UPDATE: The Associated Press released some details of the new five year deal signed between MLS and players shortly after 1:00 PM EST today:
The union leader Bob Foose said that a majority of players would receive guaranteed contracts for the first time and that there would be increased player rights within the league when contracts expired…“Players will have greater rights at the expiration of their agreements, but they will not be free agents within the league,” Garber said. Instead, there will be a re-entry draft for players whose contracts end or options are declined. Few details were made available during the call.
News broke quickly broke over the Associated Press this morning that there is a near agreement on a five year deal between the Major League Soccer and the players’ union, as the league and player representatives have scheduled a press teleconference today at 1:00 pm EST:
Major League Soccer and its players called a joint news conference for Saturday and were near agreement on a five-year contract that would avoid a strike scheduled for next week, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
At this point there is no word on any concessions the league may have granted to players, although some on Twitter are already speculating it will involve some loosening of restrictions placed on waived players. All Pitch Invasion can tell you with confidence right now is that some quarters of the MLS blogosphere are no doubt already beginning their lengthy “I told you so’s” based on their various predictions about the likelihood of a work stoppage, and that this soccer blogger is thankful it will be another five wonderful years before I have to write about any of this ever again.
- EPL Talk provides some interesting tidbits from the lawsuit filed against Google and YouTube by Viacom and the Premier League. While both sides have defensible legal arguments, as more and more underground video highlights providers pop up and viewers flock to illegal live streams to watch games, a massive lawsuit filed over copyright infringement in 2007 over five second vids on YouTube seems to underline the futility of challenging Internet copyright violation via legal means.
- The Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith opposes cordoning off certain SPL and Scotland fixtures for over-the-air broadcasters like the BBC. Smith: “We certainly feel that competition, in terms of the broadcasting rights, is what brings in the best value; the required money in order to fund all the other initiatives you have in your game. If it becomes a listed event, it means there would be a big drop in the funds for the football association and that would reflect in terms of what we can do for the game here.”
- All hail the “not rich, but comfortable” Sepp Blatter, King of FIFA: “Sepp Blatter has tightened his grip on Fifa after forestalling the challenge of his only probable rival for the organisation’s presidency. The accompanying announcement that the governing body’s annual turnover had broken the $1bn barrier for the first time only served to increase Blatter’s security.” João Havelange would be proud.