that leaves about $60M left over for the rest.Since the Packers are a public entity, we can get some kind of idea from their books. In 2003, GB reported $23M in operating expenses & $15M in net income. Now, not all teams are run the same, but it figures that teams still have somewhere in the $10M to $20M range in net income each year, with that figure growing as revenue grows.Is that not enough for some owners, especially if the team is a diversion for them, like it is for a guy like Snyder?
 
The Bills and the Bengals (and soon be Steelers) are maintaining an ownership model that is not suited for the future of the NFL.  I am speaking of the small family owners such as the Rooneys, Browns, Bidwells and Wilsons.

Please don't jump on me Steeler fans, Rooneys are doing a fine job at this time.

However, the problem is there is this big pie called NFL Revenue.  Of this revenue a significant portion goes to maintaining the NFL franchise (franchise expenses) and another significant portion goes to player personnel expenses (rosters and the player payroll).  The 'take home' portion of annual cash for each franchise is getting smaller and smaller.  The real value in an NFL franchise is the appreciation of the franchise; but this results in very little take-home pay (annual cash).

The problem is (as I see it) is these single-family owners are looking at their cut of the pie and asking, "If this much goes for operating expense, and this much goes to player personnel then where is our [my family] suppose to get cash\revenue to pay for house, cars and other living expenses that we have grown accostumed too?"

The fact is (as I see it), the 'small family owner' [business model] is dying and the majority of owners are more interested in growing their equity (franchise appreciation) instead of annual take home cash.
You do know that the NFL regularly sets records in revenue per year, and acquires over $5 BILLION in revenues every year now, don't you?That's over $160 MILLION on average per team. After operating costs including player salaries, the owners are still making millions every year, and the NFL operates on a system where it takes large majority block of owners to change anything.

Snyder can cry & whine all he wants. The fact is that his NFL team is nothing more than a status symbol & a toy to him, and he's still taking away beaucoup $$$ every year after paying all the bills, all the while watching his team appreciate in value. He won't change the league setup no matter how many tears he sheds. Most of the other owners realize exactly what a cash cow the NFL is - hence not wanting to alienate fans with either a strike or lockout, even though they had to make major consessions in the recent labor contract extension.
So you are making the statement that each team gets 160 million a year in revenue and indicating you think this is plenty? I would be interested to see all the expenses an NFL team has. The salary cap alone accounts for 65.6% of that 160 million; which would leave about 55 million left for the remaining operating expenses of an NFL Franchise.I would be interested in seeing what the other NFL expenses are associated with NFL Franchises. For example, if a team pays 106 million on player salaries, I assume they are almost responsible for paying additional taxes on top of that (not sure what the Tax-Form for playing professional athletes are).
I believe players pay taxes to each state/locality in which they play. ie. a Steeler pays taxes to pittsburgh on 8 checks, 1 to cleveland, 1 to cinci, 1 to baltimore, etc. I think it depends on the home teams local calculation on entertainment tax and the like.
 
Doesn't it seem that Ralph Wilson should be hiring someone else to help the Bills make money? While the Bills' financial security may be in question with him at the helm, is that due to the CBA or to Ralph? If the CBA and revenue sharing are confusing to him, shouldn't he hire someone to whom they're not confusing? That would give the Bills a better chance at remaining competitive. If Ralph's abilities have declined due to age, the Bills do not have to decline along with him.
There's undoubtedly some things that the Bills could be doing to earn more money (such as selling naming rights to the stadium). But even with that the Bills have said that they have tried to sell the naming rights but there are no large enough companies in Buffalo to make it worthwhile. You have to remember that we're not talking about a very large metropolitan area to begin with. And Buffalo is one of the most economically repressed areas in the country. Maybe some of it does have to do with management, but I think that the economics of the area play a large role as well. Most teams make a large portion of their local revenues from PSLs and loges and such. Those things aren't very viable in Buffalo. And building a new stadium is not likely either. I don't think Ralph Wilson has the kind of cash to front for the cost of a new stadium and there's virtually no way the taxpayers could afford it.

I think it's looking more and more inevitable that the team will move...

 
Since the Packers are a public entity, we can get some kind of idea from their books. In 2003, GB reported $23M in operating expenses & $15M in net income. Now, not all teams are run the same, but it figures that teams still have somewhere in the $10M to $20M range in net income each year, with that figure growing as revenue grows.
That's a huge leap of logic. A bunch of owners have mountains of debt service to pay off for their new stadiums, or have to pay their home city millions in rent for use of the stadium.

Also, GB may be able to fill their stadium without breaking a sweat, but others will need need to invest millions in marketing, promotions, etc, to attract their customers.

