Originally Posted by DanH
Let's assume we believe the owners' claims, and that they lost 300 million last year alone. Last year, the total revenue was 3.817 billion. At 57%, the players received 2.176 billion. To recover 300 million, assuming no growth in revenue due to the effects of the lockout, the owners would logically have to pay the players only 1.876 billion, which is 49% of the revenues. So at 50-50, the owners claim to still be losing money. Revenue growth would help bring that to a gain.
Of course, the owners' claims are up for debate, but without personal access to the entire league's books, I can't really comment on that, except to say that I expect some of the accusations that have been made hold merit, and some don't and have been refuted. Personally I don't find the conversation too interesting, since it really isn't about what each side SHOULD be asking for, but what they are asking for, and what leverage they have.
That's not an assumption, it's a fact. Owners have opened up the books to the players and the figures were confirmed. What the players are disputing is the right of the owners to include interest expenses on the amounts used to finance the purchase of the teams. Which is a ridiculous claim if you ask any business person. Almost any legislation in the world will allow a business to depreciate the interest cost of investment, otherwise nobody (of very few) would be able borrow for such a purpose.
So in effect, if you discount that claim from the players, basically everybody is in agreement that the owners are losing money as a whole. Whether the breaking point is 50% or 51% is less relevant. Players know that and yet they claim owners are greedy for wanting to turn a profit on what amounts to a huge business investment and claim that owners should, AT BEST, break even. Anything else constitutes greed from their point of view.
How can anybody support such a point is beyond me, assuming they fully understand the situation (which I grant very few people do, including most espn writers).