SBD/16/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL'S TAX PLAN TO FACE UNION SCRUTINY

         When the baseball labor negotiations resume tomorrow in
    Washington, DC, striking players "expect the same old salary cap
    with a new name" (Mike Shalin, BOSTON HERALD, 11/16).  Owners
    will likely propose a new plan that will include a "luxury tax"
    to be imposed when a team exceeds a certain payroll.  But "anyone
    deliriously optimistic" about the new plan "hasn't been paying
    attention to the negotiations in the month and a half hockey
    lockout.  The NHL has a taxing problem, and baseball is about to
    get one."  The MLBPA is unlikely to accept the proposal,
    believing it would work as a salary cap and "inhibit" teams from
    "spending the kind of money on salaries that would trigger such
    taxes."  Red Sox CEO John Harrington, who heads up the owners'
    negotiating team, said "a tax concept can look like a salary cap,
    and any tax plan is meant to put some controls on labor cost"
    (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 11/16).  MLBPA General Counsel Gene
    Orza "warned against optimism," saying there are "tax programs
    that are worse than a salary cap and tax programs that are
    better" (Tim Harper, TORONTO STAR, 11/16).  Braves Player Rep
    Tom Glavine said a luxury tax "would be nothing to get excited
    about," adding "it would be another word for a salary cap" (I.J.
    Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/16).     LET'S GET IT DONE:
    "Owners are working with a renewed vigor, afraid that if they
    don't move quickly, they will lose next season as well."  One
    owner, on the lack of income:  "We gambled the fans would love us
    come hell or high water and it looks like we are losing that bet"
    (Sherman & Miner, N.Y. POST, 11/16).  Braves President Stan
    Kasten said he plans to be in DC "for an extended time":  "I did
    not even attempt to make a return reservation" (I.J. Rosenberg,
    ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/16).
         PAYROLL FIGURES RELEASED:  Team payroll figures were
    released by MLB's Player Relations Committee.  The total amount
    paid to players would have gone up less than 3% if a full season
    had been played.  The Yankees had the highest payroll in the
    league at $47,512,342, but only paid out around $34M because of
    the strike.  The Padres had the lowest league payroll, paying out
    only $9.8M on over $13M of salaries (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 11/16).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, New York Yankees, NHL, San Diego Padres, Time Warner, YankeeNets
  • HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 47: DEADLINES, LAYOFFS & PAY-CUTS

         "It becomes more likely by the hour that there will be no
    new collective bargaining agreement and the 1994-95 season will
    not happen," writes Kevin Paul Dupont in this morning's BOSTON
    GLOBE.  According to a league source, the 26 GM's met yesterday
    and "reconfirmed their stance" in favor of player salary
    restraints.  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
    Goodenow will meet again tomorrow or Friday (BOSTON GLOBE,
    11/16).  While there was talk that the owners' counterproposal,
    which Bettman is expected to offer to the union today, will
    "slash" the NHL's luxury tax in half -- from 122% to 60% -- one
    union source maintains that "if the owners insist on a salary cap
    there won't be a season" (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN, 11/16).
         ONLY 30 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL DEADLINE:  The NHL is discussing
    the idea of imposing a December 15 deadline on reaching a
    collective bargaining agreement.  If a deal isn't reached by that
    date, the season would be canceled.  The idea was put forward
    yesterday by Oilers President & GM Glen Sather (David Shoalts,
    Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/16).  Sather:  "I'm still a firm
    believer that Bob Goodenow is a kind of guy who is not going to
    make a deal until there's a concrete day and time that says if a
    deal isn't done now, there's not going to be a season" (TORONTO
    SUN, 11/16).
         LEAGUE FACES FRONT-OFFICE LAYOFFS:  The NHL announced plans
    to lay off 14 full-time and six part-time employees effective
    December 1, if there's no settlement.  Remaining employees,
    including Bettman, will take a 10% pay cut.  Those making less
    than $30,000 a year, will take a 5% cut (Mult., 11/16).  One
    league source "said some of the laid-off personnel would not be
    rehired once -- or if -- a deal is struck with the players"
    (Kevin Paul Dupont, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/16).  Goodenow has refused
    pay during the lockout, but he stands to make as much as $600,000
    in '95, almost double his present salary (Dave Fuller, TORONTO
    SUN, 11/16).
         THE ALLEGED ROOKIE CAP:  NHL Senior VP & General Counsel
    Jeff Pash brought GM's up to date on the union's latest proposal,
    "which had been said to include a form of a rookie salary cap."
    The NHLPA proposal only includes an offer to forego arbitration
    for a player's first contract and elimination of compensation and
    equalization clauses for free agents under 24 or with less than
    five years experience (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    11/16).
         FROM THE GM'S:  Lightning GM Phil Esposito: "If you're going
    to be a union -- and I was in the union for 19 years   -- then
    you've got to have an agreement, or don't be a stinking union"
    ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/15).  Islanders GM Don Maloney:
    "Everybody is totally supportive of what Gary and the league is
    trying to accomplish" (Jim Smith, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 11/16).  Whalers
    GM Jim Rutherford:  "There's nothing here at this point to
    indicate that we're going to have a season" (Jeff Jacobs,
    HARTFORD COURANT, 11/16).  Canadiens GM Serge Savard:  "For the
    first time, I am scared the season won't be played" (Toronto
    GLOBE & MAIL, 11/16).
         FINAL COURSE:  Bettman on his dinner Monday night with
    Goodenow:  "The food was excellent" (Jim Smith, N.Y. NEWSDAY,
    11/16)....David Shoalts estimates that, to this point, the league
    has lost $166.3M in revenue (not counting the TV deal with Fox),
    the players have lost $85.4M in salaries, and each team has lost
    an average of $719,200 in operating income (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    11/16)....San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer is "pessimistic" that the
    '95 All-Star Game will be played.  San Jose Metropolitan Chamber
    of Commerce President Steve Tedesco estimates that the overall
    economic impact for the city could have been in the $40-50M range
    (Ann Killion, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/16).
    