If there's one thing we should have all learned from the last CBA renegotiate is that there are huge differences among teams in terms of revenue and expenditure.

 
Since the Packers are a public entity, we can get some kind of idea from their books.  In 2003, GB reported $23M in operating expenses & $15M in net income.  Now, not all teams are run the same, but it figures that teams still have somewhere in the $10M to $20M range in net income each year, with that figure growing as revenue grows.
That's a huge leap of logic. A bunch of owners have mountains of debt service to pay off for their new stadiums, or have to pay their home city millions in rent for use of the stadium.
I'd like to see some numbers to back up that assertion. Many stadiums are built, owned, or maintained by the cities (especially the newer stadiums) and lease to the teams at very reduced rates. I know that the Broncos had a lease for $1 a year at the old Mile High stadium.Just saw that the Broncos' rent agreement at Invesco is currently $1M/year, but they get 100% of all associated revenue at games - tickets, concessions, parking, everything. That's a trade that definitely works in their favor.

 
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Doesn't it seem that Ralph Wilson should be hiring someone else to help the Bills make money? While the Bills' financial security may be in question with him at the helm, is that due to the CBA or to Ralph? If the CBA and revenue sharing are confusing to him, shouldn't he hire someone to whom they're not confusing? That would give the Bills a better chance at remaining competitive. If Ralph's abilities have declined due to age, the Bills do not have to decline along with him.
Russ Brandon is the Executive Vice President of Business Operations and is considered a rising star in the league. They are in good hands.
Russ Brandon

Executive Vice President of Business Operations

8th Year in NFL/8th Year with Bills

Was promoted to Executive VP of Business Operations in January 2006...he will oversee all business administration and operations for the Organization...in 1998, Brandon was promoted to the role of Vice President of Business Development and Marketing...as Vice President he has been credited with the development of the team as a regional franchise...strategic alliances with St. John Fisher College, Bausch & Lomb, Choice One Communications, Pepsi, M&T Bank, Xerox and other regional brands have helped increase the team's presence across the Region...in 1999, the team moved their Training Camp facilities to St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, NY, quickly making Bills Training Camp the pre-eminent camp in the National Football League...the new layout and location provided the perfect mix of fan interaction and training accommodations...while at St. John Fisher the Bills have continually been at the top of the League in Training Camp attendance...As a member of the NFL Marketing Committee, he works with some of the brightest marketing minds in the NFL to evaluate and develop new strategies for marketing the National Football League and its teams...he began his sports business career as a member of AAA baseball's Rochester Red Wings...as a member of the 1997 World Champion Florida Marlins, Brandon earned a World Series ring as their Director of Corporate Sales...he is a native of East Syracuse NY...graduated from St. John Fisher College (Rochester, NY) with a degree in communications journalism...resides in Clarence, NY with his wife, Amy and sons, R.J. and Jack.
http://www.buffalobills.com/news/news.jsp?news_id=3579
"Russ brings a tremendous amount of business development and management experience to the Executive Vice President of Business Operations position for the Bills. Russ is a well respected member of our league and this promotion is an acknowledgment of his years of exceptional work in marketing for the Bills organization and the NFL."

Paul Tagliabue

Commissioner, National Football League

"Russ is not only a valuable asset to Ralph Wilson and the Buffalo Bills, he has provided key insight and strategy on numerous NFL business and marketing initiatives. His hard work and commitment to the community are recognized around the league and he now will have a well-deserved opportunity to expand his role."

Roger Goodell

Executive Vice President and COO, National Football League
 
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a little more detail on the same story...

Wilson tells Pataki about small-market woes

By MARK GAUGHAN

News Sports Reporter

4/5/2006

Buffalo Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. is not taking his defeat in the NFL's collective bargaining process lying down.

Wilson is unhappy over what he considers an inadequate response by the National Football League to the disparity in revenues between its large-market and small-market teams. So he took his case to Gov. George E. Pataki on Monday and got New York's chief executive to voice his support for the small-market cause.

"While I am committed to Western New York, the long-term viability of our franchise may be in serious doubt," Wilson told Pataki, according to a release sent out by the Bills.

Pataki does not have any direct influence on labor talks between the NFL and its players association, which just produced a six-year labor deal that runs through 2011.

However, Wilson's trip to Albany is a sign that the Bills' owner is determined to take every means available to both draw attention to the issue of revenue disparity and to try to pressure his NFL partners to further address it. It's also a figurative rattling of the cage of the NFL office, by drawing a nationally prominent politician into the discussion.

