Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen received the biggest fine in MLS history Friday, with reports suggesting the fine levied by Commissioner Don Garber was in the ballpark of $150,000.
The league announced in a news release Friday that Hansen had been fined as a result of his statements in a recent radio interview.
“The comments made by Mr. Hansen are not permitted under the league’s constitution,” said Garber. “We are engaged in constructive negotiations with our players and such comments are not appropriate nor helpful to negotiations.”
The league has warned owners that comments regarding the ongoing talks with the MLS Players Union could result in fines up to a whopping $250,000.
Hansen, a guest along with Real Monarchs president Rob Zarkos on the "Bill & OC Show", spoke for just a moment about ongoing CBA negotiations.
“The fact is once every five years everybody gets to sit down and stare at each other across a table, and see who wants to blink first and get on with life,” said Hansen.
“The perennial issue (for the players) is that ‘we want free agency’ but that can’t exist where everyone is employed by the same employer,” referring to the MLS single-entity structure.
Free agency has long been a desire for the players, with past negotiations being tabled to avoid a work stoppage.
Hansen continued by suggesting the players' demand for free agency amounted to a waste of time.
“That’s not going to change. That’s a go-nowhere conversation,” said Hansen.
“The (players) have tried it twice, and it’s been defeated by the courts. It’s just a foolish place to waste time.
“I think there’s some great agreement that everyone can reach, but every time I read that we’re going to work on free agency, that’s kind of one of those waste of time conversations.”
With kickoff for the 2015 MLS regular season less than a week away, and a firm stance from the union, there’s an eerie feeling that the MLS may see the first work stoppage in league history.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume on Sunday in Washington, D.C., and should last until the middle of the week.
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