CBA: NFLPA has all the Relevant Financial Data They Need

March 09, 2011 | Brian Billick

It is being reported that one off the sticking points for a new collective bargaining agreement is the players wanting the owners to “open their books”.  I hope this does not become an issue that delays the eventual deal that we all know will get done.

In my opinion this is likely a “throw away” part of the negotiation, meaning that the players will hold on to it until they need something and will use this as a lever to get what they want.  The fact is, they really don’t need for the owners to do this.  The NFLPA has all the relevant numbers it needs to determine the fair percentage the players should be getting.  Things like stadium revenue, tickets revenue, TV monies, players cost, and operation costs are all figures that are easily obtainable.

This is more about embarrassing the owners rather than actually obtaining important information.  Almost every team is basically a family business.  Like most family businesses, expenses and cost of the family are typically run through the business.  This is neither illegal nor inappropriate.  It is simply the way our tax system requires those with small businesses to operate.  Regardless of the huge sums of money and the public attention, each team in the NFL individually is really nothing more than a small business.

Hopefully, the NFLPA will move past this point quickly so we can all get back to the business of football.  A deal will get done.  That much we know.  The question is how much damage will be done to the game and the relationship between the owners and the players along the way.