Wilson and Cincinnati owner Mike Brown were the only owners to vote against the extension, which passed by a 30-2 margin. The richest club in the NFL, the Washington Redskins, took in $287 million in revenue in 2004, according to Forbes Magazine. The Bills ranked 22nd at $173 million, Forbes reported.

Wilson said two weeks ago he expects the Bills to be able to compete on the field for the near future.

However, his comments underscore the fact he's worried about the Bills' ability to compete in the last years of the deal and especially after the deal expires in 2011, if more revenue sharing is not implemented.

"I have 46 years of my life invested in this franchise and in Western New York," Wilson said. "There are those who don't care about us, our passionate fans or our hard-working taxpayers. Well, I do! I am not going to sugarcoat this and I am not going down without a fight. The people who have supported us for these 46 years deserve more than that."

Wilson, 87, repeatedly has stated the Bills will be sold after he dies. The attractiveness of a team in Buffalo figures to decline if the revenue gap keeps growing at a fast pace.

Wilson has been a big admirer of Pataki's since negotiations with the state and county to extend the Bills' lease in 1997.

"The secure future of the Buffalo Bills in Western New York is of vital interest to me and the people of New York State," Pataki said. "While the issues raised by Mr. Wilson are not unique to the Buffalo Bills, the future of that franchise is of primary concern to me. I have communicated my concerns to Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and will continue to advocate on behalf of the Buffalo Bills."

The NFL responded Tuesday by saying it's sensitive to the issue.

"We are aware of the concerns of Mr. Wilson and Gov. Pataki," said Greg Aiello, NFL vice president for public relations. "In the months ahead we'll be spending a great deal of time with our clubs ensuring the extended collective bargaining agreement and the related revenue-sharing arrangements work for all 32 teams. The goal of the league is to make sure we have 32 strong franchises that have an equal opportunity to compete for the Super Bowl."

In extending the labor deal, the NFL's owners approved a new mechanism for sharing locally generated revenue, like sponsorships, club seats and suite sales. The plan will transfer an average of about $150 million a year in league earnings to the bottom 16 revenue-producing clubs. That seems like a lot, perhaps an average of $10 million a year to the bottom clubs, depending on how the formula works. However, Wilson says it's not nearly enough because player costs overall go up so much.

The players' share of the total revenue is going up from 54.5 percent (in 2005) to 59.5 percent for the next six years. Wilson says the new local revenue sharing, in effect, will allow the low-revenue teams to make up that increase in player costs. However, Wilson says the disparity in local revenue remains as great as it was in the past.

A lot of the details in the cost sharing - like where the money is coming from and how much each lower-revenue club will get - have yet to be worked out by the league.
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060405/1041181.asp
 
The Bills and the Bengals (and soon be Steelers) are maintaining an ownership model that is not suited for the future of the NFL.  I am speaking of the small family owners such as the Rooneys, Browns, Bidwells and Wilsons.

Please don't jump on me Steeler fans, Rooneys are doing a fine job at this time.

However, the problem is there is this big pie called NFL Revenue.  Of this revenue a significant portion goes to maintaining the NFL franchise (franchise expenses) and another significant portion goes to player personnel expenses (rosters and the player payroll).  The 'take home' portion of annual cash for each franchise is getting smaller and smaller.  The real value in an NFL franchise is the appreciation of the franchise; but this results in very little take-home pay (annual cash).

The problem is (as I see it) is these single-family owners are looking at their cut of the pie and asking, "If this much goes for operating expense, and this much goes to player personnel then where is our [my family] suppose to get cash\revenue to pay for house, cars and other living expenses that we have grown accostumed too?"

The fact is (as I see it), the 'small family owner' [business model] is dying and the majority of owners are more interested in growing their equity (franchise appreciation) instead of annual take home cash.
You do know that the NFL regularly sets records in revenue per year, and acquires over $5 BILLION in revenues every year now, don't you?That's over $160 MILLION on average per team. After operating costs including player salaries, the owners are still making millions every year, and the NFL operates on a system where it takes large majority block of owners to change anything.

Snyder can cry & whine all he wants. The fact is that his NFL team is nothing more than a status symbol & a toy to him, and he's still taking away beaucoup $$$ every year after paying all the bills, all the while watching his team appreciate in value. He won't change the league setup no matter how many tears he sheds. Most of the other owners realize exactly what a cash cow the NFL is - hence not wanting to alienate fans with either a strike or lockout, even though they had to make major consessions in the recent labor contract extension.
I'd be interested to see when Snyder whined or cried about ANYTHING regarding the set up of the league.....
 
Russ Brandon is the Executive Vice President of Business Operations and is considered a rising star in the league. They are in good hands.
Thanks for the articles Aaron.Having read them, do you see anything at all there but generalities, or typical things you see to make a resume sound good, or typical bland complimentary things that people say about people? Do you see anything in particular that Wilson says is a hardship? What I see is him generally repeating himself to justify his "no" vote, and trying to get sympathy from the governor regarding his "hardship".

I'm not convinced from reading that that Wilson understands what he can do to raise more revenue, or that he understands the particulars of his team's financial future. He sounds a bit like a guy who's just had enough, is stopping here, and isn't going further, dad gum it. I'm not trying to insult the guy. That's just the way it looks to an outsider reading.

 
Russ Brandon is the Executive Vice President of Business Operations and is considered a rising star in the league. They are in good hands.
Thanks for the articles Aaron.Having read them, do you see anything at all there but generalities, or typical things you see to make a resume sound good, or typical bland complimentary things that people say about people? Do you see anything in particular that Wilson says is a hardship? What I see is him generally repeating himself to justify his "no" vote, and trying to get sympathy from the governor regarding his "hardship".

I'm not convinced from reading that that Wilson understands what he can do to raise more revenue, or that he understands the particulars of his team's financial future. He sounds a bit like a guy who's just had enough, is stopping here, and isn't going further, dad gum it. I'm not trying to insult the guy. That's just the way it looks to an outsider reading.
I don't think that's it at all. Wilson is a staunch advocate of teams staying where they are, and he doesn't want to see the team leave Buffalo. He's done more for the success of the NFL over the past 46 years than most of the other owners and has a right to voice his opinion when he doesn't agree with the way things are headed. He's old school, not one of the super wealthy owners who happens to own a team in a major market, and is doing what he thinks is in the best interest of the small market teams and the people in Buffalo.I'm not saying the Bills are doing everything they possibly can to generate as much local revenue as possible, but the fact that they ranked 22nd out of 32 teams while playing in one of the smallest markets is a pretty clear sign that they are a well run franchise with plenty of support. Wilson is also far from the only person saying this is a bad deal for the long-term viability of small market franchises. Bottom line is that Buffalo is a depressed economic region...the fans are diehard but they don't really have the money, the brand new stadium, or the corporate presence to compete with a lot of the other teams around the league. They have the lowest ticket prices in the league and relatively few luxury boxes, but they still rank high in attendance despite playing in a large open-air stadium in one of the league's coldest markets.

Since the inception of revenue sharing and a salary cap, teams begin on an even playing field, and that is what makes the league so competive and great. But, Wilson's argument is that the new CBA will not keep all teams on an even playing field, but will instead increase the distance between the haves and the have nots over time. We'll have to see how it plays out, but like I said, I don't think he's the only person who feels this way. He just happens to be the most vocal.

Wilson probably won't be around for too much longer, and Bills fans have been dreading the day he passes b/c the team will be sold and we're not sure there's anyone around who will be able or willing to buy the team and keep them in Buffalo.

 
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...

I'm not saying the Bills are doing everything they possibly can to generate as much local revenue as possible, but the fact that they ranked 22nd out of 32 teams while playing in one of the smallest markets is a pretty clear sign that they are a well run franchise with plenty of support...
Aaron -Do you have any comment on my speculation above?

To summarize, what I believe may be happening is the transfer of earning power for NFL franchises; in the past I think NFL franchises turned a hefty annual profit, which was working for all the owners. With the boom of the league, I think more owners (Jones, Snyder, McNair, Kraft et al) are now making their money via the appreciation of the franchise than the actual net annual income.

Mathematically, this is what I am trying to say:

1990ish and before...

Owners made $X,000 amount of 'money' for owning an NFL franchise. 80% of it may have been net annual income while 20% of it was the appreciation of the assets.

2006ish and on...

Owners are making $X,000 (probably more so than before) amount of 'money' for owning an NFL franchise. However the ratio has started to drastically shift; maybe 80% of the income is now appreciation of the assets while only 20% being from net annual income. This trend would be a problem for family owned franchise that rely on the NFL franchise to supply the family with disposable income. It also would be a problem if owners were then being 'forced' to lower their standard of living.

Certainly if this is the case, it cannot be hurting many owners (if any at all) at this point, given the volume of money we are talking about. But the problem would be if the trend continues in this path and not knowing when it will stop.

I recall from the most recent CBA that the players pushed for a new precident; they wanted all revenues to be shared and they wanted a 60% of this. This trend should also be notworthy when talking about the ratio above regarding NFL Franchises' income and the ratio of that which is annual net income and general asset appreciation.

Everything above is from a single-family ownership business model. If you look at a club like New England and Washington, I don't believe these owners would really care if their respective franchises had a net annual income of $0.00; they get their cash from other non-football revenue streams. However, how much capital is Daniel Snyder accruing (sp??) from just owning the Redskins? He paid about 700 million in 1996 and the franchise is worth what, over 1 billion today? That comes out to about 30 million a year excluding net annual profit.

