A Vancouver Whitecaps employee sterilizes a ball that went out of play with a disinfectant clean as the Whitecaps and Toronto FC play throughout the first half of an MLS soccer match in Vancouver, on Saturday, September 5, 2020. Less than a year after accepting a new five-year collective bargining agreement, Major League Soccer and the gamers union are heading back to the bargining table. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Less than a year after concurring to a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, Major League Soccer and its players union are heading back to the bargaining table.

The league has told the MLS Players Association that it will activate a “force majure” provision in the agreement signed in January because the COVID-19 pandemic has had extreme influence on its business.

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A source with understanding of the situation says the absence of fans has actually caused a considerable absence of revenue and the intention of activating the clause is to talk about adjustments to the arrangement over a 30-day duration.

The MLS routine season was postponed in mid-March after the infection began to spread throughout North America. Games began again in July with the MLS is Back competition held in a “bubble” in Orlando.

American groups finished out the project in primarily empty house stadiums, but border constraints forced the three Canadian clubs– Toronto FC, the Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps– to momentarily move south to complete out their seasons.

MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott states in a declaration that gamers got 95 per cent of their wages in 2020 and the league lost nearly US$ 1 billion.

The players union says setting off the force majure clause could result in the league and club owners abandoning the brand-new collective bargaining agreement and dedications that have been made to players.

” After a 2020 season of severe sacrifice, immeasurable danger to individual health, and a remarkable league-wide effort to successfully return to play, this tone-deaf action by the league challenges the previous sacrifices made by players and the enormous obstacles they overcame in 2020,” the MLS Players Association said in a statement.

Details from health authorities reveals that there will continue to be constraints on fans attending sporting events through the 2021 MLS season, so modifications require to be made, Abbott said.

” We acknowledge the impact that the pandemic has actually had on our players and appreciate their efforts to reboot and finish the 2020 season,” he said in a statement. “However, like the other leagues in the United States and Canada, MLS needs to deal with the ongoing obstacles brought on by the pandemic and will participate in excellent faith discussions with our players about ways to handle the significant financial concerns we are facing.”

This report by The Canadian Press was very first published Dec. 29, 2020.