Players Association Accuses NFL of Not Sharing Revenue Funds

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NEW YORK — The NFL players association accused the league Tuesday of
not sharing as much supplemental revenue with its lower-income teams as
it is supposed to.

Jeffrey Kessler, the outside counsel for the NFLPA, said that a
filing by the union is a result of the NFLPA concluding that the league
violated the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and the
supplemental revenue sharing plan.

"The NFLPA is filing this new proceeding because it has discovered that
the NFL did not provide its lower-revenue clubs with all of the
supplemental revenue sharing that was promised in the CBA for the years
2006-08," Kessler said. "Such funds are important to insure that the
lower-revenue teams can field competitive teams, offer competitive
salaries and provide their fans with hope for success on the field each
NFL season."

League spokesman Greg Aiello said the NFL has abided by the
system, which was put into place with the 2006 CBA, and hasn't hurt any
low-revenue teams. Teams have to qualify — in essence, show they need
the money — to receive the supplemental funds.

"Qualifiers have been part of the supplemental revenue sharing system
since its inception," Aiello said. "The union approved the use of
qualifiers in the CBA. The operation of the qualifiers has been
consistent with the resolution adopted when the extension was approved
and has not disadvantaged any low-revenue club."

The SportsBusiness Journal first reported the story Tuesday.

Despite the league saying it has not violated the CBA or SRS plan,
Kessler said the union insists that there was a shortfall in the amount
of supplemental revenue sharing from 2006-08, possibly in the tens of
millions of dollars.

"What we would like to have happen is find out how much the program was
shorted and then to make sure that that money is applied in the way it
was intended," Kessler said.

The union won a previous decision from special master Stephen Burbank
in Philadelphia earlier this month. Burbank ruled that the league must
continue the SRS plan in the 2010 season — even if uncapped.

"We are surprised that the NFL seems intent on not living up to its
revenue sharing agreement," Kessler said, "and that the union has now
been forced to file a second proceeding to enforce the supplemental
revenue sharing program provided for in the CBA."

Without a deal in the next few weeks to preserve labor peace, teams
will operate next season without a salary cap. And if no deal can be
reached next season, a work stoppage could occur in 2011.

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