Major League Soccer announced some details for the 2021 season on Monday, but while all indications are that things will go to some normalcy, there are still some strings to tie.
• Read also: MLS kicks off season April 3
Simply explained, the league informs that it must come to an agreement with the Players’ Association since it invoked, at the end of December, the force majeure clause appearing in the new collective agreement concluded in 2020.
This clause allows him to set aside an employment contract in the event of extreme and uncontrollable circumstances, such as a global pandemic, for example. The league reported losses of around US $ 1 billion in 2020.
This clause then forces the two parties to return to the negotiating table in order to find new common ground.
However, according to various stakeholders surveyed, there is no reason to believe that the two parties will not get along. As the case is ongoing and rather sensitive, all have requested anonymity.
In the statement issued on Monday, the league said it submitted an offer to players on January 5. The Players Association responded with a counter-offer on January 23 and the two sides have yet to reach a deal.
According to MLS, its offer includes an assurance that players will receive 100% of their salary in 2021, in return for which the league asks them to extend the employment contract by two years.
Recall that the two parties agreed on a new agreement shortly before the start of the 2020 season, but the global pandemic has put sand in the gear.
The agreement must end in January 2025. The league therefore requests that it be extended until January 2027.
According to a knowledgeable person on the Players’ Association side, this week will be important. Without saying that everything will be settled by the weekend, things are likely to change for the better because everyone wants to play.
The good news for the players is that the league is offering to pay them in full in 2021, after they had accepted a 5% pay cut in 2020.
MLS, however, slashed 50% of the bonus budget, and that’s where it hurt, especially for lower-income players.
The salary floor has been set at US $ 56,250, but players earning minimum wage can improve their lot significantly, some being able to pocket $ 20,000, $ 30,000 or even $ 40,000 more with bonuses.
Nearly 60 players were paid the minimum wage in 2020.