MLS Owners Threaten Lockout Over Pay Dispute, Players Skip Training Camps


Major League Soccer could be shut down for a bit longer than expected.

League owners apparently aren’t happy with a recent counteroffer made by the MLS Player Association for a revised 2020 season, and are even threatening a lockout, multiple sources told ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle on Monday. Owners appear to believe they’ve put forth the best offer possible and don’t appear willing to budge.

The MLSPA was told the league had pushed back its ultimatum from Tuesday to Wednesday at noon, according to ESPN’s Herculez Gomez.

In response, several players skipped practice Monday.

The MLSPA’s counteroffer includes “salary reductions across the entire player pool, reduced team and individual bonuses, and additional concessions to existing and future terms of the CBA,” per Carlisle. The association also has requested the CBA framework agreed upon in February be extended one year to 2025.

Finances, of course, is one of the major sticking points for both parties. The MLSPA has proposed a 7.5 percent pay cut for players, while MLS has proposed a 8.75 percent cut.

Neither side can agree on alterations to the league’s new revenue-sharing plan related to broadcasting rights agreed upon in the collective bargaining agreement in February. The league has proposed a 10 percent net increase in media revenue that exceeds $100 million above 2022 levels in 2023 (down from 25 percent in February’s CBA) while the union has countered with a 17 percent increase in 2023. (This money lands in the salary budget and General Allocation Money on a per team basis.)

The league is expected to resume play in at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., assuming both sides find a compromise.

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