October 08, 2002

MLS Players to form union? : Failing to secure a court appeal for their class action lawsuit against the league, some MLS players are now talking about forming a player's union to collectively bargain about salaries, transfer rights, and other hot topics. Will this help or destroy the league's chances of becoming successful?

posted by elsoltano to soccer at 11:37 AM - 2 comments

I don't know. How much does the average player make now? What's the minimum wage? How much of a percentage increase are the players looking for? What's the average team payroll? What's the average attendance? What's the average ticket price? How much does a team take in a year? What's the profit? If these guys are that good, why aren't they playing overseas? (I don't say that with any snark, mind you.) That might be the only thing that gets the owners' attention. I just don't think the overall level of play and players is getting to the point where the players have that much bargaining power. Not if the owners feel like they can just import second- or third-tier players from Latin America, or aging celebrities from other countries. If, say, they were really pulling in the crowds, or there was beginning to be a player exodus, that might be a good time. I'm thinking, nice try, fellas, but you might want to wait a little.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:57 PM on October 08, 2002

I agree somewhat. The problem is the players we DO have that are good (McBride, Mathis (when he's not nuts), Donovan , etc.) like all MLS players are signed to the MLS itself, not to their individual clubs. So they have no idea what kind of offers they are getting from foreign clubs and have no say in accepting deals. I think the MLS needs to find a way to make good US players WANT to play in the MLS (the $250k salary cap probably doesn't help) if they want their product to improve. On the other hand, would most Americans even notice if the game quality DID improve :)

posted by elsoltano at 08:42 PM on October 08, 2002

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