Where do the Bucs owners stand in labor negotiations?
A handful of team owners have taken vocal approaches to the NFL's CBA negotiations -- Dallas' Jerry Jones, New England's Robert Kraft and Carolina's Jerry Richardson among them -- while some, like the Giants' John Mara, have even been seated at the table for the ongoing mediation sessions.
The Glazers? The Bucs' owners continue to remain where they usually are: In the background.
Like most owners, we haven’t seen any of the Glazer brothers (Joel, Bryan or Ed) or at the bargaining sessions and they certainly haven’t spoken publicly about their stance on the various issues over which the league and union are fighting.
We do know from various reports that certain owners want to pursue this fight more aggressively than others. That got us wondering: Where do the Glazers fit in this whole picture?
Are they among the owners who are willing to drag this out as long as necessary? Or are they part of what presumably is a minority of owners who can live with the substantial profits they’re reaping from their club and don’t want the risks associated with a protracted lockout?
Remember, the Bucs don’t have the sort of huge stadium debt some clubs do and in recent seasons they’ve had a very modest payroll -- including the league’s lowest in 2010. And for those who think their English soccer club, Manchester United is draining them financially, there is quite a bit of evidence to the contrary, despite what many choose to believe. In fact, it’s our understanding, through reliable sources, that Man U clears a handsome yearly profit despite the massive debt piled up to make the purchase a few years ago. There’s a reason the Glazers can afford to rebuff the potential ownership groups that continue to dangle as much as $2 billion to buy the soccer franchise.
Here’s another thing worth mentioning: While the Glazers don’t have a new stadium to pay for, the one they do have hasn’t been full in quite a while. That is surely eating into their profits, though their low payroll perhaps mitigates this.
Now, here’s what we don’t know. We don’t know how the Glazers are doing financially in their other industries, though it’s safe to assume their commercial real estate holdings – of which they have many – have taken a big hit in this economy. But the Glazers are nothing if not diversified, and that’s the key to weathering a downturn in a particular business sector.
The guess here is that we’ll probably never get much of indication of the role the Glazers played or positions they took through this labor unrest. For all we know, they’re blowing up Roger Goodell’s cell phone and urging him to hold his ground. Or they could be doing nothing of the sort.
Wouldn’t you love to know?