Fascinating editorial by Jeff Pash, the NFL Executive Vice President, published in teh Green Bay Press-Gazette and posted on NFLLabor.com. There seem to be two basic points of the editorial 1) The Packers income has been dropping since 2006 and 2) Giving the NFL Players Association more detailed financial data will not change anything.
On point 1 there are two significant mitigating factors, one micro and one macro. The Micro effect is that Lambeau Field was last renovated in 2003 so the boost in income that comes with such a renovation dissipates over time, so a drop in Packer income seems reasonable in this time frame. The Macro effect is just too obvious - the US has gone through a massive economic downturn during this timeframe. While most businesses seem happy to be able to keep the doors open and the lights on during difficult economic times, the NFL seems to believe that it has a right to not only profits, but large profits even during tough economic times. Are NFL owner's supposed to be immune to business risk?
Pash then suggests that (point to the experience of the NBA) that if the NFL gave the NFLPA all of the financial information that they requested, then the NFLPA would not change their stance. This may be true and the NFLPA may use the disclosures as a media event of some sort. It still seems a bit odd that the players and fans are just supposed to take on faith that the NFL owners (who all seem to be doing quite well thank you) are actually losing money or that the current structure will not be manageable going forward. The NFL should more than just open the books, they should go on a major offensive explaining in a clear a manner as possible, how the current structure will have a negative impact on the league that so many fans love...if they can actually build that case and pass the sniff test.