Leiweke Speaks Out For The Owners

Leiweke Speaks Out For The Owners

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 16, 2010
  • CBA Discussions, MLS CBA, Players Strike

I do believe this is the first time an owner has actually stepped up and spoke out on the CBA issue in Major League Soccer. The LA Times sat down with LA Galaxy boss Tim Leiweke and discussed the lack of respect the owners are getting right now from the players.

“Here’s our issue, and I’m speaking on behalf of AEG,” Leiweke said in an interview with The Times on Monday. “We have spent to the tune of $300 million on soccer. We have spent money on facilities. We at one point owned six of the 10 teams to keep the league alive.

“I don’t even know how to react when I hear the players now saying that we have treated them poorly and they’re going to strike. The fact is, the Galaxy isn’t going to make money this year. There are only a couple of [MLS] teams that will make money this year.

“It’s not like this league is a work of completion. It’s not like we have accomplished what we have to accomplish to be stable and to know we have a great future. It’s not like we have reached the potential of a soccer league in this country.

“So when I hear them talk about striking and shutting the league down, I’ve got to tell you, they’re going to lose us when they talk like that.

“We do this out of passion. If this were a business, we would have quit this 10 years ago.”

“It would have been easy for us to quit over the last 10 years,” he said. “There were five different times we could have called it a day. But we didn’t. We fought through it.

“So for them to suddenly threaten that they’re going to shut it all down, I’m a little amazed at the lack of respect they show for the commitment that we all have made to get the league to where it’s at today.”

I’ve read and been told in the past AEG was one of the few owners that actually wants to make concessions to the players and based on that I would imagine they were one of the owners this time around that was at the center of making those concessions the league has talked about.

I’ll admit, I’ve been waiting for Leiweke and AEG to speak out on this issue. Its not secret that they along with the Hunts and the Krafts saved this league a while back from going under. Thankfully they aren’t about to quit on the league either even with this on-going issue.

There will certainly be some folks today that see the disrespect line and will run with it in support of the players. I loved that Leiweke talked about the league and the sport in general not reaching its full potential here. The players have to know that too. I kind of wonder too if the players even realize what the owners have put into this league at this point.

Leiweke said that it’s basically up to the players here, which is something we’ve been saying for a while. But like he said at the end of the article, its ridiculous and it needs to get done and be over here.