MLS invokes Force Majeure Clause and MLSPA is not happy with the decision
Following the decision from MLS, the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) will now have to negotiate modifications to the existing collective bargaining agreement.
On Tuesday, Major League Soccer decided to invoke a “force majeure” clause that obligates the league and the MLSPA to negotiate the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) agreed back in June when the league announced the MLS is Back tournament.
Now the Major League Soccer Player Association has 30 days to renegotiate the CBA previously established. The decision to invoke the force majeure clause was on the grounds of revenue losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Previously the MLS commissioner Don Garber had said that the league’s clubs has lost nearly $1 billion this season because much of the revenue comes from ticket sales and stadiums will not be allowed to be at full-capacity until late 2021, if that. It is expected that a new deal will be reached by February.
“Unfortunately, based on the assessment of public health officials, it is clear that the impact of COVID-19 and the restrictions on attendance at sporting events will continue into the 2021 MLS season,” MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott said in a statement.
“We recognize the impact that the pandemic has had on our players and appreciate their efforts to restart and complete the 2020 season. But, like the other leagues in the United States and Canada, MLS needs to address the ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic and will engage in good faith discussions with our players about ways to manage the significant economic issues we are facing."
The MLSPA press release
“Today, less than one week after players completed the most challenging season in MLS history, the league notified the Major League Soccer Players Association that it intends to invoke the Force Majeure clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“This action sets in motion a process that could result in the league and its owners abandoning the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement and commitments made to players for the second time in less than nine months. It comes in advance of any negotiations and at a time when many players are enjoying time away with their loved ones for the first time in almost a year.
“After a 2020 season of extreme sacrifice, immeasurable risk to personal health, and a remarkable league-wide effort to successfully return to play, this tone-deaf action by the league discredits the previous sacrifices made by players and the enormous challenges they overcame in 2020.”