REPORT: MLS Lockout Imminent As Labor Talks Stall

By Ben Wright, editor.

As leagues around the globe begin to return to play, Major League Soccer seemed on track to resume, with a 26-team tournament in Orlando set to begin in June. Those plans are now in jeopardy, as talks between the league and the player's association have stalled, with Herculez Gomez reporting that MLS is threatening a lockout if their final proposal is not accepted.

The MLSPA has already made several concessions, according to a statement released Sunday night, including "salary reductions across the entire player pool, reduced team and individual bonuses, and additional concession to existing and future terms of the CBA."

According to ESPN's Jeff Carlisle, the MLSPA has offered a 7.5% pay cut, but the league's latest offer included an 8.75% pay cut. More importantly, the league's proposal includes a force majeure clause allowing either side to back out of the CBA if five MLS teams suffer a 25% decrease in attendance from the prior season. Carlisle details more sticking points in his story, including changes to the revenue sharing plan from the CBA, which was agreed upon in February.

Several players are already hesitant to travel to Orlando for six weeks in a pandemic. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Carlos Vela, two of the league's highest profile players, are awaiting the birth of a child this summer, and have reportedly expressed doubts about the proposed return to play.

MLS has set a deadline for Tuesday at 12PM eastern for MLSPA to respond, with a lockout if their offer is not accepted.

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