NFL chief waives salary in virus cost-cutting

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, believed to be the highest paid sports administrator in the world, had voluntarily requested his paycheck be slashed to zero last month. — Picture by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, believed to be the highest paid sports administrator in the world, had voluntarily requested his paycheck be slashed to zero last month. — Picture by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

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NEW YORK, April 30 — National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell has waived his salary as part of a package of measures put in place to help the league reduce costs during the coronavirus pandemic, US reports said Wednesday.

Goodell, believed to be the highest paid sports administrator in the world, had voluntarily requested his paycheck be slashed to zero last month, which the league’s compensation committee approved, ESPN reported.

Goodell signed a five-year contract extension in 2017 which was reportedly worth US$200 million (RM868.8 million) or US$40 million annually, with bonuses and incentives accounting for the bulk of that figure.

Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II, who chairs the compensation committee, confirmed Goodell’s salary cut in an email sent to teams on Wednesday. The email also attached a memo from Goodell about cost-cutting measures.

“It is important to note that the Commissioner and his staff took the initiative to implement these measures as responsible steps in light of the economic uncertainty facing all businesses,” Rooney wrote.

“Obviously, these are steps we all would prefer not to have to take, and the League office remains committed to planning for a full season in 2020.

“In addition to the steps outlined in the memo, last month the Commissioner requested that he voluntarily reduce his salary to US$0, which went into effect earlier this month.”

Goodell’s memo meanwhile detailed plans for pay reductions and furloughs of NFL employees who were unable to work from home.

Effective from May 22, any employee earning more than US$100,000 will see cuts ranging from between five per cent and 15 per cent. Employees earning less than US$100,000 will not be affected.

“We hope that business conditions will improve and permit salaries to be returned to their current levels, although we do not know when that will be possible,” Goodell wrote in the memo.

“The economic consequences for our country have been substantial ... It is clear that the economic effects will be deeper and longer lasting than anyone anticipated and that their duration remains uncertain.”

The NFL remains the most popular and most profitable sports league in the United States, generating a whopping US$16 billion in revenue in 2018. ­— AFP

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