Just rambling...anybody take the time to read this whole thing, please post and let me know if I am crazy or at least may have some interesting reasoning. (I did not graduate with a Business major).

 
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I'm not saying the Bills are doing everything they possibly can to generate as much local revenue as possible, but the fact that they ranked 22nd out of 32 teams while playing in one of the smallest markets is a pretty clear sign that they are a well run franchise with plenty of support.
Thanks, that's the kind of stuff I woudn't and don't know, and it does sound like they're not asleep at the wheel when it comes to generating revenue.
Wilson probably won't be around for too much longer, and Bills fans have been dreading the day he passes b/c the team will be sold and we're not sure there's anyone around who will be able or willing to buy the team and keep them in Buffalo.
I just happened across this earlier tonight. The owner of the Buffalo Sabres is interested.
 
...

I'm not saying the Bills are doing everything they possibly can to generate as much local revenue as possible, but the fact that they ranked 22nd out of 32 teams while playing in one of the smallest markets is a pretty clear sign that they are a well run franchise with plenty of support...
Aaron -Do you have any comment on my speculation above?

To summarize, what I believe may be happening is the transfer of earning power for NFL franchises; in the past I think NFL franchises turned a hefty annual profit, which was working for all the owners. With the boom of the league, I think more owners (Jones, Snyder, McNair, Kraft et al) are now making their money via the appreciation of the franchise than the actual net annual income.

Mathematically, this is what I am trying to say:

1990ish and before...

Owners made $X,000 amount of 'money' for owning an NFL franchise. 80% of it may have been net annual income while 20% of it was the appreciation of the assets.

2006ish and on...

Owners are making $X,000 (probably more so than before) amount of 'money' for owning an NFL franchise. However the ratio has started to drastically shift; maybe 80% of the income is now appreciation of the assets while only 20% being from net annual income. This trend would be a problem for family owned franchise that rely on the NFL franchise to supply the family with disposable income. It also would be a problem if owners were then being 'forced' to lower their standard of living.

Certainly if this is the case, it cannot be hurting many owners (if any at all) at this point, given the volume of money we are talking about. But the problem would be if the trend continues in this path and not knowing when it will stop.

I recall from the most recent CBA that the players pushed for a new precident; they wanted all revenues to be shared and they wanted a 60% of this. This trend should also be notworthy when talking about the ratio above regarding NFL Franchises' income and the ratio of that which is annual net income and general asset appreciation.

Everything above is from a single-family ownership business model. If you look at a club like New England and Washington, I don't believe these owners would really care if their respective franchises had a net annual income of $0.00; they get their cash from other non-football revenue streams. However, how much capital is Daniel Snyder accruing (sp??) from just owning the Redskins? He paid about 700 million in 1996 and the franchise is worth what, over 1 billion today? That comes out to about 30 million a year excluding net annual profit.

Just rambling...anybody take the time to read this whole thing, please post and let me know if I am crazy or at least may have some interesting reasoning. (I did not graduate with a Business major).
Good questions/points. But if I buy I house for $200,000 and 10 years from now it is worth $300,000 my assets appreciated quite nicely, however, it doesn't put any money in my pocket until I liquidate that asset.So even though Snyder has increased the value of the Redskin Franchise by $300 million, it's not money in his pocket that he can spend. So I would think that the owners would still have a pretty substantial interest in net income.

 
Ralph Wilson: NFL deal threatens Bills' future

Leo Roth

Staff writer

(April 7, 2006) — ORCHARD PARK – Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson isn't asking for more money from taxpayers or a new stadium in Buffalo.

And he has no intent on selling the team.

Wilson says his reason for meeting with high-level political officials this week was to win their support as the "small-market" Bills continue to battle the NFL over the issue of revenue sharing.

"What I had to say affects all the Bills stakeholders. The ownership, the fans, the community," said Wilson, explaining why he went to meet with Gov. George Pataki in Albany on Monday and with Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra in Buffalo today.

"I felt it was only fair to be straight with them and to be straight with you all, everybody, and let their concerns be known to Commissioner Tagliabue."

Retiring commissioner Paul Tagliabue is setting up a committee to determine what teams qualify for revenue sharing and how the league will pay for the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement with players, agreed upon last month, that increases salaries by 5 percent.

Under the plan, the 15 highest revenue-producing teams will pay into a pool to cover those costs but the formula for determining what teams qualify for the new pot of revenue sharing has yet to be determined.

