As everyone knows by now, the big sticking point in the NFL and NFLPA negotiations is revenue sharing, and it involves the owners opening up their books.
If the owners open up those books, they will be scrutinized by auditors for the union, which is something the owners don't want happening.
Worse than that, for the owners, is the possibility of the two sides getting involved in a court battle and having all those finances publicly splashed all over legal documents vis-a-vis testimony and/or discovery.
Want proof that will end poorly for the owners? How about recalling the last time it happened, in 1992, when Robert Noll, a Stanford University economics professor, testified that the NFL's $1.3 billion in revenue was "substantially understated."
Per an old-school New York Times article, the NFL reported operating profits at $163 million. However, Noll testified that such a number was "shielded from costs such as the $600,000 per team contributed to the World League of American Football and two antitrust lawsuits that are 'the costs of defending and maintaining a monopoly.'"
This was big news in 1992, obviously, but it wasn't the sort of news that got splashed all over Twitter or replayed 24/7 on every single sports-related television channel. That's because those things didn't exist as such back then. They do now, and such testimony, were it to become public, would be ugly news for the owners.
Oh yes, and there was the financial document showing that Norman Braman, Eagles owner at the time, paid himself a $7.5 million salary. Which wasn't counted as profit.
Add in 20 years worth of inflation, and whatever gets reported should play just wonderfully with the press, especially with in this economic climate.
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