Wednesday, May 13, 2020

MLS proposes pay cut, reopening

After leaking out a near 50% pay cut a few weeks ago, MLS has submitted a proposal to the player's union to cut pay by 20%. According to ESPN, if the cuts happen on July 1, players would only lose 20% of half seasons pay. The assumption by ESPN is that players will keep 100% of their pay up to that point.

What this means is that players will lose only 20% of half their year's wages. For the league as a whole, that means somewhere around $30m off the top. For a player like Michael Bradley, who made $6.4 million last year, that would mean a $643k pay cut (20% of half a years pay).

I think it's a leap for ESPN (Jeff Carlisle and Noah Davis) to calculate 20% on a half year's pay. I think MLS would sell it as a 10% cut if that were the case so the medicine goes down easier with the MLSPA. My hunch is that this is a straight 20% cut in overall pay.

Regardless, MLS is trying to get the wheels turning on this to stop some of the bleeding.


MLS is still only inching back on restarting some sort of season. The last two days we have seen a few different proposals. The one that keeps popping up involves locking players and staff down in Orlando to play games for weeks.

Nothing about this idea passes the first couple of questions. The first being - cost. Most of MLS income comes from game day activities. MLS will go even deeper in the hole with no fans. The second hurdle it can't get over is locking players into a hotel for a long period of time away from families and friends. Never mind that these are 20-30 somethings and there's no way to lock them down.

Ultimately, these ideas are futile. We are still in the middle of this pandemic, not on the other side.


Last thing here is something you've probably picked up on. MLS is negotiating a pay cut while proposing ideas to get back to playing. "Hey employees, I'm cutting your wages and then going to require you to go into a damn moon bubble for a couple months."

Where the heck is leadership in this? It makes no sense. Get ducks in a row about returning to play and then approach players on a pay cut.

I still contend that MLS should push the start of play to the Fall and flip the calendar. There is a great chance that the NFL will officially open the sports country. Let them do it, then start your season in September.

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