CBA negotiations

Discussion in 'MLS Referee Forum' started by SouthRef, Jan 5, 2024.

  1. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I mean if you get this far and have an actual work stoppage, this sort of overall positioning is to be expected on opening night. But I still think the language Garber used is gratuitous. And he's simply lying (or uniformed, which I would suggest, if true, is worse) on a couple main points. So tactically, as I said in the other thread, this feels like a step back from a potential resolution rather than just some boilerplate language that would maintain the status quo.

    Whether or not Garber can maintain this posture likely comes down to how other key stakeholders perceive the results this weekend (and probably next). If owners and heads coaches are happy overall on Monday, this probably is going to drag for several weeks. If not, Garber's disposition could change quite quickly.

    One thing to remember is that not only was tonight probably the best quality PRO can put on the field right now, but that it also faces a strain of overall resources, meaning that quanity is also an issue. All four on-field officials from tonight will work again this weekend. PRO has no AVARs. At some point, it all could become very untenable because I don't know how you grow the pool of available officials you have at this point.

    Next week is literally ALL matches on Saturday plus a single Sunday afternoon match in Foxborough. And look where all the home matches are on Saturday (hint: New York, Philly and DC aren't on the board!). Unless there are some unknown replacements who didn't get deployed this week, next week is close to impossible to assign (barring an evening MSP-BOS flight for a couple people on the early Minnesota match). So that is an interesting wrinkle.
     
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  2. StarTime

    StarTime Member+

    United States
    Oct 18, 2020
    PSRA responds to Garber’s comments:

    https://psraofficials.com/news/2024/PSRALtrCommGarber_022224.pdf

    Non-exhaustive list of key points:
    • Neither Garber nor any MLS executive has participated in negotiations, and PSRA is inviting them to do so. PSRA blames this Garber’s absence for his professed lack of knowledge of PSRA’s demands.
    • PRO negotiators have repeatedly told PSRA negotiators that “there is no more money.”
    • PSRA says that Geiger threatened a work stoppage if members didn’t vote to ratify the tentative agreement; PRSA calls this “bullying tactics.”
    • PRO rejected proposed bargaining dates of 2/23 and 2/26, and they have yet to respond to a request for additional dates.
     
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  3. gaolin

    gaolin Member+

    Apr 21, 2019
    It's going to take a Fail Mary isn't it?
     
  4. SouthRef

    SouthRef Member+

    Arsenal
    Jun 10, 2006
    USA
    Club:
    Rangers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, I think that’s going to be it.

    although most people on this board recognize the difference between the replacements last night and the usual match officials the majority of the watching public doesn’t know or care.

    The coaches and general managers presumably have better insights but they will have a high threshold to call it (so to speak)

    @MassachusettsRef said this all last night - until team leadership tells the owners this needs to end, things aren’t going to change.
     
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  5. RedStar91

    RedStar91 Member+

    Sep 7, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    This is gonna go on for a long time unless disaster strikes on the field these next two weekends.

    My initial thought was this was probably go on for a maximum of a month.

    From everything coming out publicly that is best case now.
     
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  6. StarTime

    StarTime Member+

    United States
    Oct 18, 2020
    It seems pretty clear that the fundamental issue is that MLS is simply not giving PRO the budget it needs to meet the match officials’ demands.
     
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  7. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yep, but an actual Fail Mary as bad as ESPN made a much more borderline call out to be
     
  8. soccerref69420

    soccerref69420 Member+

    President of the Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz fan cub
    Mar 14, 2020
    Nat'l Team:
    Korea DPR
    Nah, the Fail Mary showcased the referees lack of experience when you had refsnot even talking to each other before a decision. It wasn't just "ESPN making a borderline call much bigger than it was"

    My question though is what would a "Fail Mary" for the MLS even entail? Had a few of those just last season from PRO referees.

    Tim Ford running into a player in Zone 14 on a CK leading to a counter goal plus uncalled offside could be a Fail Mary on both the CR and AR.

    A defender has a ball hit their arm on the goal line, VAR doesn't call it down because they were unable to see where on the arm it hit, and Barkey threw them under the bus saying "the game expected a penalty", which changed the entire playoffs. That's a VAR Fail Mary.

    Elfath giving a DOGSO a YC in the final a few years back that had to be fixed by VAR?

    Refereeing considered so incompetent that a mentally unstable player stormed the referee locker room.

    I really can't even think of what a catastrophe would be in the MLS that would reach or surpass those incidents and force the league to act, especially since no game will reach the viewership and conversation level of a Monday night NFL game which absolutely had an effect on needing to get a new CBA ASAP. Poor reffing leading to a mass con? A referee assault? I don't know. I can't picture something that would be so egregious that the MLS would desperately run to the bargaining table that hasn't already happened in MLS.
     
