NFL chief takes pay cut after layoffs

Sports league cuts up to 169 jobs; commissioner says he will forego up to 25% of salary, accept pay freeze next year.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- The National Football League has cut about 15% of its staff since announcing layoffs two months ago, and its commissioner will take a pay cut for the current fiscal year, the league confirmed Wednesday.

The NFL has cut about 169 jobs, including 45 through layoffs. The rest were eliminated through buyouts and by leaving open jobs unfilled, the league reported Wednesday.

"All of us understand that it will continue to take collective sacrifice to get through this challenging economic environment, but these and other steps by our office and clubs will enable us to be more efficient and better positioned for future growth," league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement announcing the decision.

In addition, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will give up about 20% to 25% of his $11 million salary for the 2008 budget year, which ends March 31, McCarthy said. Goodell will forgo a scheduled raise in his contract for the coming year, as well, and the rest of the NFL's executive staff will take similar cuts, he said.

The league's 2008 regular-season attendance of close to 17.1 million was down about 2% from 2007. Goodell told reporters in January that fans are facing hard times, and some of the NFL's business partners are being strained by the recession as well.

The NFL's 32 teams also have cut a total of more than 200 jobs, McCarthy said, and the league is taking other steps to reduce its expenses by about 20%.

-- CNN's Emily Anderson contributed to this report. To top of page

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