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MLS, players union reach agreement on new five-year CBA

MLS, players union reach agreement on new five-year CBA
The new collective bargaining agreement is subject to approval by the MLS Board of Governors and the MLSPA. The new deal will commence during the 2020 season. File Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Association reached an agreement on a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, the league and the union announced Thursday.

The deal is subject to approval by the MLS Board of Governors and the MLSPA. The new CBA will cover five full seasons (2020-24) and commence during the 2020 season.

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"As we prepare to celebrate our 25th season, we are very pleased to finalize a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with our players," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement Thursday. "This agreement addresses key strategic priorities for the league and our players while also retaining the basic player compensation structure that has been the foundation for the growth and stability of Major League Soccer.

"We had constructive, positive discussions with the leadership of the MLSPA and the players' bargaining committee during the negotiations over the last few months and I would like to thank them for their collaborations in concluding an agreement that will serve as the foundation for a new era of partnership with our players."

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In the new collective bargaining agreement, MLS will increase investment in the salary budget, general allocation money and performance bonuses for players. Other notable changes include a reduction in the amount of targeted allocation money, expanded free agency and an increase in charter flights.

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For the first time ever, players also will receive a share of the increased revenue generated by the league's next broadcast deal.

"This deal is the culmination of our efforts to engage players from every team to define our goals and push for real progress," the MLSPA said in a statement. "Through this work and our solidarity, we have been able to reach an agreement that will provide players with greater rights and increased compensation, and will ensure that the league's resources continue to be used to create a league of choice for players both on and off the field."

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The agreement comes 24 days before the start of the 2020 season.

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