MLS Player Agent: “Players are nervous, concerned about Union”

I just spoke with a prominent MLS player agent on the ballroom floor regarding the labor negotiations. Here’s what he had to say:

  • There have been two recent meetings between Garber and the union chiefs. One took place last Friday 1/8 and another took place yesterday (Wednesday) in Manhattan. He didn’t know anything about what took place in those meetings.
  • There is a real concern amongst the players that the Union is not keeping the rank-and-file informed.
  • Says that the “two big things” the players are pressing on are guaranteed contracts and free agency.
  • He said, “the players are nervous, they know they might not get another paycheck in a few weeks.”

What does this mean? Well, it certainly didn’t make the union out to be a unified block of opposition to the owners. The agent was happy to talk, but says the union doesn’t let any info out. Does the union rank-and-file want to strike? That’s a major question that remains in play. Clearly some vets, like Keller and Twellman appear ready for it. But there are many more, many less-paid guys than them. Where they stand is a mystery.

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9 thoughts on “MLS Player Agent: “Players are nervous, concerned about Union”

  1. I still don’t think there will be a strike or lockout or whatever they want to call it. Or maybe I should say, I don’t think the season will be delayed at all.

    What happens to the teams that are in the knockout phase of the Champions Cup? (Are there any MLS teams in the knockout phase of the Champions Cup?)

  2. The interesting question to me is “What happens if the MLSPU leadership, after much saber-rattling and over-the-top rhetoric, calls for a strike vote and it fails?”

    The even more interesting question is “What happens if it passes, but just barely?”

    (And no, there’s not going to be a lockout, so I don’t really entertain any lockout-related questions in my head.)

  3. (I’m assuming in this hypothetical the leadership recommended a yes vote). In that case, I would imagine the CBA gets signed, the leadership gets a bit humiliated and very possibly replaced in the near future.

    I would guess something similar. There may technically be a strike, but the league will use that as a reason to offer a very token concession, the new deal will pass, and then the above will happen.

  4. This sounds like the last time the NFLPA and the owners were at an impasse when Upshaw was the head of the union. The players got their butts handed to them and it broke the union for all practical purposes. From that time on the union came to the owners with hat in hand. The players not knowing what is going on is very distressing. They may be being led down the garden path. At this point the owners hold all the cards and the players and their rep’s need to understand this. Keller and Twellman not withstanding.

  5. That’s very plausible as well. If any more than about 25% of the players vote in favor of the deal, there’s some risk some of those guys will cross the line. More than 35 or 40%, and I would imagine everyone’s looking over their shoulder at everyone else wondering not if but when, and who’ll be first.

  6. I hate that there is no free agency. Also, can we do away with the barter system (that has been out of style everywhere for a long time). Guarantee some $12,000 contracts please. Do not allow the league all the power it has and has had.

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