MLS Players Finally Get Some Leverage In Contract Negotiations

New England Revolution MLS Soccer Major League Soccer

Photo: Flickr/Jarrett Campbell

Major League Soccer unveiled its revised player acquisition format that gives players the opportunity to negotiate with other teams when their existing team offers them a contract with a reduced salary.Previously, the MLS operated under the single entity system, where player contracts were negotiated through the league, instead of by team. The MLS attributes much of its financial health to the system as it allows the league to determine players’ values.

Under the new system, qualifying players who are only offered a reduced salary can enter into a draft. Clubs take turn selecting these players under the promise that they’ll offer salaries equal to, or slightly greater than, what the player earned the year before.

While this leverage is nothing compared to the full free agency system in America’s most popular leagues, it represents a marked improvement for MLS players.

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