Reports: MLS will cut pay for many employees at the league headquarters

MLS will cut the pay of many of its staff members at the league headquarters in New York.

The move, which comes in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has put the MLS season on hold and had a financial impact on the league, was first reported by Doug McIntyre of Yahoo Sports on Wednesday and confirmed by other publications.

MLS commissioner Don Garber, Mark Abbott (president and deputy commissioner) and Gary Stevenson (MLS Deputy Commissioner, and President and Managing Director of MLS Business Ventures) will take 25 percent cuts.

Other staffers will take pay-cuts in the range of 10-20 percent though a source told Yahoo Sports that some entry-level or lower-paid employees will not have to take pay-cuts.

Neither the cuts themselves nor a time frame for how long they will be in effect have not been announced by the league. They are expected to allow the league to avoid laying off staff members for the foreseeable future, but they also come with a hiring freeze.

The moves don't affect players or other employees at the league's 26 clubs or those clubs slated to enter the league in 2021 (Austin and Charlotte) and 2022 (St. Louis and Charlotte).

They follow moves by other U.S. league offices to take measures to reduce the pay of its employees.

NBA. ESPN reported that the NBA is reducing the base salaries by 20 percent for about 100 top-earning league executives around the world.

It is also considering withholding players' remaining salaries in escrow while it is determined if regular-season games was played. If they are eventually canceled, the NBA can invoke a force majeure provision (which specifically cites pandemics) in the collective bargaining agreement with its players and reduce their pay by slightly less than 1 percent of their salary per canceled game.

(MLS's 2015 CBA did not include a force majeure provision. The agreement reached with players in early February was only tentative.)

NHL. The NHL cut the pay of league office employees by 25 percent. Like the NBA, the NHL was in the home stretch of its 82-game regular season, and still had its playoffs to get in.
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