MLS agrees player pay deal to set up restart with made-for-TV Orlando special

June 4 – Major League Soccer (MLS) and its players’ union (MLSPA) have reached agreement on a re-negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement that will enable the season to restart with a new competition format to be played in Orlando, Florida.

The season was just two rounds old when the MLS suspended play on March 12. All 26 teams will now convene in Orlando June 24 for two weeks of training before competitive play restarts.

At one point it looked like an agreement might not be found with MLS owners wanting to insert a force majeure clause that would allow the league to scrap the CBA if there was an attendance decline in a handful of MLS markets, as well as  dispute over the distribution of TV revenue from the deal starting in 2023.

The MLS agreed to revise the force majeure clause and with players having already taken a 7.5% pay cut a revision of the TV revenue decline will not have the impact previously feared.

The revised CBA means that the MLS should now be free of labour disputes with its players until 2025.

The made-for-TV Orlando tournament will see group play qualify 16 teams for knockout stages. It is reported that three games in the tournament will qualify as clubs’ regular season fixtures.

MLS is putting up a $1 million prize pool, as well as a promise to aid charities in clubs’ home markets.

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