SBD/Issue 85/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Don Garber Says MLS, MLSPU "Working Hard" To Reach New CBA

Garber Says MLS, Union Meeting Regularly
In Attempt To Hash Out New CBA
MLS Commissioner Don Garber Thursday said the league and the MLSPU are "working hard collectively" to reach a new CBA that is "going to be good for both players and for management." He said the two sides have spent a "lot of time talking, but I'm not sure over the last year we spent time really talking and we're really talking now." Garber: "We're meeting regularly. We met several times last week. We'll meet again next week, but we are going to get to a point where both the players and management are going to have to make some tough decisions. We're not going to be able to agree to a deal that's not in the long-term best interest of the league. We've been doing very well over the last 10 years making this league very stable ... and clearly the players are going to have to try to think about what kind of deal they'll accept." ESPN soccer analyst Alexi Lalas noted MLS team owners believe the current CBA has "not only gotten us here through the good times, but more importantly through the lean times." Lalas: "I think that there is a deal out there to be done. But some of the changes are very, very difficult because they are completely counter to what the ownership believes is not just the past, but also -- at least for the foreseeable future -- needs to be in place to go forward." ESPN's John Harkes noted 80% of MLS players have non-guaranteed contracts and said, "Are you kidding me? ... From the players' perspective, things have to advance and improve" ("2010 MLS Superdraft," ESPN2, 1/14). Garber noted the MLS and union plan to meet next Wednesday in DC, and said, "Everything so far is positive. We're going to try to reach an agreement that's good for the management but also good for the players" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/15).

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