The CBA: Perspectives

Yesterday we stated that we have stayed away from the CBA because it has been so thoroughly covered elsewhere that there was no need to address it here.  However, a couple of recent statements in (and by) the press stoked our interest and are worth noting. We also thought we would offer some links to recent analysis and commentary about the issue. It also gives another chance to show our great collective bargaining photo!

We will start with a quote gathered by Grant Wahl from MLS President Mark Abbott when Wahl asked him why free agency was such a big concern in a salary capped league.  Abbott’s response:

“This is a key point. While there is a salary budget in place for teams within the league, teams in England, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark aren’t subject to the salary budget. So in a typical North American sports league, if Team X doesn’t want a player or is unable to reach an agreement, they go to Team Y, all within the salary budget. But they still remain within the league. The difference here is the player could leave the league — and that’s a very different dynamic that takes place in our league that the other leagues don’t face. That’s why the salary budget, although it governs internally, since international clubs aren’t subject to it, it doesn’t provide the same level of certainty that the player will remain in the league as it does in other North American sports.”

I must confess that the answer confuses me.  I think Abbott is saying that free agency will cause players that MLS wants to keep to flee the league because of the option to play elsewhere.  However, if a player is out of contract, yet can only negotiate with one team in MLS but any team elsewhere, MLS only has one chance to retain the player.  \

Elsewhere, Steve Goff penned an open letter to Phil Anschutz.  Definitely an interesting read, although the comments section of Goff’s blog seem to have ascribed their own bias onto much of what he is saying.  I think the point of his piece is simply to note that there are no winners in a work stoppage and that it is time to find a resolution.

For more commentary, click here for some analysis of free agency from MatchFit, SoccerLaw weighs in with some detailed commentary and Major League Soccer Talk offers its own solutions.