The NFL has recently formed an ownership committee to review its outdated ownership rules. This committee includes four owners: Arthur Blank, Robert Kraft, Jimmy Haslam, and Greg Penner. Clark Hunt, the chairman of the finance committee, is also a member. The league aims to reassess various ownership policies such as acceptable debt levels, minimum debt levels, capital requirements, holding periods, and opportunities for more diverse ownership. With the rising values of franchises, the NFL is struggling to find willing buyers who can meet the current rules. Consequently, the league may consider raising the debt limit, allowing more limited partners, and decreasing the minimum investment by private equity firms.
In light of these challenges, the NFL needs to explore revolutionary changes in response to financial and operational concerns. The league should consider options like private equity investment or corporate restructuring of teams. One suggestion is to have a CEO in charge of running each team, as it would improve accountability and facilitate the removal of individuals responsible for egregious behavior or toxic work environments. Additionally, adopting a corporate structure with a board of directors could ensure proper hiring procedures, oversight, and regulation. This way, if any top executive’s actions are inconsistent with the team or the league’s values, they can be easily replaced. It would provide a mechanism to address controversies and prevent real estate issues that might lead to franchise sales.
By implementing these changes, the NFL can address the difficulty of holding billionaires accountable and create a more transparent and responsible management system. It would also address concerns about potential wrongdoing and enable swift action when necessary.