Wilson expressed concern the Bills, who were ranked 22nd in revenues by Forbes magazine at $173 million, could get shut out of the revenue-sharing plan or not get enough money to stay competitive.

The 87-year-old owner reiterated his deep concern about the long-term viability of small- and medium-sized teams such as the Bills. One of the qualifying elements under the new CBA the league will be voting on is to exclude any new owner from revenue sharing. That would deeply impact a future sale of the Bills and keeping them in Buffalo.

"I went in to see Gov. Pataki, and I wanted to put him at ease," Wilson said. "I said, 'Governor, quiet down a little, I'm not going to ask you for any money.' He took a sigh of relief there. I just wanted to explain what's going on."

Wilson said again he has no plans to move the Bills or sell the team. This week, Rochester billionaire B. Thomas Golisano, who purchased the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL out of bankruptcy, said he'd be interested in helping keep the Bills in Western New York in any way possible. He didn't rule out purchasing the team someday.

Said Wilson: "It was very nice of Tom (to offer financial support). Right now, I don't need it."
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/p...80306/1002/NEWS
 
Ralph Wilson: NFL deal threatens Bills' future

Retiring commissioner Paul Tagliabue is setting up a committee to determine what teams qualify for revenue sharing and how the league will pay for the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement with players, agreed upon last month, that increases salaries by 5 percent.

Under the plan, the 15 highest revenue-producing teams will pay into a pool to cover those costs but the formula for determining what teams qualify for the new pot of revenue sharing has yet to be determined.

Wilson expressed concern the Bills, who were ranked 22nd in revenues by Forbes magazine at $173 million, could get shut out of the revenue-sharing plan or not get enough money to stay competitive.
It sounds like his concerns are just general. Any of the teams who generate less revenue will probably have the same concerns. And they'll all get to vote on how the revenue from the higher-revenue-producing teams is shared. Does Ralph have ideas how he thinks that should be done? Or is he just campaigning against the CBA in general?

 
...

I'm not saying the Bills are doing everything they possibly can to generate as much local revenue as possible, but the fact that they ranked 22nd out of 32 teams while playing in one of the smallest markets is a pretty clear sign that they are a well run franchise with plenty of support...
Aaron -Do you have any comment on my speculation above?

To summarize, what I believe may be happening is the transfer of earning power for NFL franchises; in the past I think NFL franchises turned a hefty annual profit, which was working for all the owners. With the boom of the league, I think more owners (Jones, Snyder, McNair, Kraft et al) are now making their money via the appreciation of the franchise than the actual net annual income.

Mathematically, this is what I am trying to say:

1990ish and before...

Owners made $X,000 amount of 'money' for owning an NFL franchise. 80% of it may have been net annual income while 20% of it was the appreciation of the assets.

2006ish and on...

Owners are making $X,000 (probably more so than before) amount of 'money' for owning an NFL franchise. However the ratio has started to drastically shift; maybe 80% of the income is now appreciation of the assets while only 20% being from net annual income. This trend would be a problem for family owned franchise that rely on the NFL franchise to supply the family with disposable income. It also would be a problem if owners were then being 'forced' to lower their standard of living.

Certainly if this is the case, it cannot be hurting many owners (if any at all) at this point, given the volume of money we are talking about. But the problem would be if the trend continues in this path and not knowing when it will stop.

I recall from the most recent CBA that the players pushed for a new precident; they wanted all revenues to be shared and they wanted a 60% of this. This trend should also be notworthy when talking about the ratio above regarding NFL Franchises' income and the ratio of that which is annual net income and general asset appreciation.

Everything above is from a single-family ownership business model. If you look at a club like New England and Washington, I don't believe these owners would really care if their respective franchises had a net annual income of $0.00; they get their cash from other non-football revenue streams. However, how much capital is Daniel Snyder accruing (sp??) from just owning the Redskins? He paid about 700 million in 1996 and the franchise is worth what, over 1 billion today? That comes out to about 30 million a year excluding net annual profit.

Just rambling...anybody take the time to read this whole thing, please post and let me know if I am crazy or at least may have some interesting reasoning. (I did not graduate with a Business major).
Good questions/points. But if I buy I house for $200,000 and 10 years from now it is worth $300,000 my assets appreciated quite nicely, however, it doesn't put any money in my pocket until I liquidate that asset.So even though Snyder has increased the value of the Redskin Franchise by $300 million, it's not money in his pocket that he can spend. So I would think that the owners would still have a pretty substantial interest in net income.
This was the exact point I was going at; small family owners of NFL franchises. These individuals (Brown, Wilson, Rooney, Bidwell et al) have one asset to generate revenue, their NFL Franchise. For owners like Kraft, Snyder, NcNair and Jones, I believe they have a variety of income streams.Just looking at other new ownes like Zygi Wilf of the Vikings and what he is doing? He is going to invest over 1 billion in a new stadium effort for the Vikings; about 15% of that money will actually be part of an NFL Franchise asset (The stadium). The other 85% is for commercial and residential development around the new stadium. These small family owners (for the most part) only reinvest in their only asset (the NFL Franchise). The new CBA underminded this effort.

