With the ongoing speculation in the British press as well as in Tampa Bay about the Glazer family's financial situation, we felt compelled to ask commissioner Roger Goodell to comment on the matter during his state of the league address this morning in Fort Lauderdale.
Specifically, I asked him whether he was aware of the speculation arising out of the Glazers' mounting debt on their loan used to purchase Manchester United, and if he felt it was causing the family any financial duress (and by extension, perhaps affecting the Bucs).
Here's Goodell's response:
"I talk to the Glazers on a regular basis. I will tell you that they are sound owners. They are terrific for the NFL and we have not seen that there is any stress that would affect the way they operate any of their professional teams, much less the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."
So, that's the official version from the league. Based on his response, he seems aware of the financial burdens created by the debt payments on Man U. But the soccer team produces lots of revenue, which must be allaying the league's concerns that it's a drain on the Glazers. But the fact is, the payments are eating into what would be much higher revenue from the soccer club. So, this debate is probably going to continue for some time to come.
Source: St. Petersburg Times - Stephen Holder
PewterReport.com's Take: Great question to ask, but it's important to remember that Roger Goodell works for the owners, so his response isn't surprising. Actions speak louder than words, and the fact remains that the Bucs spent the least amount of money on player pay roll from 2004-08, investing $449 million in pay roll, according to NFL.com. Bucs general manager Mark Dominik has already stated that the Bucs will not be big spenders in free agency this year despite it going uncapped. Many believe that's yet another sign that points towards ownership's financial issues, which stem from Manchester United, real estate investments, the Bucs and a bad economy.