SBD/November 10, 2011/Leagues and Governing BodiesPrint All
NBA owners and players yesterday made "significant progress" toward a CBA that would end the lockout, according to sources cited by Adrian Wojnarowski of YAHOO SPORTS. Sources said that with the NBPA "agreeable to a 50-50 split of revenue, the sides also made progress on three of the five system issues that union officials said needed to be resolved to complete a deal." The players are "determined to keep system issues which allow them freedom to move to luxury-tax teams, among other issues involving the tax and escrow systems." The negotiations lasted "more than 12 hours," and will resume today at noon ET. An NBA official said, "We can get there in the next day or two. But it’s still a volatile process, and egos can still get in the way. ... But there’s a lot of reason to be hopeful." Wojnarowski notes NBA Commissioner David Stern "has some ability to negotiate through the deal points of the system issues, but he also has a group of owners largely split over how much they need to cede to the players on system issues." There is a "significant faction that thinks Stern can get a deal done without yielding much more to the players." But one ownership source said, "There’s not enough of (the hardline owners). Most are not thrilled with the current deal but would take it." If the talks "break down in the next 24-48 hours, agents are prepared to move rapidly toward decertification of the union or a variation of it, disclaimer of interest." Wojnarowski notes Stern had "vowed to 'reset' the owners' proposal to a worse offer if a deal wasn’t reached" by yesterday's 5:00pm ET deadline. Stern after yesterday's talks said, "The clock is stopped. And we’re trying to see if there’s a reason why we can get something to go back to our respective sides with" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/10). Stern said the latest offer was not pulled at the deadline because the league was "trying to demonstrate our good faith." He added that the "understanding was the offer potentially would be pulled at the end of this series of negotiations, whenever that might be" (AP, 11/9).
IN THIS CORNER... A league source yesterday said that a deal "appeared to be in sight for the first time since the work stoppage began," as the union "appeared to have realized Wednesday’s small-group meeting was likely its best chance" to end the lockout (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 11/10). In San Antonio, Mike Monroe reports yesterday's talks "involved smaller groups than last weekend’s sessions." Stern, NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver, Spurs Owner & NBA Labor Relations Committee Chair Peter Holt, NBA Exec VP & General Counsel Rick Buchanan and NBA Senior VP & Deputy General Counsel Dan Rube represented the league. NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter, Lakers G and NBPA President Derek Fisher, Wizards F and NBPA VP Maurice Evans, NBPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler and Ron Klempner, and union economist Kevin Murphy represented the players (MYSANANTONIO.com, 11/10).
Stern said there is a "copious" list of
issues still remaining to be resolved
Negotiations in MLB’s "stalled labor talks have taken ‘a step forward’ this week," according to a source cited by Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. A second source said that it is “possible a deal could be completed this week.” However, another source “described the chances of an agreement this week as only about 50-50, saying that the sides had made what appeared to be similar progress in the past, only to get stuck on other issues.” Owners and players “have been stalled for weeks over management's push for a hard slotting system for amateur draft picks.” The MLBPA has “adamantly resisted hard slotting, so the sides have been exploring alternatives based on ‘luxury taxes’ or other incentives designed to keep spending on the draft within more rigid limitations.” The other major issue that is “still unresolved is a change in compensation for premier free agents.” The union “is pressing for a new system that would either no longer require teams to give up first-round draft picks as compensation for signing a top free agent, or would like to reduce the number of players who would qualify as ‘Type A’ free agents” (ESPN.com, 11/9).
FIFA “bowed to popular pressure last night by allowing England players to wear poppies on their black armbands this weekend after personal interventions” by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William, according to Ashling O’Connor of the LONDON TIMES. FIFA’s rules “prevent symbols with political, religious or commercial connotations from being displayed on official uniforms and equipment.” FIFA by letting the players wear poppies on their armbands “allows the game’s world governing body to preserve the letter of its law while acknowledging the feeling in Britain.” Cameron in a letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter wrote, “This as an act of national remembrance. … I can assure you that there are no political connotations whatsoever to wearing a poppy.” In addition, Prince William wrote a “strongly worded letter” to Blatter. He “expressed his dismay at the poppy ban and asked for ‘an exception in this special circumstance’” (LONDON TIMES, 11/10). In London, Jamie Jackson writes the move is “understood to have been made after discussions involving” England FA General Secretary Alex Horne and FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke. Cameron previously had said that he “would support the England team if they defied FIFA by wearing poppies on their shirts” (GUARDIAN, 11/10).
SETTING A BAD PRECEDENT? In London, James Lawton writes under the header, “FIFA Should Not Have Caved In. The U-Turn Is Complete Poppycock.” Lawton: “What happens when another nation, with its own idea of what constitutes righteous national pride, decides it feels strongly about a certain issue, and the thing it wants to commemorate is for a jaundiced neighbour the recalling of some shameful political or military horror?” (London INDEPENDENT, 11/10).