 
After Wilson dies

One of those proposed qualifiers could be of special importance to the Bills' long-term chances of remaining in Buffalo. "If Mr. Wilson passes away and this club is sold, whoever buys it won't be subject to any revenue-sharing," one Bills official said.

In the past, Wilson has stated repeatedly that he has no plans to leave the team to family members; instead, he would sell the team. But in Friday's question-and-answer session, Wilson seemed to move away from that position and open the door to other possibilities. "I don't know about my family," Wilson said. "I haven't decided on that." Observers say inheritance taxes still would make it impossible for Wilson to leave the team to his three daughters. Wilson, though, never has commented on the possibility of leaving it to his wife, Mary.

Another proposed qualifier that could hurt the Bills would penalize teams whose annual ticket revenue falls short of 80 percent of the league average. Although the Bills sold out all eight games last season, their relatively low ticket prices would put them under that 80 percent threshold, team officials said Friday.

Another proposal, which also would hinder the Bills, would count the $6.6 million the team receives from the county and state governments as revenue, thus cutting into the amount the Bills would receive under the league revenue sharing.

So what can Bills fans and Western New York do about this?

"Today we appeal to the customer . . . Buffalo Bills fans," Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra said at a news conference. "We need your help right now. We need to convince the NFL these rules are going to hurt us here.

"The fans are the people that allow the owners to make money," added Giambra, who met with Wilson earlier in the day. "The small-market fans have to speak and shout louder. I know if we do nothing . . . then football in Buffalo is going to be extinct." Ted Fay, a sports management professor at Cortland State College, explained that the new labor deal drives up costs to the Bills by expanding the pool of revenue used to calculate the salary cap. As teams bring in more money through sponsorships and sales of expensive suites at costly new stadiums, the salary cap rises for all teams, including the Bills.

"There's cap creep, if you will," Fay said. "They're forced to carry higher costs."

Salary cap creep

Littmann, the Bills treasurer, provided an example. If a team received $20 million a year for a sponsorship, roughly 60 percent of that figure, or $12 million, would go into players' salaries and raise the salary cap. That $12 million, divided by the 32 teams, would cost each team $375,000.

Wilson made it clear he doesn't appreciate the way the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was passed in such a rush, without the proper time to study and evaluate the numbers.

"I'm disappointed that this extension of the bargaining agreement was proposed quickly and went through," he said. "The high-revenue clubs have a lot of influence with the commissioner."

Wilson didn't mince words, when asked how he feels about some of the younger owners in huge markets who have replaced many of the old-guard owners.

"They, to me, and it's just my opinion, don't have the same values about the league that the old guard did," he told reporters. "I just don't think they're as interested in the game as the old owners. I really don't. It's just a feeling I have. When we get to the meetings, we don't talk football; we just talk money."

Wilson also was blunt in scotching any rumors that his meeting earlier this week with Pataki was an attempt to lobby for a new stadium.

"We could build a $600 million stadium across the street, and it wouldn't make any difference, because Western New York - you all know it - is a poor area," he said. "We have no pricing power, and we wouldn't have [any more] pricing power in a new stadium."
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060408/1028886.asp
 
Not sure what Ralph Wilson is getting at here. Is he putting the people of Buffalo down for not having enough money to carry their 'national' weight of having an NFL franchise? Is he calling out NFL fans outside of Buffalo for not offering more support for the Buffalo franchise? Does he genuinely just want to do away with revenue sharing? I am completely shuked here.

 
Wilson didn't mince words, when asked how he feels about some of the younger owners in huge markets who have replaced many of the old-guard owners. "They, to me, and it's just my opinion, don't have the same values about the league that the old guard did," he told reporters. "I just don't think they're as interested in the game as the old owners. I really don't. It's just a feeling I have. When we get to the meetings, we don't talk football; we just talk money."
Mr. Wilson, when you pass away and the team is sold to someone, it will be someone who has other business interests and income. It cannot possibly be sold to some other family/owner whose sole business is the team. There is serious financial vetting that goes on by the NFL before someone is allowed to buy a team ---- they have to convince the league they have the money to not only buy but operate it as well.Those potential buyers will base their bids for the Bills on their own financial projections, and decide if they think they can make money on the Bills. They're businessmen, it's what they do.The old days of not talking about finances at owners meetings are not due to the new owners not caring about football. Given the much higher demands and stricter constraints today, owners have to work harder to "make the money work" to keep the game viable. Reminiscing is just fine, but the world is different now.
 
