Major League Soccer announced on Wednesday evening that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has been signed between the league and the MLS Players Union. The new agreement comes just two days before the 2015 season is scheduled to kick off.
Fears of a first-ever lockout for the league had been growing stronger over the past week, as it appeared that neither the players nor the league were willing to change their stances on key issues. Free agency was believed to be chief among these.
But the new CBA has come just in time. All matches for opening weekend, including the first match of the new campaign between the LA Galaxy and the Chicago Fire, will run as originally scheduled.
No terms of the new CBA were listed in the league’s press release, issued at around 9:30 PM Eastern time. But according to multiple reports, some of the more important terms of the agreement are as follows:
1. The new CBA will run for five seasons (2015 to the end of the 2019 season), just like the previous CBA.
2. The salary cap will be increased by 15 per cent, from $3.1 million to roughly $3.5 million.
3. The minimum salary a player can earn will be increased by nearly 65 per cent, from $36,500 to $60,000.
4. There will be some type of free agency implemented for players who are age 28 and over AND have played in MLS for eight or more seasons.
5. There will be restrictions for how much a free agent’s salary can rise. These restrictions will vary based on the player’s previous salary.
More details are expected to come in the coming days.
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