In terms of dollars and cents

In terms of dollars and cents

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On February 19, 2007

Steve Goff, the wonderful soccer insider from the Washington Post recently talked about the MLS’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. I found it very interesting.

— The deal went into effect on Dec. 1, 2004 and does not expire until Jan. 31, 2010, so any complaints from the players will have to wait.

— Players receive $750 for an appearance on behalf of a national league sponsor, $250 for a local affiliate.

— Players are required to work one day per year at a soccer camp endorsed by the team or league without compensation. Anything else is grounds for compensation.

— The minimum salary for a senior roster player is:
2005-06: 28,000
2007: 30,000
2008: 33,000
2009: 34,000

— The MONTHLY pay for a low-level developmental player is:
2005-06: 975
2007-08: 1,075
2009: 1,175

— The MONTHLY pay for a upper-level developmental player is:
2005-06: 1,375
2007-08: 1,475
2009: 1,575

— A player earning between 30,000 and 55,000 in 2007 will earn a $1,000 bonus after July 15

— The MLS championshp team receives a $165,000 bonus to divide among players. The runner-up gets 60,000, the regular season conference champion(s) take 31,000 (not sure if that is only for the overall reg season winner or both conference champions)
— Every other playoff team receives 15,000

— If an MLS team receives up to 200,000 in prize money in a USSF, CONCACAF or FIFA sponsored tournament, the players will get 50 percent of it; if the prize money is more than 200,000, the players receive 50 percent of the first 200K and 30 percent of the amount over 200K

— MLS’s 401K contributions are 2.5 percent of the player’s salary in 2007, 2.75 in 08, 3.0 in 09

— On road trips, the players receive the following per diem for food:
2004: $41
2005: 43
2006: 44
2007: 45
2008: 47
2009: 50

— Each player receives 4 complimentary game tickets for home matches, 2 for away matches

— Players are guaranteed six weeks’ vacation per year during the offseason

— A team retains a drafted player’s MLS rights until Dec. 31 of the following year (so barring a trade, a player chosen in Jan. 2007 is stuck with that club until Dec. 08)

— Players are prohibited from participating in other sports that may impair or destroy his ability and skill as a soccer player: football, boxing, wrestling, motorcycling, moped-riding, auto racing, skydiving, inline skating, downhill skiing, mountain biking, bike racing, rock climbing, rappelling, spelunking and hang-gliding. There are, of course, exceptions and casual family activities do not apply.

— From the beginning of the MLS regular season throught Dec. 31, teams may not play more than 48 friendlies/exhibtions (in which admission is charged), league games and playoffs. U.S. Open Cup and other major tournaments are exempt.

— Players earning less than 60K receive an automatic 5 percent pay raise each year

— Medical insurance includes a $250 deductible for individuals, $500 for families; dental has no deductible

— Each player receives a $75,000 life insurance policy, 50,000 for spouses and 10,000 per child

— Long-term disability is 60 percent of player’s salary

— MLS is required to name 32 players as all-stars each year (regardless of how many are needed for the game) for purposes of bonuses and base salary adjustments. Even if no all-star game is held, 32 will still be identified. The Best XI is also mandatory to determine bonuses, etc.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about how poorly the lower end players are paid for playing in the league. Even the minimum salaries for the veteran players is a little shady I believe.

I do know that a decent amount of players get the bonuses here and there for sponsors and what nots. So that is mostly all good and fair I think.

I do like the fact that the players have to work at least one day of a team lead camp in the community without compensation. I believe that is a fair trade for giving something back to the local areas. I am sure some players probably get around it, especially the higher end players that don’t want to deal with a camp in the area. But I am fairly confident that that doesn’t occur too often and most of the guys are good sports for doing it.

$165,000 for the team to split up among the players (and probably staff) for winning a MLS Cup Title. I find that a little crappy. Sure some will say that winning it is a little better than money itself but you’d think there would be a little better compensation for going all the way than just a mere $165,000 for the team. For the team! I think that needs revisited in a couple years. As the compensation for the other playoff teams and Cup runner-ups. The pay isn’t too special there either.
The road trip money kind of makes me giggle. It just reminds me of traveling and having a certain spending limit on food. Oh good times, good times. Though $42 wouldn’t have been too shabby either for those trips.

Overall we all know the need to up some player salaries to keep some of the younger guys in the States playing in the league. To me, it needs to be done sooner rather than later. I can’t imagine living off of $900 a month in a city like New York or LA. I am sure that isn’t good enough in towns like Salt Lake or Columbus. This needs improved and soon enough I think it will happen.