Donovan and Keller Sound Off On CBA

Donovan and Keller Sound Off On CBA

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On January 5, 2010
  • 2 Comments
  • CBA, CBA Discussions, Collective Bargaining Agreement, Kasey Keller, Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan and Kasey Keller are widely known as important soccer figures in and out of MLS circles. Through FIFPro, Donovan and Keller expressed their concerns on what a potential lock-out could do to the league and the sport in America if owners aren’t willing to compromise on a few key issues.

The statement outlined some of the biggest differences between the league’s stance and what the Players Union is asking for. The issues listed were:

  • Player contracts are routinely terminated by the league during their term, as almost 80% of players in MLS do not have guaranteed contracts;
  • MLS operates as a cartel in that every player’s contract must be entered into with the league instead of his club;
  • The contract of virtually every player in the league contains multiple unilateral one-year options that may only be exercised by the league;
  • Virtually any player in the league can be transferred to another club within the league without his consent even if such transfer is international, such as a transfer from an MLS club in the United States to or from an MLS club in Canada;
  • There is no freedom of movement for any MLS player to any other MLS clubs when his contract expires – in fact, even if a player’s contract is unilaterally terminated by a club during its term, that club continues to hold such player’s rights and he is prohibited from signing with another club in the league.

Now I am going to keep my opinion on this matter to myself for the time being. I’m honestly still on the fence about a lot of things here. I do see the need for a few of these things that the players outline but I also understand a bit where the owners are coming from here too.

A lockout and/or strike will only do damage to the league and the sport. Keller and Donovan both present a case that should be heard loud and clear to the owners.

I did see a very interesting piece this morning on the Fake Sigi blog about this matter. He argues that the league is in no violation of the FIFA regulations that the players are arguing. Interesting to say the very least.

  • Brian

    The leagues stance on these issues will push, as it has already, the very best American's to play over seas, skipping MLS altogether.

    I am surprised that one of the points they don't bring up is the relatively large number of players not making a livable income and having to hold down 2 and even 3 jobs while playing a professional sport.

  • Brian

    The leagues stance on these issues will push, as it has already, the very best American's to play over seas, skipping MLS altogether.

    I am surprised that one of the points they don't bring up is the relatively large number of players not making a livable income and having to hold down 2 and even 3 jobs while playing a professional sport.