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  9. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No, it really was. They didn't even do the basic analysis on a catch before jumping down the throats of the replacements, because they wanted the replacement refs to be the story. I'm not claiming they got that call right, but actual analysis of the catch shows its a lot closer than anyone wanted to give them credit for. Namely as we all know its not a catch until two feet are on the ground in-bounds, while the DB had possession in mid-air by the time he got his feet on the ground the possession is much more split between the DB and WR, and generally a tie on that goes to the offense but there is an exception for possession established before the tie-up. None of that was even discussed in the ESPN coverage, it was just "look how bad these refs are, they clearly cost Green Bay by missing such an obvious call, the NFL has to get a deal done now".
     
  10. AremRed

    AremRed Member+

    Sep 23, 2013
    Sooo technically they got this right without VAR intervention. So the story goes, during the injury delay one AR was adamant on the comms that this had to be DOGSO. The VAR heard that and was like “hey, if you go with his recommendation we are check complete”. Cheeky referee moment for sure though. ;)
     
  11. StarTime

    StarTime Member+

    United States
    Oct 18, 2020
    That's certainly one of the few examples that would definitely qualify. The thing is, unlike 10 years ago, there's VAR now. Most of the huge controversies will be easily fixed by VAR.

    There are still game-changing mistakes that can't be corrected by VAR - like the Ford incident, or perhaps a wrong/missed second yellow, but the majority of "gigantic scandal" potential doesn't exist in the same way that it used to. There are scandals when VARs gets things "wrong", but this potential issue is somewhat confounded by the fact that PRO management themselves are the VARs.

    If the overall quality is so low that coaches start to really complain in private, that might be the better hope for moving the needle than praying for a once-a-season level disaster that can't be remedied by VAR.

    Or if there are major logistical problems from trying to fit n match officials in n+m holes.

    I'm really interested to see how long this strike goes on for. It's such a different situation from 2014 in so many ways; it feels like we're really in uncharted territory. This weekend will be very interesting to follow.
     
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  12. Dayton Ref

    Dayton Ref Member+

    May 3, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I think it will have to be VAR not sending down something they should. The VAR positions can't all be filled by Alan Kelly, Mark Geiger, et al. My $ is on a DOGSO not given and not sent down.
     
  13. incognitoind

    incognitoind Member

    Apr 8, 2015
    Geiger Kelly Ricci 2 Andersons gantar and Fletcher. They’ve got enough
     
  14. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, I was about to say...

    They absolutely can be. There might be one name or two that aren't anticipated, but PRO management basically will have it covered.

    Now, how effective that will be without qualified/trained AVARs and with the management-to-replacement dynamic... who knows? But I don't think that aspect will be a disaster.

    It's not a KMI or two that will be the issue, I don't think. As is rightly pointed out, that happens all the time. In every league. It's just the price of doing business in our sport. And we probably pay too much attention to that in the VAR era. For coaches and players, they still feel and worry about overall match management. Ticky-tack fouls being called unnecessarily. Too many challenges going unpunished and leading to escalation. Technical mistakes on ceremonial restarts that don't lead to a goal, but irritate one team. Stuff like that. One, two or three matches with that won't be a big deal. But if it starts to really add up and it irritates the wrong coach(es)... that's when you probably start to see pressure. Coaches don't love new/rookie referees because they aren't used to the league. But eventually they get over it (and the new guys get used to the league). If replacements look and feel and act like they don't belong there, it will show. If they are in over their heads, coaches and veteran players will know even if all KMIs come out of the wash clean.
     
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  15. RedStar91

    RedStar91 Member+

    Sep 7, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    I think the equivalent of a Fail Mary would be a Portugal vs. Netherlands in 2006 or 2010 World Cup Final where the referee just absolutely loses control and there are multiple red cards and the game just turns into a giant shit show.

    Then everyone will say "yeah these guys don't know what they are doing."

    That's where I think it will force ownership, PRO, and MLS' hand to get the real refs out there.

    There is also one other potential incident and that's just a gross misapplication of VAR (a la Liverpool vs. Tottenham).

    But I think Geiger and the PRO management are too good to let that happen.
     
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  16. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Des Moines, IA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Like you, I think it will be a game that is managed so badly that it ends up in a multiple mass-con event where the referee has to give 3-4 red cards and the games ends something like 10v9 (or should have but the referee doesn't give those cards to just survive another day).

    If we are talking about coaches who could influence a change, I think it's going to be someone like Jim Curtin who generally seems like a very level-headed guy regarding officiating either publicly or privately stepping up and saying, "This is not acceptable". The normal ref-baiters like Vermes and Noonan will likely be dismissed as, "Oh, them again". It's going to take someone who isn't "that kind of guy" to make his voice heard.
     
  17. SouthRef

    SouthRef Member+

    Arsenal
    Jun 10, 2006
    USA
    Club:
    Rangers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I suspect it’s not what they say in public (which as you point out is mostly for a different purpose) but what they are telling the owners and general managers in private.
     
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  18. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Interesting that they reduced Mizaga's suspension. I figured they wouldn't do that and risk upsetting PSRA if they were close to a deal. So probably an indicator (as we all know) that they don't see a deal coming soon.
     
