Major League Soccer has avoided a lockout after the league and Players Association came to terms on various issues on Wednesday, including economic concessions for the 2020 season, specifics for a return-to-play plan that features a tournament in Orlando and changes to the CBA, among other items.
The players union officially approved the return-to-play plan on Wednesday morning. MLS commissioner Don Garber met with media members later in the afternoon and discussed some specifics of the deal. They include:
- A restart plan that starts with a tournament in Orlando at Walt Disney World. Garber did not disclose many details of the tournament since they are not all finalized, but said it would not be longer than 35 days.
- Players will take five percent salary adjustment in 2020.
- Players and the league will begin revenue sharing from a new media deal in 2023. Players will get a 12.5-percent cut of the revenue in 2023 and a 25-percent cut in 2024 and 2025.
- Garber says MLS will take a $1 billion hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s a statement from the MLSPA:
With the Players Association and league locked in intense discussions, players around the league decided to skip voluntary training on Monday and Tuesday as negotiations continued.
“I think it’s very positive to start planning and programming everything to return to play,” one MLS general manager told CBS Sports. “We’ll keep a more than close eye on player safety and health before anything and will be proud to be able to [play] again. Hopefully it will be well received by fans and create even new fans.”
The threat of a lockout was looming prior to the deal, and Garber said “labor negotiations are never easy, and they shouldn’t be.”
MLS play has been suspended since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.