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Corporate structure::National Football League

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Corporate structure

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

At the corporate level, the National Football League considers itself a trade association made up of and financed by its 32 member teams.<ref name="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/12/sports/football/12nfltax.html">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Up until 2015, the league was an unincorporated nonprofit 501(c)(6) association.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code provides an exemption from federal income taxation for "Business leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or professional football leagues (whether or not administering a pension fund for football players), not organized for profit and no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.".<ref>26 U.S.C. ยง 501(c)(6)</ref> In contrast, each individual team (except the non-profit Green Bay Packers<ref name="Green Bay Packers Shareholder information">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>) is subject to tax because they make a profit.<ref name="NFL targeted by Oklahoma senator for 'not-for-profit' tax status">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The NFL gave up the tax exempt status in 2015 following public criticism; in a letter to the club owners, Commissioner Roger Goodell labeled it a "distraction", saying "the effects of the tax exempt status of the league office have been mischaracterized repeatedly in recent years... Every dollar of income generated through television rights fees, licensing agreements, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other means is earned by the 32 clubs and is taxable there. This will remain the case even when the league office and Management Council file returns as taxable entities, and the change in filing status will make no material difference to our business". As a result, the league office might owe around US$10 million, but is no longer required to disclose the salaries of its executive officers.<ref name="NFL no longer non-profit after giving up tax exempt status">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The league has three defined officers: the commissioner, secretary, and treasurer. Each conference has one officer, the president. The commissioner is elected by affirmative vote of two-thirds or 18 (whichever is greater) of the members of the league, while the president of each conference is elected by an affirmative vote of three-fourths or ten of the conference members.<ref name="NFL Bylaws, p. 26-27">NFL Bylaws, p. 26-27.</ref> The commissioner appoints the secretary and treasurer and has broad authority in disputes between clubs, players, coaches, and employees. He is the "principal executive officer"<ref name="NFL Bylaws, p. 28-35" /> of the NFL and also has authority in hiring league employees, negotiating television contracts, disciplining individuals that own part or all of an NFL team, clubs, or employed individuals of an NFL club if they have violated league bylaws or committed "conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football".<ref name="NFL Bylaws, p. 28-35" /> The commissioner can, in the event of misconduct by a party associated with the league, suspend individuals, hand down a fine of up to US$500,000, cancel contracts with the league, and award or strip teams of draft picks.<ref name="NFL Bylaws, p. 28-35" />

In extreme cases, the commissioner can offer recommendations to the NFL's Executive Committee up to and including the "cancellation or forfeiture"<ref name="NFL Bylaws, p. 28-35" /> of a club's franchise or any other action he deems necessary. The commissioner can also issue sanctions up to and including a lifetime ban from the league if an individual connected to the NFL has bet on games or failed to notify the league of conspiracies or plans to bet on or fix games.<ref name="NFL Bylaws, p. 28-35">NFL Bylaws, p. 28-35.</ref> The current Commissioner of the National Football League is Roger Goodell, who was elected in 2006 after Paul Tagliabue, the previous commissioner, retired.<ref name="Owners Pick Goodell as NFL Commissioner">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>


National Football League sections
Intro  History  Corporate structure  Season format  Trophies and awards  Media coverage  Clubs  Draft  Free agency  Fantasy football  See also  References  External links  

Corporate structure
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