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  19. GoDawgsGo

    GoDawgsGo Member+

    Nov 11, 2010
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You may think that about Vermes due to your bias as a referee and his general behavior towards referees, but if anything he’d be at the top of the list of being able to nudge PRO back to the negotiating table in terms of a relationship with his ownership group. Pretty sure he’s the only coach with the additional titles that he has. Also the longest tenured in the league I believe, by quite a margin. Ultimately, every club has different power dynamics between owners, presidents, GMs, and coaches. Some owners are significantly more involved than others. Some barely attend games.

    We can guess all we want, but none of us has a clue what it will take to get 29 billionaires to change their minds or know how happy they are with the replacement referees.

    Based on Garber’s interview I think they actually want to bust the union this time around. How many weeks will it take some BU members to cave and go back to being an IC? How large is PSRA’s strike contingency fund to assist with bills?

    https://www.sportingkc.com/club/technical-staff/peter-vermes/
     
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  20. SouthRef

    SouthRef Member+

    Arsenal
    Jun 10, 2006
    USA
    Club:
    Rangers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Fourth longest tenure of an active professional head coach in the world (or so the internet says...)
     
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  21. RedStar91

    RedStar91 Member+

    Sep 7, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    I don't think that is the goal. I could be wrong.

    There is no going back. MLS is not going to go back to the days of independent contractors/weekend warrior referees and I don't think they even want that and there is no way the current MLS referees will accept that.

    Say whatever you want about PRO, but it's a fact that they have improved the standard of officiating in North America. This current full-time/part time model works.

    It's not in PRO's or MLS' best interest to go to a non-union agreement where they essentially would have to individually negotiate with every referee.

    Remember Unions raise the floor for all employees, but they also put a ceiling for all employees.

    What PRO/MLS are trying to do is prevent the floor from continuing to be raised.

    I don't believe the current lockout is about a lack of funds or money for PRO to the referees/ARs. They have the money. As PSRA has stated, what they are asking for is somewhere around $3 million dollars total. It's really a rounding error now for MLS.

    What PRO and MLS are thinking about is not this CBA, they are thinking about the next CBA and the one after.

    Once a CBA is a signed, there is no going back. Once PSRA get business travel for all flights instead of four a year, they aren't going back to economy when the next round of negotiations come up.

    They are thinking, at least that's what I would be thinking if I was in their shoes, years ahead. If you give them what they want this go around, what are they gonna ask for next go around?

    Full health and benefits for AVARs? 10% 401K match? Game fees to be a minimum of $2K per match?

    That's what PRO is trying to prevent. They know they will eventually have to give them business travel, but they are hoping to delay it until the next CBA agreement and just perpetually kick the can down the road.
     
  22. soccerref69420

    soccerref69420 Member+

    President of the Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz fan cub
    Mar 14, 2020
    Nat'l Team:
    Korea DPR
    The NFL referee lockout wiki has a list of game issues that occurred (probably the only resource we can have to actually see game issues that happen in a referee lockout) to see what could similarly happen in MLS.

    - timeouts and challenges being incorrectly awarded or not taken away

    - ref getting pulled off game hours before because social media showed he was a huge fan of one of the teams

    - many plays getting overturned by video review

    - enforcing penalty yardage from the wrong side of the field yard line

    - boundary decision with a field goal going over the upright

    I don’t think any of these similar plays are likely to happen in MLS, and as people said, missed KMIs happen even with regular officials. I don’t think with VAR and the limited number of things they have to look at vs. other sports that there will be any egregious misses, but even so, egregious VAR misses have happened anyway.

    Yeah I don’t think PSRA can hope for a “fail Mary” type catastrophe that forces MLS to run to the table. All they can probably hope for is league wide incompetence of general game management and foul recognition problems that cause rage among players and coaches. Maybe a Lahoz-ian Argentina-Netherlands WC disaster. If that doesn’t happen it may be a long lockout
     
  23. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What about a misapplication of laws that leads to a game being protestable and the team does protest it? I'm not sure that's happened in MLS before (that a protest was actually filed and found valid), maybe in the early years. Had Miami scored on the incorrect dropped ball on Wednesday for example.
     
  24. StarTime

    StarTime Member+

    United States
    Oct 18, 2020
    On the dropped ball specifically: there’s no way such a protest would ever actually get upheld, right? Even in a context without lockout politics influencing the league.

    As I said in the game day thread, I think it’s poor management and needlessly risky to “pretend” that the player who was about to touch the ball did so before the whistle. But, I’ve seen it happen so many times in professional games in various competitions that I’m completely numb to it. This isn’t a “replacement referee did something highly unusual” thing. Granted, I’ve never seen a situation where a goal was scored immediately from one of those dropped balls, so no telling how the public would react, but I seriously doubt that a protest would be successful.
     
  25. incognitoind

    incognitoind Member

    Apr 8, 2015
    It was announced at the time that he could petition for a reduction after his compliance with behavioral assessment and therapy. This is completely unrelated
     
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