SBD/21/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 222: SECRET MEETINGS

         Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and MLBPA Exec Dir Don
    Fehr met secretly in Washington yesterday for a session "designed
    to give Selig and Fehr the chance to tell each other where their
    sides stood in the talks" (Ronald Blum, AP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    3/21).  One management rep:  "The purpose of the meeting is to
    determine if it would be beneficial to resume formal
    negotiations."  Selig was accompanied by attorney Rob Manfred,
    while "indications were" that MLBPA attorney Lauren Rich was also
    in attendance (Jerome Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/21).  "If
    yesterday's meeting was positive, negotiators for the owners and
    players apparently could get together -- probably in Washington
    or New York -- by Wednesday, and make one last push" for a
    settlement (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/21).
         WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?  Maske cites one management source
    who says that owners would postpone Opening Day and begin the
    season with the regulars if a settlement can be reached between
    now and April 1.  Maske adds that some owners "apparently believe
    that Fehr might end the strike next month -- and force the owners
    to take a vote about a lockout -- even if the NLRB fails to
    obtain an injunction" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/21).  Fehr has said he
    would end the strike only if the NLRB delivers an injunction
    against the owners.  One owner, who said a month ago that there
    would be no lockout, now puts the odds at 50-50.  The owner:  "If
    Selig is for a lockout, he'll get 23 votes" (Jerome Holtzman,
    CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/21).  Phillies GM Lee Thomas:  "I don't think
    the players understand there's no money there now.  We'll see
    where all these ideals are that they're fighting for when this is
    over and there are a few dollars for the big boys and the rest of
    the guys don't get anything" (Jayson Stark, PHILADELPHIA
    INQUIRER, 3/21).
         NEWS & NOTES:  The Yankees will give 50% refunds or credits
    to season-ticket holders for any games played with 10 or more
    replacement players on the 40-man roster.  But season-ticket
    holders who get refunds may not be able to retain their seats for
    the 1996 season (N.Y. TIMES, 3/21). ....Cincinnati's WLWT-TV
    plans to drop its broadcast of Friday's Reds exhibition game
    citing lack of interest from advertisers.  WLW-AM said it has not
    heard back from Owner Marge Schott on the station's request to
    drop weekday Reds replacement games (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Cincinnati Reds, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, YankeeNets
  • SPORTS UNIONS MORE FAT-CAT THAN WORKING-CLASS

         Financial reports filed with the U.S. Labor Dept. by three
    of the major pro sports unions -- MLBPA, NBPA and NFLPA -- "offer
    a snapshot of how much these unions are worth, how they acquire
    money and how they spend it," according to Mike Freeman of the
    N.Y. TIMES.  "With assets in the tens and, in the case of
    baseball, hundreds of millions of dollars, sports unions have
    been able to ease the burden of dues on players, pay their
    leaders as if they were CEO's and build fat war chests to fight
    longer and harder during times of labor strife."  No report was
    available for the NHLPA, which is based in Canada.
                                     LEADER'S    NO. OF   AVG. MEMBER
         UNION     LEADER             SALARY     MEMBERS     SALARY
         NFLPA     Gene Upshaw      $1,236,443    2,000     $750,000
         MLBPA     Don Fehr           $950,000      800       $1.2M
         NBPA      Charles Grantham   $550,307      400       $1.5M
         AFL-CIO   Lane Kirkland      $204,672    13.3M      $30,784
         UNION          DUES COLLECTED      LICENSING REVENUE
         NFLPA            $7,157,187           $17,604,759
         MLBPA            $3,936,610           $74,826,917
         NBPA             $1,731,866               -0-
         AFL-CIO         $62,839,305           not applicable
         QUOTES:  Union finances specialist Gary Edwards:  "Few
    people, if any, in the history of the union movement have earned
    the kind of money sports union leaders do."  Teamsters President
    Ron Carey:  "Even if I had four million members or 10 million
    members I personally could not accept a salary of $1 million or
    even close to it. ... But that's me.  They may have different
    priorities and needs that I am not aware of."  While several MLB
    players said they were not aware Fehr made that much, Fehr
    responded:  "Everybody knows.  It's in the reports."  Upshaw,
    whose salary is decided by an executive council of current and
    former players:  "I don't set my salary.  If I did, I would have
    paid myself more because I'm worth more.  It's about what you
    bring to the table.  This union has brought peace to the sport"
    (N.Y. TIMES, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB
  • WORLD LEAGUE READY TO KICK OFF APRIL 8

         With the start of the World League of American Football
    season less than three weeks away, two teams "with high hopes"
    for success are the London Monarchs and the Scottish Claymores.
    Both have signed a two-year sponsorship deal with Anheuser-Busch
    for a total of 500,000 British Pounds (about $800,000).  Although
    the six new teams will be made up mostly of U.S. players, the
    European teams "realize the value of home-grown talent in
    pleasing local crowds."  The Claymores have signed seven Scots.
    Through Fox Sports, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is a partner with
    the NFL in the World League venture, and Murdoch's Sky Sports
    "plans to broadcast seven hours of live and recorded action from
    Monarchs and Claymores games in Europe each weekend."  The
    Monarchs have hired McCann-Erickson to raise fan awareness with a
    promotional campaign.  While the "rivalry may not come close to
    rugby's Calcutta Cup clashes between England and Scotland," the
    Claymores and Monarchs play in Edinburgh on May 7 (Stephen
    McGookin, FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/18-19 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Leagues and Governing Bodies, News Corp./Fox, NFL
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