MLSPA approves new MLS CBA, clearing way for 2020 tourney

Disney World soccer

The MLS Players Association approved a modified collective bargaining agreement (CBA) running through January 2026, clearing the way for a summer tourney in Disney World.

The ratification comes after negotiations yielding some agreements, but a few disagreements that called the league to threaten a lockout as of yesterday. As tweeted out by the MLSPA, players acknowledge that these are challenging times, and the ratification of the CBA could add some regularity back to the sport:

In the short term, the deal paves the way for a full-league round-robin tournament at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Florida’s Disney World. Previously the MLS Players Association agreed on a wide range of topics, including a reduced salary (by 7.5 percent) and bonuses (now capped at $5 million) for the 2020 season and tournament play. The 2020 tournament would allow players to skip play for medical reasons should they or a member of their household were at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure.

The agreement follow a previous agreement to extend the existing collective bargaining agreement to 2025, as announced in January. Players accepted a smaller percentage of league revenues come 2023 and 2024 when a new TV contract is expected to contribute more to league coffers, and a new force majeure clause allowing the league to suspend contracts or withhold salaries in the case of a catastrophic event. It’s not the clause pushed by MLS, which would have tied attendance to invoking the clause, but rather one that allows the CBA to be scrapped if it deemed to be economically unfeasible.

Photo courtesy Disney.

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