By Matt LeeBloomberg via Getty Images By Matt LeeAUSTIN, Texas (AP) The NFL is in danger of losing tens of thousands of jobs over the next five years if the union doesn’t get concessions from the league, according to a new study released Monday.
The report by the National Football League Players Association paints a bleak picture of the prospects for an economy with fewer jobs and wages that could become more of a drag on the league’s bottom line.
“Our union has to be a force for economic growth, which means making sure that the labor force is strong, that wages are high and that people can be able to get ahead in life,” said John Barchi, a former NFL player who now works as an analyst at consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
Barchi was an executive with the union when it was formed in 1996 and was instrumental in negotiating the new collective bargaining agreement in 2009.
He said he expects the league to have to cut a few thousand jobs over five years unless it makes substantial changes.
Barci said he has talked to more than a dozen former players, including current players like running back Ray Rice and linebacker Ray Lewis, and they are concerned about the prospects of the labor union taking on some of the most important jobs in the NFL.BARCI: The union has a very strong labor movement.
And what I’ve seen is it’s not just about wages.
They are very concerned about health care, education, pensions, health insurance.
And they’re concerned about other things as well.
I know it’s hard to predict what will happen with the economy, but I think they’re right to be worried about it.LEONARDO: They’re going to need to have more than 500,000 people.
They have a lot of bargaining power.
If the union isn’t willing to negotiate, the NFL will have to be forced to take drastic action.
They could end the preseason and play in a shortened regular season.BARCHI: If the NFL doesn’t negotiate, then the next 10 years are going to be extremely difficult for the league.
It’s going to have the lowest labor force participation in the history of the country.
It will be an economy that is basically in a depression.LEONE: We’re seeing the labor movement start to slow down, and I think it’s going a lot worse.BARCHI: And I think the labor organization has to get out of the way.
It has to have a voice in what the league does and does not do.LEONES: The NFL has a lot to lose if they don’t negotiate.LEANSON: They are going into a tough situation.
If you look at the salary cap, it is $5.7 billion for the 2020 season.
I think that is going to cost the NFL more than the league has made in the last four years.
And the NFL has made the playoffs three times in the past five years.
LEANSON : I think if they have no voice at all, then it’s probably a very bad situation for the NFL as well, as well as for players.BARRONI: They could lose their jobs.BARKER: I think we are in a tough place right now.BARBARIO: They can’t do it alone.BURRING: I know I speak for the players when I say this is not the NFL I want to be in.
I have been on a lot different jobs over my life, and this is my first job where I had to come to terms with that and make decisions.BEREAU: I feel like there’s been an erosion of trust between players and management.BENGHAZI: I have heard the argument that they are just doing what they can to try to save their jobs and get out in front of these economic pressures.LEONS: But I think their voices are really important.
The players want to make sure the labor is protected, so if you think they are being a little hard on management, then you should think twice.BRAVO: It’s a huge challenge for them to get on the field, get on TV, and make their voices heard.BERRY: There’s no question that the players want the players to have better conditions and better working conditions and a safer environment, and to be able play football and play with the fans that are there.LEANNON: I’ve worked with players in other countries.
They get their money in one country and then their money is gone in another.
I can tell you for me, when you work with players that are from other countries, they don,t have as good of conditions and working conditions as they do in the U.S.LEWIS: The players are the ones that are paying the bills, but the union is making the most of it.BRIAN KREITER: The league’s bargaining position with the players is very, very weak