Thursday, March 11, 2010

Strike Appears Much Closer

The start of the 2010 MLS season looks to be in deep jeopardy after all the news that has come out today regarding the collective bargaining agreement. For those that missed it, the players union has voted overwhelmingly in favor of supporting a strike. The final tally was 350+ to 2 in favor of supporting it. Quotes from players in different articles posted today don't sound too encouraging either, and form the sounds of it, the players are planning to walk out at midnight on March 25th, the day the season is supposed to kick off. The league and the players union have since gone back and forth trading comments about the recent news of a potential strike. The fans are getting stuck in the middle.

And while many people support the players and there want to have more freedom within the league, just as many seem to be support the owners. And with unemployment still hovering close to 10%, it's going to be hard for the players to win over some of those fans that support the owners. And for a history lesson on soccer strikes in this country, check out the end of this Sports Business Daily article for information on the NASL strike that was one of the reasons for the leagues demise. The quote from Steve Gans is very telling because it's still as true today as it was then, "not enough people cared about it to keep the momentum going. The critical mass wasn’t there; there weren’t enough roots set down." Hopefully a strike doesn't happen, but at this point I'm not holding my breath on that.


Reepicheep said...

I'm trying to think of what could be more devastating to the MLS, especially the year of the World Cup, than a strike. Nothing comes to mind.

Your shooting yourself-not in the foot- but in the head guys.

MOUFWASH said...

This would be absolutely terrible. All the positive steps that have been taken recently in terms of SSS etc. in the MLS would basically be offset. Hope the players and owners know that they could set American soccer back a decade.

Ron Bishop said...

Yeah, this would suck. I don't know all the business issues. But for fans it would suck.

At first soccer fans would be aghast then would start to get used to it and start to drift away to something else...happened in baseball and hockey.

Owners and players - get focused and get it settled.

Kreighbaum said...

Issues aside, I think "critical mass" is very important. I do wish more for the players, but if no agreement is made, there may be no more for the players to have.

Anonymous said...

A lot of us left Major League Baseball after the strike in 94 and this work stoppage could have the same effect for soccer. The sport is simply not strong enough to withstand much of this. I hope the players understand what the action could mean...I'm not sure who's right, but as a season ticket holder who buys top of the line seats I don't care to fork over $50 a ticket just to have these two groups fail to agree on a CBA. I probably won't bail if the strike is short, but let the momentum get away and we'll probably find another way to spend our $1800.

Anonymous said...

Really? Ten soccer stadiums and billions invested are going to be "basically offset" by a strike?

Set us back a decade? Could you be more hyperbolic?

A decade ago, this league was hanging by a thread. The game is too entrenched to be killed by a strike (as long as it doesn't last months, and even then).

Some of you just like to be Chicken Littles.