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MLS May 12, 2020

REPORTS: MLS proposes 20% player pay cuts, plan for summer season in Florida

According to multiple reports, Major League Soccer (MLS) has proposed a 20 percent pay cut for its players, while also submitting plans to play the season at a central location this summer.

Washington Post Soccer Insider Steven Goff reported on Monday night about a potential 2020 MLS regular season taking place with all 26 teams competing in the Orlando, Florida area. Games would take place without fans at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and potentially other locations in the area as well.

With voluntary individual workouts underway at many MLS club facilities, the league is now ramping up its planning for returning to play. Under the Florida plan, all MLS players and team personnel would be quarantined, and tested regularly for coronavirus.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle and Noah Davis have reported that the league office has submitted a formal proposal to the MLS Players Association (MLSPA), which includes a 20 percent pay cut to make up for lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Along with an across-the-board 20 percent pay reduction for the season, the league has also asked its players to accept substantial financial cuts in other areas. Overall, the proposal would reduce player compensation by tens of millions of dollars, as the possibility of playing a season without fans may be devastating for a league which relies heavily on ticket sales and in-stadium revenue.

There is no word yet on whether either of the proposals will go forward, as talks continue to play out between the league and MLSPA. Back in February, the two sides announced that they had agreed in principle on the new terms of a 5-year collective bargaining agreement which would run through the 2024 season. However, the deal was never officially ratified, as the coronavirus pandemic caused a delay.

With some temporary concessions in player compensation appearing likely, the previously agreed upon CBA is now largely up in the air, as discussions about plans for this season continue between the two sides.