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Volume 24 No. 116

Leagues Governing Bodies

     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).

     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
     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).

     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).