MLS remains in discussions with its players over accepting pay cuts, but there is still a bit to figure out before any deal can be reached.
The 2020 MLS season has been suspended since March 12 because of the coronavirus outbreak, and last month the league met with the MLS Player Association (MLS PA) to discuss having players accept reductions in salary. The league has been impacted financially by the pandemic, and reportedly tabled an offer that would cut some players’ salaries by up to 50 percent.
Inter Miami goalkeeper and MLS PA executive board member Luis Robles touched on those negotiations in an interview with Miami Total Futbol Radio released Friday. Robles said that the player union and league are still holding talks, but that there were some things that still needed to be figured out before they could come to an agreement.
“I can’t say that we’re close,” Robles told Miami Total Futbol Radio. “I will say that the dialogue continues and it’s one that’s really been dictated by them because there’s some certain details that we’re waiting for.
“… I will say that the challenge before us is unlike anything we have ever experienced. It’s not like a CBA negotiation. It’s just so different in it’s nature because of the global context, and yet the way the players have engaged, the way they have activated themselves within their groups has been very, very encouraging.”
Robles did not go into specifics about what the MLS PA was seeking from the league, but it is likely that the players want to at least know how the season will resume before agreeing to any terms. The 2020 campaign has been postponed until at least June 8, but there have been talks from league officials about the possibilities of playing at one or more neutral sites.
Regardless of how and when games resume, Robles made it clear that the MLS PA will aim to find a solution with the league that works for all the varying types of players.
“We’re trying to be sensible, we’re trying to be pragmatic, but at the same time we’re also looking out for the player pool,” said Robles. “The way that some of their proposals, or at least the original conversation or presentation went — it’s not just about protecting the back end or the front end. It’s every player, and I think this is an idea that’s really grown within the Players’ Association: that we are not just looking out for one demographic.
“We are looking out for every single player, and every single player is going to be unique, is going to be different.”