LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Major League Soccer Players Union has agreed to a new labor contract with Major League Soccer, avoiding a threatened strike ahead of the March 25th season opener.
The league reached an accord with the union for a 5-year contract on Saturday, which is still subject to approval by the MLS board of governors and the rank-and-file union members however both sides have already commented favorably on the agreement. Additional details of the contract were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased to have reached agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the MLS Players Union," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "This new agreement allows us to work with our players to continue our mutual efforts to build the sport of soccer in North America. We worked hard during the past few months to develop a new agreement that addressed many of the players' most important issues and look forward to a meaningful and productive new relationship over the next five years."
Late last week, AEG head Tim Leiweke had taken the MLS players union to task over the threatened strike, telling the Los Angeles Times that he believed that a strike would be a huge mistake and 'disrespectful' in light of the time, energy and money that AEG has devoted to developing the sport in North America.
"Here's our issue, and I'm speaking on behalf of AEG, we have spent to the tune of $300 million on soccer. We have spent money on facilities. We at one point owned six of the 10 teams to keep the league alive." Leiweke told the Times.
"I don't even know how to react when I hear the players now saying that we have treated them poorly and they're going to strike. The fact is, the Galaxy isn't going to make money this year. There are only a couple of [MLS] teams that will make money this year." he added. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers