SBD/January 5, 2011/Leagues and Governing BodiesPrint All
NFL Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson “painted a dire picture” of the league’s labor situation yesterday, saying he is “not optimistic we’re making a lot of progress,” according to Darin Gantt of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Richardson said, “When I meet with the union lawyers, they say, 'Mr. Richardson, we want more money, more benefits and we want to work less.' Then they say, 'Let's begin the negotiations.'” During a rare news conference yesterday, Richardson “drew a large circle on a legal pad with his felt-tip pen, and then drew a line through it to show the share of the league's revenues.” He said that from ’06-08, the NFL “generated $3.6 billion in new revenue, from which he said the players have gotten $2.6 billion.” Richardson: “Thirty-two teams have gotten $1 billion. We have a negative cash flow of $200 million." NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith “disputed those numbers in a statement sent out by the union.” Smith: “Let's make this simple for everyone: Does this mean the league or teams have lost money? The NFL has told us over and over that the answer to that question is no. Open the books, tell us what teams have made or lost in the last 10 years and let's get a fair deal done." Gantt reports NFLPA officials “maintained their consistent stand, that the owners were the ones to opt out of what ownership considered a bad deal, and that players haven't asked for anything beyond what the existing contract provided” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/5).
LETTERS TO CLEO: WXIA-NBC's Jerry Carnes reported Falcons Owner Arthur Blank “sent letters to season ticket holders, thanking them for their support through the team’s regular season.” Blank also briefly addressed what he called the NFL’s “challenge of negotiating” a new CBA between the owners and the NFLPA. Blank attached the e-mail NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent to fans on Monday morning, which outlines the league's position on the labor situation (11ALIVE.com, 1/4). Meanwhile, in N.Y., John Branch reported the Sports Fan Coalition yesterday sent a letter to Goodell in response to the commissioner's e-mail. Sports Fan Coalition Exec Dir Brian Frederick told Goodell in the letter, "You don't 'get it.'" He also "asked for a guarantee that no games will be canceled in 2011" (NYTIMES.com, 1/4).
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series enters '11 "on much more solid ground than in recent history" after struggling for several reasons, including the rough economy and a "dwindling team count," according to Pete Pistone of CBSSPORTS.com. Despite "predictions of short fields by many," last year's 25-race Truck Series schedule "came up short only a handful of times from filling out the allotted 36 starting spots." The series also "enjoyed solid growth" last year in TV ratings. While Sprint Cup audiences "have slipped in recent years, truck series ratings on Speed and Fox have climbed with the 2010 season finishing three percent higher than a year ago." While the competition level of the Truck Series has "remained high" through the years, the series "went through a series of ups and downs that had as much to do with the financial world as anything." When new trucks "weren't flying off the showroom floor, manufacturers were forced to throttle back their support of the series." That led to some organizations "having to shut down in the wake of those manufacturers' resource dollars drying up, followed by a secondary blow of a dwindling list of corporate sponsors able to use the series as a marketing tool." Camping World took over series naming rights in '09, and while it "hasn't been an easy marriage by any means, company officials are pleased with the results and appear poised to stay with the sport over the long haul." With title sponsorship "solidly in place, NASCAR hopes to continue the building process on the ownership front which has seen high-profile names" like Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress create teams in recent years. Pistone wrote the "key to future success remains tied to the financial picture that will allow more sponsors to return, additional manufacturer support, including the return of Ford's involvement, and further funding to keep established teams afloat as well as allowing new organizations to enter the division" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/3).