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NFL To Terminate $100 Million in Revenue Sharing

From Mort of ESPN:

In a significant move that could impact the flow of money to potential free agents and the competitive balance of teams, the NFL has notified the players’ union that, effective next March, owners will pull the plug on the $100-million-per-year revenue-sharing program that has subsidized lower-revenue clubs, multiple sources said.

By Tuesday, the NFL Players Association will challenge the move with a Special Master, claiming owners can’t terminate the revenue-sharing model without the union’s approval because it was adopted into the 2006 labor agreement, which doesn’t expire until March 2011.

Management counters that the supplemental model pertained only to salary-capped seasons; 2010 is scheduled to be uncapped.

Approximately eight to 12 lower-revenue teams have qualified on a yearly basis to draw from the supplemental pool. The $100 million fund is part of $6.5 billion in revenues shared by all clubs.

“We are simply going forward on the terms the union approved in March of 2006,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

According to NFLPA spokesman George Atallah, “Revenue sharing helps maintain the ‘any-given Sunday’ dynamic in the NFL.

“The amount of money some owners propose to pull out of the system in 2011 could mean the difference between playoffs and blackouts for many teams,” he said.

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