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12-08-2012, 02:43 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The Wild West
Country: Canada
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Donald Fehr holds up the MLB CBA as the model to follow. He cites years of labor peace and that is hard to argue with.

In a book authored by Andrew Zimbalist he found that the players' share of revenue dropped from 67% in 2002 to 51% by 2008. So it is in line with the other major sports. In 2012 the average team salary was about $98 million which would put the average team revenue at about $200 million.

So far that puts MLB approximately in line with the other sports. It seems clear that most major sports are paying somewhere between 50% and 55% of revenues.

What is interesting when you compare hockey to baseball is the range between the minimum salary and the maximum salary. The minimum salary in MLB is $480,000 per year and at the same time there are about 40 players who make in excess of $15 million per year. In other words, the top players make 30x the amount of bottom players.

From a team perspective, the highest team salary is almost 4x as high as the lowest team salary.

That would be the environment the players would be working under if they followed Fehr's preferred path. Overall spending by teams might increase somewhat but the beneficiaries would be a handful of players. At the bottom end, the players could end up worse than they are now.

On a relative scale, let's say the Leafs payroll ballooned to $90 to $100 million per year. Using the MLB blueprint you could see some teams spending as little as $25 million in salary.

Let's not kid ourselves. The upper echelon players would be huge beneficiaries while the average 3rd or 4th line player, or anyone playing on a small market team, may not be so happy with the result.

The next time Fehr holds up the MLB model as an example of success, the players should look at that agreement a little more closely.

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