Major League Soccer appeared to be on the brink of a lockout Monday, but there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.
MLS and the MLS Players’ Association are “cautiously optimistic” about avoiding a potential lockout, ESPN’s Taylor Twellman reported Tuesday. MLS had given the MLSPA until Wednesday at noon to accept a proposal made Sunday by the league or force a lockout.
Twellman reported that one more detail is being worked before the ratification of new return-to-play and collective bargaining agreements. The ex-MLS star calls the recent talks “a major breakthrough.”
While things were very intense over the last few days, there has been a major breakthrough between the @MLSPA and @MLS league office. “Cautiously optimistic” as 1 more detail is being discussed and pending the new agreement/CBA being ratified, a lockout should be avoided.
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) June 2, 2020
Finances have been perhaps the biggest sticking point for both sides as MLS attempts to resume its 2020 season after putting it on hold due to COVID-19. But Tuesday’s breakthrough apparently came after the league backed off having a force majeure clause tied to attendance as part of the return-to-play plan, according to ESPN. MLS reportedly will run with the MLSPA’s suggestion to take “a more industry-standard approach (similar to the NBA) instead.
Both parties also appear to be willing to compromise on revenue-sharing regarding broadcasting rights and pay, too, which also have been major sources of contention. What those compromises will be, however, still are unclear.
A formal deal is expected to be presented to the MLSPA later Tuesday, per ESPN.