By Steve Kelly
Major League Soccer and its players agreed last night on a reworked collective bargaining agreement that will run through the 2027 season.
The league had invoked a force majeure clause in December to reopen negotiations over the current CBA, citing ongoing uncertainty because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Major League Soccer has said it lost nearly $1 billion last season, due in part to the pandemic as it played in mostly empty stadiums and with increased costs for testing and charter flights. The league said it expects similar losses this year.
The Major League Players Association and the league had two difficult negotiations last year — one in February before the start of the season and a second in June when players took a pay cut in order to resume the 2020 season.
The agreement reached last night gives the players their full salaries this season and extends the current CBA for two seasons. The union had proposed a one-year extension through 2026. Additional details about the deal were not immediately disclosed.
The agreement was subject to the approval of the MLS Board of Governors and the MLSPA members. The union said the agreement would be sent to the full player poll for a ratification vote this weekend.
The league originally set a deadline for last week, but it was extended through Thursday as the sides made progress. The deadline was extended again by 24 hours through Friday to cement an agreement.