Triva Answer & Some CBA Thoughts

barterOn the road today, but I did want to make sure I got the Trivia Answer posted.  Recall that we are doing a weekly business trivia question on Footiebusiness.  Tomorrow we will take a long look at television ratings for MLS and NBC’s first weekend.    For now, here is the trivia question and answer.


What union sued Major League Soccer on behalf of the league’s players? 

Acting on behalf of the players of Major League Soccer, the National Football League Players Association filed suit against Major League Soccer in February 1997, accusing MLS of violating anti-trust laws.  MLS teams competed on the field but deferred to the league when it came to compensating players.  There were no bidding wars between teams for players.  The NFL players wanted that centralized pay structure outlawed, fearing that the NFL could go the same way since the NFL’s revenue sharing plan was just a hair away.  Nevertheless, the players lost the suit, allowing the league to continue negotiating pay as one structure, not several competing teams. 

Excerpt from The First American Soccer Trivia Book by Jamie Clary; Copyright 2007 FreeFalling Graffiti.

Remember those Leaguue/Union Mediation sessions a couple of seasons back?  What makes MLS different from the NFL and the other major American team sports?

Here was  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.”

The trivia questions come courtesy of Jamie Clary.  Mr. Clary is the author of the First American Soccer Trivia Book, available through He has played, coached, refereed and reported the game. During national team games, he often works with USSF compiling stats and helping media. Goalies, he feels, get too much respect from officials. Mexico and France, respectively, are his most hated teams. He plays and lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee.  The excerpts are from The First American Soccer Trivia Book by Jamie Clary; Copyright 2007 FreeFalling Graffiti