The NFLPA has been hunting transparency throughout its mediation process with the NFL. In the debate over exactly how a $9 billion pie will be divided in the new CBA, the union wants to view with their own eyes where the massive revenue generated by the league is being allocated.
The key to those books hasn’t been handed over by the owners yet, but the actions of the union show their belief that it may be just a matter of time.
Both Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal and the NFL Network’s Albert Breer are reporting that the union has hired the and unnamed international investment bank to oversee any financial data the league hands over. The problem of actually possessing that financial data still remains.
Scott Fujita, the Saints linebacker and a member of the union’s executive committee, told Mullen the bank will advise the players’ association on what kind of financial information they require when the new CBA is being structured. Fujita also said the bank was retained several months ago, but an agreement was just made to speak of their contract publicly.
The players are currently given minimal information, and the figures they see are what Fujita called a “snapshot” of the entire picture. The league has only released summary financial statements from the past two years, according to Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter. Those statements aren’t sufficient and don’t include the $1 billion in expense credits the owners received in 2010 to compensate for increased economic expenses (i.e. rising costs of stadium construction). The purpose of this move then is to accumulate further resources to dig deep into the league’s numbers, if and when Roger Goodell and his posse of owners finally reveal the sacred ink that’s marked up their accounting books.
For now the waiting game continues, 13 days after it began.