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Report: A lockout could be looming in Major League Soccer

Oh boy. This could get interesting.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-OKC Energy at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Major League Soccer Player Association announced Sunday evening that it voted to approve its latest counteroffer to MLS as it relates to economic concessions for the 2020 season, modifications to the recently agreed upon CBA, and their agreement to participate in a summer tournament in Orlando.

But a report from ESPNFC’s Jeff Carlisie states that despite that approval, league officials disagree with the players and a lockout could be looming.

But according to multiple sources, MLS has already pushed back, insisting that it has submitted its best offer and that it won’t budge further. ESPN television analyst Herculez Gomez tweeted that MLS is giving the players until noon on Tuesday, otherwise they will lock the players out.

One source called MLS’s threat “a disingenuous act,” especially given how much the MLSPA membership has offered.

The league has been on hold since March 12, which would have been the third week of play in the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Players and the league have been working to agree on the economic impact of this suspension from play for several weeks now.

According to the report, the league is wanting just a little more out of the players in terms of money right now. While the MLSPA has offered to accept a 7.5 percent pay cut, MLS’s most recent offer came in at 8.75 percent.

The league is also apparently stuck on items related to a force majeure clause that would allow either side to back out of a CBA in the case of a catastrophic event like a pandemic. MLS’s proposal gives it the right to invoke the clause if five teams suffer an attendance drop of 25 percent or more from the previous year, while the MLSPA’s doesn’t have that stipulation.

The report also goes into more detail as to what the league hopes to do with the proposed proposed revenue sharing plan related to a new broadcast rights deal that will commence in 2023.

So with all of those details and the pending plan for teams to meet in Orlando later this month to begin training for a short summer tournament to get play resumed in 2020, this feels like a lot.

I get both sides of the coin here though too. Players want protection on what they deserve here. Owners are wanting to protect their investments and not lose even more money during this time. We’ve seen some bumpy times before between the two sides when it comes to these sorts of things and hopefully something will get worked out this week to get play resumed as soon as possible, with both sides conceding enough to let things just be what they are for this year.

Either way, buckle up folks.