United Soccer League (USL) and United Soccer League Players Association (USLPA) have reached an agreement in principle on a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the USL Championship, pending ratification by the Players Association and the League’s Board of Governors.
According to the media release from USL, they boast that this five-year agreement is a landmark moment for all parties involved.
It is the first CBA for a professional second division men’s soccer league in the CONCACAF region. Through the CBA, the USL and USL Championship Clubs will increase their investment in players year-over-year and improve the overall experience for those playing in the league.
Under the new CBA, players will see a minimum compensation structure and new standards for player contracts, per diem rates, and appearances along with other investments in growing the sport. pic.twitter.com/UI0T8HkWzz
— USLPA (@USLPlayers) September 29, 2021
Among the major points of the new CBA are a minimum compensation structure and new standards for player contracts, per diem rates, and appearances. The deal also includes new requirements for working and living conditions, and a new set of grievance procedures.
“Together with our players, we celebrate this historic agreement, which further solidifies the USL Championship as one of the top professional sports leagues in North America,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “Establishing these new standards will help our Clubs attract, sign and retain top talent, both domestically and internationally. Most importantly, this agreement in principle recognizes our players’ work and sets expectations that everyone can respect and plan for accordingly.”
“Today is a great day for the growth of soccer in North America,” said USLPA Executive Committee Members Connor Tobin, Trey Mitchell, and Tom Heinemann. “This Agreement is the culmination of nearly 3 years of work and negotiation towards meaningful progress for Players. It will elevate the status and professional standards of the USL, and significantly improve the compensation levels and working conditions of professional Players. The unwavering commitment and engagement from the Player pool have allowed us to secure an agreement that will substantially change what it means to be a USL Championship Player.”
“This Agreement provides Players with increased compensation and player protection, while standardizing many elements of the overall player experience. These changes will be integral to the growth of the USL Championship for years to come. We would like to recognize the effort of the USL and its Championship Clubs during this negotiation. This was a complex and dynamic process for all parties, and we’d also like to thank our dedicated legal team, as well as our strategic partner, CWA, for their support throughout this process. Most of all, we are grateful for our devoted Board of Directors, our committed Team Representatives, and our accomplished Player pool.”
For the USLPA, the ratification process will take place in the coming weeks and will culminate with a full ratification vote by the players. The USL Championship Board of Directors will also vote on ratification of the agreement in the coming weeks.
Look for more on this development and how it impacts the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, as Pittsburgh Soccer Now will be following up with team officials and players to get their reaction on this news in the coming days/week.