A glimpse at MLS’ strategy in the upcoming CBA negotiation?

According to the invaluable Sports Business Journal, we may have.

This strategy has worked to varying degrees in disputes involving Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Some also think the NBA is about to claim poverty as well in this next negotiations as well.

With the economy in its current state, it’s at least credible for the owners to claim this. It may even be true. This isn’t a huge deal, or a prelude to a stoppage unless this tactic is part of a absolutist strategy by ownership to say to the players union, “Look at all this money we’re losing. This means we cannot afford to budge on any of your demands.” So far, we have no evidence that the owners are pursuing such a Bettman-style strategy. But now we can safely say that the negotiations are underway.

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5 thoughts on “A glimpse at MLS’ strategy in the upcoming CBA negotiation?

  1. I think the League has another reason why it doesn’t want to disclose it’s Financial Information. If in fact the league is losing tons of money and therefore cannot afford to pay the players any more money AND they release this information, what does this tell the fans, the press, and cities who are bidding for expansion?

    If I’m a fan, I’m thinking, “oh shit, here we go again. I thought MLS’ single entity solution was suppose to prevent another soccer league collapse.”

    If I’m the press, I’m thinking “HEADLINE NEWS: Soccer fails in America… again!”

    If I’m a city interested in expansion (or maybe considering whether to build an SSS or not), I’m thinking, “why on earth would I pay for a stadium that will sit empty in a few years?”

    If the Players Union thinks the League is bluffing, and calls them on it, then they’re taking a big gamble. Cause if the Players Union is wrong, the game is over for everyone.

  2. I imagine that we’ll be seeing lots of stories in SBJ (which I love, I got a subscription) about how the league is broke, Don Garber is forced to eat cat food, how they have to sell blood to make league payroll, etc. All part of the fandango.

  3. The problem I see, from the league’s point of view, is that new MLS investors do see the MLS financials and, apparently, they love them enough to put down $40 million (give or take) to get in to the ‘money losing venture’.

    Especially with SUM as part of the equation and Billionaires lining up to get a piece of the pie, I don’t see any work stoppages.

  4. It’s all posturing, reading too much into it at this stage is really premature. If I were a player though I’d be psyched to have Eddie Pope on my side in this thing.

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