You think the owner's opted out of a 'terrible' deal only because that's what they lead you to believe. The only things the public sees should indicate otherwise--but the NFL PR department is doing a fantastic job of making the owners seem like the victims. They haven't opened the books yet claim they are so financially imperiled that they want the players AND fans to make sacrifices. What sacrifices have the owner's made? They are demanding that taxpayers pay more and more for PRIVATELY OWNED stadiums (1.2 Billion for the new meadowlands, 1.7 Billion for Cowboys stadium, 1+ billion estimated for new vikings stadium). I, for one, wouldn't mind accepting such a 'terrible' deal that allows me to live as lavishly as most owner's do.
Revenues are up, profit is down and owner's claim that down profits are primarily due to player expenses. I say prove it. If the player's really are pocketing 57% of the money as the owners say, it shouldn't be hard to show on a financial statement.
As a business owner, manipulating profit/losses is as simple as writing a bonus check. Not saying that all owner's are doing this--but it seems pretty likely that at least some would. And opening that can of worms may get a CBA worked out, but it would certainly cause some strife and regulatory headaches for the owners.
The owners offered to show their books to a third party that was agreeable to both sides for the last 5 years. The players didn't want a third party and requested the last 10 years (a time frame which is completely unnecessary and was only requested for political cover to decertify). And if a third party certified their findings on the owners books and they lied or manipulated they would be on the hook for fraud so I doubt they would fudge the numbers in the owners favor.
So they offered to prove it, and the NFLPA refused.
Most major corporations get tax breaks in the millions or even billions by state governments and many are also subsidized by the federal government. Often times they are tax exempt and are given land to build their buildings free of charge. Is there a difference??
Both the players and owners live pretty lavish lifestyles. The owners however carry all the risk and expenses.
As far as manipulating profit/loss that is serious fraud and I doubt anyone would do that.
The real negotiations won't really start until a counter proposal is on the table. Until then the NFLPA will continue to piss on our legs and tell us it is raining.