Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reports over five years ago Bills owner Ralph Wilson and Bengals owner Mike Brown cast the only negative votes in a 30-2 landslide to approve as a package deal the take-it-or-leave-it collective bargaining agreement proposed by the union and a revenue sharing plan among the owners. Looking for peace at any price, the owners caved in.
Two years into the deal, the 30 owners who disagreed with Wilson and Brown suddenly realized they were the ones who made a huge mistake.
Wilson resisted last week saying, “I told you so,” to the 30 owners who voted the other way in 2006.
He objected to the revenue sharing plan that didn’t put enough money in the pockets of the small-market teams like the Bills rather than to any distaste he had for all the money – 59.5% – that was going to the players. He felt the revenue-sharing portion was being shoved down his throat without a proper explanation what he would be signing.
“I’m upset about the whole deal and the way it was presented,” Wilson said five years ago. “And 59.5% is far too much money for the whole league, not just Buffalo.”
“I came into this game 50 years ago because I enjoyed the game of pro football. Not to make money,” Wilson said. “In those days, everybody was hoping to break even. We lost money for a number of years. I am really not into the game to make money, but I would like to break even or make a little.”