I think Buffalo will move after Wilson is gone, in my opinion Buffalo is the one example of a depressed market in the NFL. I don't say "small" market because in my opinion there is no such thing in the NFL, there is only Small MINDED owners, and Large MINDED owners.

 
Wilson didn't mince words, when asked how he feels about some of the younger owners in huge markets who have replaced many of the old-guard owners.

"They, to me, and it's just my opinion, don't have the same values about the league that the old guard did," he told reporters. "I just don't think they're as interested in the game as the old owners. I really don't. It's just a feeling I have. When we get to the meetings, we don't talk football; we just talk money."
Mr. Wilson, when you pass away and the team is sold to someone, it will be someone who has other business interests and income. It cannot possibly be sold to some other family/owner whose sole business is the team. There is serious financial vetting that goes on by the NFL before someone is allowed to buy a team ---- they have to convince the league they have the money to not only buy but operate it as well.Those potential buyers will base their bids for the Bills on their own financial projections, and decide if they think they can make money on the Bills. They're businessmen, it's what they do.

The old days of not talking about finances at owners meetings are not due to the new owners not caring about football. Given the much higher demands and stricter constraints today, owners have to work harder to "make the money work" to keep the game viable. Reminiscing is just fine, but the world is different now.
:goodposting:
 
Wilson didn't mince words, when asked how he feels about some of the younger owners in huge markets who have replaced many of the old-guard owners.

"They, to me, and it's just my opinion, don't have the same values about the league that the old guard did," he told reporters. "I just don't think they're as interested in the game as the old owners. I really don't. It's just a feeling I have. When we get to the meetings, we don't talk football; we just talk money."
Mr. Wilson, when you pass away and the team is sold to someone, it will be someone who has other business interests and income. It cannot possibly be sold to some other family/owner whose sole business is the team. There is serious financial vetting that goes on by the NFL before someone is allowed to buy a team ---- they have to convince the league they have the money to not only buy but operate it as well.Those potential buyers will base their bids for the Bills on their own financial projections, and decide if they think they can make money on the Bills. They're businessmen, it's what they do.

The old days of not talking about finances at owners meetings are not due to the new owners not caring about football. Given the much higher demands and stricter constraints today, owners have to work harder to "make the money work" to keep the game viable. Reminiscing is just fine, but the world is different now.
Wow, if you wrote that yourself, my hat is off to you! I don't mean that in a mocking way but in an admiring way; much like I might say, "Did I just see what I thought I saw" when watching sporting events.
 
Yeah, them's my words.

It's tempting for me to take shots at Ralph Wilson for being old and out of touch. But he seems to have earned the respect of Aaron and other Bills fans over the years, and the respect seems to endure through the Bills' hard times. So now I just see him as someone who was very capable, but whose abilities to understand the league around him are unfortunately not able to keep up the way they used to.

 
Yeah, them's my words.

It's tempting for me to take shots at Ralph Wilson for being old and out of touch. But he seems to have earned the respect of Aaron and other Bills fans over the years, and the respect seems to endure through the Bills' hard times. So now I just see him as someone who was very capable, but whose abilities to understand the league around him are unfortunately not able to keep up the way they used to.
this makes no sense to me. he has plenty of young, smart, capable people working under him advising him.
Not sure what Ralph Wilson is getting at here. Is he putting the people of Buffalo down for not having enough money to carry their 'national' weight of having an NFL franchise? Is he calling out NFL fans outside of Buffalo for not offering more support for the Buffalo franchise? Does he genuinely just want to do away with revenue sharing? I am completely shuked here.
I don't understand your confusion here at all. Buffalo is not in great shape economically so the team can't charge a lot for their tickets or luxury suites, etc. That's just a fact and Ralph is pointing out that a new stadium wouldn't really solve the problems inherent with operating a team in Buffalo. He's not putting anyone down here, just advocating on behalf of the people of Buffalo and Bills fans. As for your last question, it makes no sense at all. One of the major points of the article is that some owners suggested not providing revenue sharing to any new NFL owners...so, if the team is sold, the new Bills owner would be shut out of the new revenue sharing streams they just agreed to, and that would make it much more difficult to run a team in a place like Buffalo. Ralph is trying to sway some votes and get people on his side during what will be a very important time for small market NFL clubs. The details of the CBA are still being worked out, so now's a great time for Ralph to be speaking up.
 

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