Lockout Avoided! MLS and Union Reach Agreement

Major League Soccer and MLS Players’ Association have reached an agreement on a modified collective bargaining agreement that will take them through the 2025 season. The 180-degree turn comes after a lockout appeared on the horizon following the league’s dismissal of a proposal from the union earlier in the week.

“MLS Players today ratified a new collective bargaining agreement,” said a statement from the union. “Today’s vote also finalized a plan to resume the 2020 season and provides players with certainty for the months ahead. It allows our members to move forward and continue to compete in the game they love.”

A source told ESPN that the concessions from the union totals over $100 million and includes a salary-cut across the board of 7.5%. Performane and individual bonuses will also be capped at $5 million for the season. The league did cave on a clause in the agreement that would see them escaping the agreement if a second wave of COVID-19 hit later in the year. That was thrown away for this deal and both sides were able to come to fair terms.

The revenue sharing deal set to start in 2023 following the new TV broadcasting deal has also been amended. Originally the players would have shared in 25% of the revenue from future deals but have now cut that back to just 12.5% for 2023 and back up to 25% the following year in 2024. The salary bump initially planned in the CBA will also be pushed back a year as part of the final agreement.

The door is now open for the league to return to action early next month. The proposed Orlando tournament would take place in Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney World and feature all 26 teams in a World Cup-style tournament. Expectations are that teams will begin arriving in Orlando in three weeks.

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