The Sweeper: FIFPro Wants Action Against MLS, FIFA Declines


Big Story
I told you it wasn’t going to be a dull offseason in MLS. FIFPro, a worldwide organisation which represents 42 national players’ associations including MLS’ Players Union, last week passed a resolution at its General Assembly, issuing a statement on it today, “to voice their concern about the situation in the USA regarding the failure of that country’s Federation and Professional League to abide by FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.”

The regulations MLS ignores, followed in every other professional league, are iterated by FIFPro as “players without a guaranteed contract, player contracts are routinely terminated by the league, MLS acts as a cartel, there is no freedom of movement for any MLS player, and virtually any player can be transferred to another club in the league without his consent.”

How does this impact the current Collective Bargaining Agreement renegotiation with MLS? The players certainly see this as big news, if we can judge by Taylor Twellman’s emphatic tweet this morning (“ READ THE HEADLINE ABOUT MLS PLAYERS’”).

Yet a setback for the players is reported by Grant Wahl, who says FIFA has refused a call by FIFPro to intervene in the negotiations (“We have been assured that FIFA’s regulations have been and will be respected,” FIFA said), though the Players Union is taking FIFA’s words literally, and suggesting this means MLS has accepted FIFA’s rules will now be respected.

With only just over two months until the labor agreement expires, when might US Soccer — whose involvement would really be needed for FIFA to intervene — step in (at least in any obvious fashion)?  Considering the World Cup bid is already being tossed around as ammunition by both sides, it might be better sooner rather than later.

Worldwide News

  • What was last week’s rioting in Egypt really about, following their World Cup elimination to Algeria? Contrary to some of the analysis, Joseph Maytan in the Guardian concludes it was about…football.
  • Premier League chairman Dave Richards has resigned from England’s World Cup Bid Committee. Is this a sign that the rift between the Premier League and the Football Association over the bid’s direction is still growing?
  • The Football League in England has launched its third annual public supporters’ survey, an initiative MLS ought to consider following here.
  • It’s now official that the lower league USL breakaway group are naming their league the North American Soccer League. There is still no word on ratification of the league by US Soccer, however.
  • The consequences of Liverpool’s potential elimination from the Champions League are put under the microscope by the English press today, and let’s just say they aren’t pretty, though Ian Herbert smartly points out that an alternate successful run in the Europa League might not bring the glamour, but could bring plenty of income itself.
  • And finally, the Times looks at FIFA’s extraordinary meeting called for early December, which may show a new willingness to look at video technology, after last week’s hullabaloo.

The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.