Bluff Called: MLS nears CBA Deal to Avoid Lockout

Major League Soccer owners are hoping to avoid a lockout of players by extending their deadline for an agreement after a hard stance just 24-hours earlier. The MLSPA recently sent a counter proposal that accepted pay cuts but also asked for certain assurances during the proposed Orlando tournament that appears to be taking shape.

The news from ESPN has that not only is there going to be an agreement on economic concessions but also a revision to the CBA to avoid future issues. Such a move would avoid the league’s first ever work stoppage which seemed to be an inevitability over the past 48-hours. The league has been shut down a mere weeks into the 2020 season during the COVID-19 pandemic and is needed in order to get anything out of the season at all.

Should the agreement come to fruition, MLS would stage a World-Cup-inspired tournament starting in late June. The 26 clubs would gather in Orlando, Florida and play one game each before advancing to a knockout tournament. The players would sequester themselves in specified hotels and be in quarantine for the entirety of the competition.

While this may put the players on the field in 2020, there are other issues still to be worked through in the coming months. The CBA had yet to be ratified and negotiations on revenue sharing is apparently on the table. The league and players had an agreement on shared revenue from a future TV broadcast deal but that is now a point of contention given the new landscape. Where that nets out remains to be seen.

Either way, it appears that the tide has shifted and teams will be traveling to Orlando barring another turn of events. MLS is expected to present the new proposal on Tuesday with ratification expected on Wednesday.

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