No lockout: 2020 MLS season to resume as players accept terms in modified CBA

The Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) have finally reached an agreement for changes to be made to the CBA, paving the way for the resumption of the 2020 MLS Season. Statements issued by both organizations on Wednesday confirmed that the league, which was suspended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, is on course to returning next month.

Earlier this week reports that emerged suggested that MLS owners were threatening to lockout players should they refuse to give in to their demands outlined in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The motive of the latter, which will see the soccer stars taking pay cut until 2025, is to soften the economic blow handed to clubs by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the MLSPA on Wednesday, a modified CBA has been accepted in good faith after players submitted a package for the league to peruse on Sunday. The road has now been paved for the newly proposed format of the 2020 MLS season to ensue under strict safety protocols in Orlando in July for six weeks. Below is the full statement by the MLSPA on the agreement:

“MLS Players today ratified a new collective bargaining agreement, which will run through the 2025 season. Today’s vote also finalizes a plan to resume the 2020 season and provides Players with certainty for the months ahead. It allows our members to move forward and continue to compete in the game they love.

“However, we recognize that we are all moving forward – as Players, as fans, as societies, as a world – into a future that looks much different than the one we envisioned a few months ago. There are problems we face collectively that are both more urgent and more important than competing on the field. We are grieving, we are fed up, we expect change, and we expect action. This change won’t come on the field, but it will come partly through the force and determination of all who seek justice and equality. We hope our return to the field will allow fans a momentary release and a semblance of normalcy. We are committed as a group to doing all that we can – both as leaders in our sport as well as leaders in our communities – to help carry our countries, our communities, our league, and our sport forward.

“Navigating the challenges of the past several months would not have been possible without the incredible dedication and leadership shown by our Executive Board and Bargaining Committee. Finally, none of what we do as Players would be possible without our Supporters Groups and fans, and we thank them for their continued support and solidarity.”

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