Photo by Chris Nicoll/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Free agency has been a main sticking point for MLS players throughout their Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with the league, but there’s at least one team owner that thinks those conversations are pointless.
Real Salt Lake’s Dell Loy Hansen came out and issued some strong words as to why he thinks free agency will not come to MLS in 2015, telling radio station ESPN 700 on Wednesday that the single-entity structure of the league does not make it feasible.
“There’s some great agreement that everyone can reach, but every time I read, ‘We’re going to work on free agency,’ well, that’s kind of one of those real waste-of-time conversations,” Hansen told the RSL-owned station. “I think everyone’s very intense on (agreeing to a deal). I know that the league and the owners are seriously looking at that.”
MLS players have said they are united in their desire to want more freedom in determining where they end up during the offseasons, and are adamant that they will strike if necessary. Hansen, however, believes that the players should move on from making free agency a main sticking point and focus on other things they want.
“I think there’s some really fair offers that have come from the league,” said Hansen. “The perennial issue is, ‘We want free agency,’ but that can’t exist where everyone’s employed by the same employer. How do you have free agency when you’re going to go talk to yourself at the next employer?
“That’s not going to change. That’s a go-nowhere conversation. When you look at all the owners, they’ve all been in pro basketball, football, baseball, and that was the one thing they all vowed they’d never do is go through that again.”
What do you make of Hansen’s comments? Agree with him? Should MLS begin working towards eliminating the single-entity structure? Is the league destined for a lockout?
Share your thoughts below.