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Tampa Bay Lightning, Walt Disney
  • MLS TO DELAY START UNTIL '96 BUT ANNOUNCING INVESTORS TODAY

         "The life may be dribbling out of a nascent pro soccer
    league," according to John Helyar in today's WALL STREET JOURNAL.
    MLS will announce today that a delayed start-up in spring '96,
    though officials plan to "try to surround the setback with signs
    of progress," such as new franchise cities and financial backers
    (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/16).
         THE GOOD NEWS:  The MLS will announce which franchises will
    join the seven charter cities (L.A., Washington, NYC/NJ, San
    Jose, Columbus, Boston, and Long Island) out of a pool that
    includes Chicago, Indianapolis, Denver, Seattle, Kansas City, and
    Tampa.  Investors for these new teams will include NFL Chiefs
    owner Lamar Hunt and Metromedia Chair John Kluge.  It "remains
    uncertain" whether the MLS will have ten or twelve teams (Jere
    Longman, N.Y. TIMES, 11/16).  Other investors will include API
    Soccer, a division of a U.K.-based sports marketing Sponsorship
    Group headed by Kevin Payne, and a group of L.A. businesspersons,
    L.A. Soccer Partners.  Most investors will contribute to the
    league and operate a designated team.  However, there will be
    investors who won't run teams, including MLS founder Alan
    Rothenberg's investment group, investment banking firm Donaldson
    Lufkin Jenrette, and investment banker Paul Tierney.  A "major"
    Japanese corporation is also "likely" to invest (Roscoe Nance,
    USA TODAY, 11/16).
         WORLD CUP BACKLASH:  Reasons for the league's delay include
    "outsize ambition, flawed structure and alienated sponsors,"
    according to the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  MLS is short of its $100M
    capital goal.  Rothenberg, who also organized last summer's World
    Cup, "envisioned piggybacking" on its success, but the tournament
    has "done as much harm as good."  Richard Groff, commissioner of
    the rival American Professional Soccer League (APSL), says
    Rothenberg and MLS officials were trying to run the World Cup and
    MLS at the same time:  "I think basically they ran out of time."
    Rothenberg's handling of the World Cup led to "infighting" within
    the U.S. Soccer Federation and his "effort to parlay the World
    Cup's success into a lucrative business for himself" has caused
    further "resentment."  But more damaging could be the "wedge"
    driven between potential MLS sponsors and league organizers after
    the World Cup.  MasterCard Int'l wound up suing the World Cup
    over $75M exclusive card rights, and Anheuser-Busch's "was
    furious" with Rothenberg's ban on beer sales at World Cup venues.
    IEG Sponsorship Report Editor Lesa Ukman said World Cup USA had
    an "Olympic organizing committee attitude, where you sell for as
    much as you can because you're just a one-time entity."
    Potential MLS sponsors are also "turned off" by a $2M category
    sponsorship and the fact the league won't have the int'l appeal
    of the World Cup (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/16).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Kansas City Chiefs, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MasterCard, MLS, NFL
  • NBA PLAYERS SHOOT DOWN FIRST CBA PROPOSAL

         NBA Player Reps voted on Monday in Chicago to reject the
    first "written proposal by the NBA to forge a new collective
    bargaining agreement."  Hawks Player Rep Jon Koncak said the
    proposal dealt with a salary cap, free agency, and licensing,
    adding that there was no rookie salary cap, but that there were
    "provisions to close both the one-year and out option and balloon
    payments."  Koncak: "We are not interested in doing that."
    Koncak did say that "some headway" was made in distribution of
    money from licensing and merchandise saying that the proposal was
    "a starting point" (Peter May, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/16).  "The
    players are growing comfortable with the fact that the salary cap
    is here to stay," according to Steve Bulpett of the BOSTON
    HERALD.  While the players work on a rookie wage scale and more
    revenue from merchandise under a new CBA, a "strong current of
    reality runs through" the NBPA.  Bulls Player Rep Steve Kerr:
    "The Players Association originally took the position that we
    want to eliminate the cap. I am sure the French want the
    Louisiana Purchase back, too.  The owners aren't going to go for
    that" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Time Warner
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