MLS players reach tentative CBA deal with league, pending vote – Daily News

By ANNE M. PETERSON

The Associated Press

Major League Soccer and its players announced on Friday that they have reached a tentative agreement on a revised collective bargaining agreement.

The CBA was approved by the union’s executive board and bargaining committee by a vote of 24-11, according to an ESPN report. The agreement will now be sent to the full players’ union membership for a vote, which could be held as soon as Saturday. A simple majority is all that’s needed to ratify the agreement.

The agreement would then need to be approved by the league’s board of governors. That is expected to take place and would clear the way for the opening of training camps on Feb. 22 and the start of the MLS season on April 3. It also avoids a termination of the CBA and a lockout of the players, which had been threatened by MLS if a deal couldn’t be reached.

MLS announced that the proposal on the table would extend the CBA by two years through 2027, a clause the league had fought for since the beginning of negotiations and something that had been a sticking point in the talks.

The extension has the effect of delaying the jump in compensation that typically comes with a new CBA. More importantly, such an extension provides the league with considerable distance from the 2026 World Cup – co-hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico – and takes away leverage from the MLSPA to negotiate improved terms in the run-up to the tournament and the years that follow.

ESPN reported that among the player benefits contained in the proposal are no cuts to salaries in 2021, along with improved free-agency terms in 2026 and 2027, in which players 24 years of age and with four years of service would qualify. The old deal required five years of service.

The players would also reportedly receive a 10% across-the-board salary increase in 2027 and improved salaries for players classified as senior minimum. In terms of the revenue-sharing deal for the next media rights contract, the players will get a percentage of the difference between the new deal (plus $100 million). In 2023 and 2024, that percentage will be 12.5% (a decrease in 2024 of 12.5 percentage points), and from 2025 to 2027, that percentage will be 25%.

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