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MLS, player union agrees to extend CBA negotiations for a week – Soccer Sports

The MLS and the MLS Players Association have agreed to extend talks on the revised Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by a week, the league announced on Friday.

Both sides also agreed on a schedule of regular meetings during that period.

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“Major League Soccer met with MLSPA and players yesterday to discuss how to deal with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are far away, but 30 days to offer every opportunity. We will extend the negotiation period by one week. We will conclude a contract.

“As part of the extension, MLS and MLSPA are working on a regular meeting schedule for the next few days,” the league said in a statement.

In that statement, MLS said it would terminate the existing CBA and begin locking out players if no agreement was reached by 11:59 ET on February 4.

One league source said he “wants to act quickly” because the league is related to the completion of the CBA.

A source familiar with the situation told ESPN that MLS would submit a counter-proposal to MLSPA within 24 hours.

“Given the impact of COVID-19 on how the club needs to operate during the preseason, we will continue to provide teams and players with enough time to prepare for the start of the training camp. We need to reach an agreement in a few days, “continued the statement. “If the new CBA cannot be completed by 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on February 4, the MLS Labor Relations Commission unanimously approves the league to end the CBA and begin lockouts. I voted unanimously.

“For clarity, we promise to close the deal and make it available in any form at any time to meet with MLSPA and players. Given the ongoing pandemic, the league is for players and players. Keep paying health insurance premiums for your family in the event of a lockout. “

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This extension will take place after MLSPA submits its latest counter offer on Thursday. According to the MLSPA proposal, the CBA period will be extended by one year until 2026. The union requires players over the age of 23 and having at least four years of service to qualify as free agents in 2025 and 2026. .. Earlier thresholds for those years were 24 years and 5 years of service. MLSPA will also reduce its salary cap each year from 2022 to 25, while reducing its revenue share in the next media rights transaction to 12.5% ​​by 2024. According to MLSPA, the total concession will be about $ 53 million.

The MLS had previously called for a two-year extension of the CBA and a freeze on the salary budget from 2021 to 2022 in exchange for no reduction in salaries or bonuses in 2021. MLS said the initial offer will be between $ 100 million and $ 110 million. With concessions.

“In discussions with MLSPA, the importance of a two-year extension to allow leagues and clubs to recover some of the losses incurred in 2021 as a result of the pandemic, while at the same time protecting long-term health. He emphasized the nature of the league by providing stability that facilitates continued investment. ” “Importantly, the MLS proposal does not include any structural changes to the CBA and does not require any additional restrictions on the rights of the player’s free agent during the period.”

Both sides have been engaged in CBA negotiations since the launch of MLS. Force majeure This was done in response to the ongoing economic negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the slow deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine, MLS has raised concerns about seeing another season with few or no fans on the stand. Given that the league relies on matchday earnings, I felt that MLS was facing a sharp loss for another year. MLS claims that the league will lose nearly $ 1 billion in 2020, with $ 725 million directly related to the pandemic.

The invocation of the clause allowed negotiations to resume for 30 days, after which either side could either invalidate the CBA or continue negotiations.

The MLS argued that the end of the 30-day period set to take place on Thursday midnight is a tight deadline. In a memo sent Wednesday, MLS President and Deputy Commissioner prepares league teams and staff to suspend work in case the CBA agreement cannot be reached by Thursday night. I instructed.

The union is MLS Force majeure Especially after making a $ 150 million concession in the latest CBA negotiated last June, not because of economic need, but because of economic opportunism.

The resumption of negotiations will be the third time that both sides have been involved in CBA negotiations last year. Both sides reached a principle agreement in February last year, but neither side formally ratified it. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, MLS resumed negotiations and both sides agreed to a revised deal last June.

Earlier this week, MLS announced that a training camp prior to the 2021 regular season would begin on February 22nd. The regular season is scheduled to start on April 3rd.

– Soccer Sports

MLS, player union agrees to extend CBA negotiations for a week

https://www.espn.com/soccer/major-league-soccer/story/4301625/mls-players-union-agree-to-extend-cba-talks-one-week MLS, player union agrees to extend CBA negotiations for a week

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