As a member of the NFL League Management Council Executive Committee (can we get an acronym for that, please?), Chargers owner Dean Spanos was present for a large part of the labor negotiations that took place over the last 17 days. On Saturday, Spanos issued a statement about the series of events that led to the league's first work stoppage since 1987.
"I’m extremely disappointed in the Union’s decision to decertify, which led to the League’s difficult but necessary step to lock out, something we tried hard to avoid. The most efficient way to get a new deal done is through mediation and negotiation; not through litigation. The lawyers are the only winners in litigation. The fans, players and teams all lose. Unfortunately this action by the Union only delays the process.
“I’m disappointed for the fans who care about the Chargers and this game we all love. I feel badly for our players. They’re good men that just want to play football and win a championship, but they’re caught in the middle.
“I’m most disappointed in the actions of the Union’s leadership that is supposed to be representing all of our players. They clearly were not negotiating in good faith right from the beginning. I believe their intention all along was to decertify and bring us to litigation.
“The Chargers will continue to do everything within the League rules to prepare to win a championship. Currently we’re preparing for a very important draft and will be ready to take advantage of all opportunities to improve our team.
“We will get through this. There will be a new agreement and we’re looking forward to playing football this season. In the end, the final result will be an agreement that is good for the fans, fair for the players and teams, and will allow this game to grow and prosper in San Diego.”
What will be interesting to see now is how the lockout and subsequent court battles affect San Diego's quest for a new stadium.