There is some major news coming from my good friend Duane Rollins up in Toronto. From his 24th Minute blog he has received inside information that progress is being made between the players union and the league with the new deadline looming for this Friday of a possible strike, lockout, or another extension to avoid a work stoppage.
So far it sounds like two major issues have been solved as there will be guaranteed contracts and a decent salary cap increase for the players. Duane reports that the salary cap will increase from $2.3 million to $2.6 million. If it doesn’t sound like a major increase to you, it does mean that those youth players who sign the Developmental contracts or Generations Adidas contracts could earn some more money than $18,000 a year.
But the one big final hurdle that is looming large is free agency which the league won’t give up on so easily. They are holding firm to that stance as they believe any type of free agency will automatically inflate the market and could doom the single entity structure. This once again is fabulous news to hear that the 2010 MLS Season is close to being saved and the pre-season for all the clubs will continue with out a work stoppage.
Give credit to both sides at the moment who understand that a single day of a strike or a lockout is not a good thing to have and any form of a work stoppage would be hurtful to the development of the American player and the top flight division of American football. Besides this summer’s World Cup and the first match of the group against England, the opening of Red Bull Arena this coming March 27th and a middle of the season opening of Philadelphia Union’s new stadium will be the highlights of this soon to be start of the season.
Now it’s time for both sides to finish off these negotiations and put their John Hancock’s to the official document. This new C.B.A. is a three year deal so somewhere before the final round of CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2014 World Cup is where re-negotiations will start for a new C.B.A. again.
This is a league that is growing up at a fast rate, but they have still found ways to slow the process down with some of these rules of acquiring players and a club holding on to their rights for a long period of time even if they have left for another country. While I do understand why MLS has done these things, it’s at a point where these restrictions must be scaled back, or removed completely.
But while some have criticized Commissioner Don Garber running the league you have to give him credit for understanding what the players wanted and to keep the interests of the league afloat. No one thought that he would allow a C.B.A. partnership with the players. He could’ve said no, but he realized that the players needed their own voice as well.
The man who use to run NFL Europe understands what has to be done to keep this league afloat and while there will be some kicking and screaming going on, Garber will be there to try and keep the peace and calm the nerves.