The Comeback- The Wall Street Journal reports the NFL has been ordered to return more than $100 million to the pool of revenue it shares with players.
The ruling found NFL owners mischaracterized $120 million of ticket revenue in the past three years by creating an exemption which kept $50 million of salary away from players. That’s no small chunk of change. The NFLPA filed a grievance back in January after they discovered the revenue when performing an audit of the league’s finances.
“They created an exemption out of a fiction and they got caught,” said DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA.”
The NFL said the ruling was a resolution of a “technical accounting issue under the CBA” which seems like code for ‘we tried to take more money from the players, but were caught.’
The initial dispute was over provisions of the CBA that allow NFL teams to exclude certain amounts of money from players’ share of revenue. Players typically generate that pool from local revenue, ticket sales or sponsorship money, among other things. The NFL can exclude money if it’s generated from the sales of personal seat licenses, premium seating and big deals with corporations – money which is then used to finance renovations and construct new stadiums.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the big problem the NFLPA found was the league created another category of excepted money which isn’t part of the CBA. An arbitrator recognized this and ordered the NFL to return the misplaced revenue.
WSJ reports since the money is being returned to the shared revenue pool, the NFL salary cap should increase by about $1.5 million per team.
Remember that scene in 'Office Space' where the main character introduces the program that can aggregate all of the leftover pennies on the dollar and put them into one account for him and his friends? Remember saying to yourself during that movie "well, this is a good plot line, but there is no way this would work in real life without someone eventually getting caught". Well, the NFL basically just did that very same thing, but instead of skimming a couple cents off the top they were skimming hundreds of thousands of dollars off the top. I'd say that's quite the "technical accounting issue".
Hey, I'm sure it was an accident. It's not like the NFL has any history of being money hungry. It's not like they would ever trivialize the well being, financial or otherwise, of their players. Plus, this is more of a practice that is generally reserved for the employees and not the employers. A system used by the overworked and underpaid instead of vice versa. Why would Roger Goodell and the gang put themselves at risk when they have already been greatly rewarded due to the efforts of those beneath them. There's no way that extra category that pooled up to $120 million in ticket revenue was created intentionally. Personally, I blame 'Microsoft Excel'. If that goddamn program was easier to navigate then the NFL would have never missed the last column at the end that was lining their pockets with tens of millions of undeserved dollars. The NFL doesn't think it's invincible. They don't think they are bulletproof. They are just really, really bad at math. Thank God the auditors were there to come in and show them their simply mistake or the amount of money being siphoned into their bank accounts would have never been calculated correctly. Slow down with your conspiracy theories. The NFL isn't greedy, it's negligent. Haven't they done enough to prove that to everyone over the years? So no, I am not going to accuse Roger Goodell of stealing, but I do have just one question for him...