Players Union Wants Free Agency

Players Union Wants Free Agency

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 3, 2009
  • 4 Comments
  • CBA, CBA Discussions, Players Union

We all know Major League Soccer has a battle going on right now between the owners/front office of the league and the Playes Union over the Collective Bargining Agreement that ends this year. We’ve heard that discussions are on-going at the moment and now some news is starting to trickle out about what each side is wanting in this round of discussion.

Today we’ve learned what the players are asking for at the moment thanks to the Sports Business Journal.

Two items, free agency and guaranteed contracts.

The first is the biggie folks. Free agency would totally change how things are done by the league and the players. First of all it would mean that muliple clubs could bid on a player when his contract is up, instead of the league handling the player’s contract to a certain club.

The guaranteed contracts portion is a little unclear since there are currently guaranteed or at least semi-guaranteed contracts already. My guess is the players don’t want to wait until a certain point in the season for their contracts to be fully guaranteed, they want them to be that way from day one.

I would expect that the league owners balk at both items. At the very minium they go for the guaranteed contracts but the free agency would totally change how the single-entity system works for the players and their conracts. I just don’t buy into free agency happening this time around for the players.

The players could striker over the issue if they want it that badly but I doubt it would get that far. I know none of us want a players strike after this season. That would be a killer thing to happen to the league.

  • Martek

    There is a completely untrue myth that free agency=team poverty. This is in no way true, but is a typical myth spread by owners who enjoy their power over the careers of their employees. Baseball, with its screwed up system, is always held out as the example here, but the analogy is deeply flawed.<br />
    <br />
    Equalize the revenue stream for the clubs and mandate a percentage that each club HAS to spend on player contracts (salary floor) and you can have free agency that will benefit the league and the players. Players are uniquely talented individual contractors and deserve the power over their very brief playing careers bound in a voluntary partnership contract with a club. Club owners should rightly be suspicious about sharing revenue with other clubs, but if you mandate a salary floor you can keep club owners from using the shared revenue for yachts, trips and non-team expenses. (And believe me, this happens.)<br />
    <br />
    This will only improve the product on the field, introduce just compensation for players that is proportionate to the league's economy of scale and provide a foundation for growth in the future. <br />
    <br />
    The players are right to demand free agency, and the owners are self-servingly short-sighted in the extreme to oppose it.

  • Brian

    Right, what Martek said.

  • There is a completely untrue myth that free agency=team poverty. This is in no way true, but is a typical myth spread by owners who enjoy their power over the careers of their employees. Baseball, with its screwed up system, is always held out as the example here, but the analogy is deeply flawed.

    Equalize the revenue stream for the clubs and mandate a percentage that each club HAS to spend on player contracts (salary floor) and you can have free agency that will benefit the league and the players. Players are uniquely talented individual contractors and deserve the power over their very brief playing careers bound in a voluntary partnership contract with a club. Club owners should rightly be suspicious about sharing revenue with other clubs, but if you mandate a salary floor you can keep club owners from using the shared revenue for yachts, trips and non-team expenses. (And believe me, this happens.)

    This will only improve the product on the field, introduce just compensation for players that is proportionate to the league’s economy of scale and provide a foundation for growth in the future.

    The players are right to demand free agency, and the owners are self-servingly short-sighted in the extreme to oppose it.

  • Brian

    Right, what Martek said.