League, MLSPA reach collective bargaining agreement
By Official Florida FC
Major League Soccer and the Major League Soccer Players Association agreed to resume the 2020 season with a tournament in Orlando on Wednesday.
The tournament was part of the new collective bargaining agreement the league and MLSPA signed that concludes after the 2025 season.
The Associated Press reports players will take a 7.5 % pay cut for the remainder of this season under the agreement. Other portions of the deal include a $5 million cap on performance bonuses and the raises for minimum salaries being pushed further into the future.
The aggreement comes on the heels of MLS threatening to impose the first work stoppage in league history.
“It’s not something that I did without a lot of thought and without a lot of concern and a lot of understanding as to what impact that would have on our players and on the negotiation,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber told reporters. “But it was something, as the leader of this league that I believed was necessary in order for us to get to the point today.”
Nashville SC defender Daniel Lovitz told reporters there are no winners in this scenario.
“This was a very difficult situation. I’ll give people the benefit of the doubt of doing what needed to be done. Sometimes the actions didn’t quite reflect what we thought the end goal should be, but at the end of the day everyone has their process, we’re incredibly happy with ours, and we’re incredibly excited to move forward now.”
The MLS Players Association released a statement on Wednesday that expressed optimism now that negotiations are over.
“We hope our return to the field will allow fans a momentary release and a semblance of normalcy. We are committed as a group of doing all that we can– both as leaders in our sport as well as leaders in our communities– to help carry our countries, our communities, our league and our sport forward.
MLS did not announce specifics about when it would resume play and the format of the tournament. The Athletic reports the Orlando-based tournament would be held in July.
The league has been suspended since March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Players have been able to train at team facilities since May 6; however, MLS has not allowed for full squad workouts.