CBA negotiations

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

  1. El Rayo Californiano

    Feb 3, 2014
    I know PSRA has asked him to be present on the 28th (not the 25th, as he says), but probably better if he didn't attend.
     
  2. Sport Billy

    Sport Billy Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 25, 2006
    By "minorities", he's referring to unqualified individuals getting to do games well above their ability. Those folks, thankfully, are a small minority of people who have officiated an MLS match.
     
  3. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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  4. ManiacalClown

    ManiacalClown Member+

    Jun 27, 2003
    South Jersey
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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  5. incognitoind

    incognitoind Member

    Apr 8, 2015
    He’s not. A large number of the officials came from a special interest group geared to minorities run by a member of management.
     
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  6. Twotone Jones

    Twotone Jones Member

    United States
    Apr 12, 2023
    I guess this is a thing, but I'm not sure it's actually a real thing.

    When Serafini was running things, we saw more female officials for the WPS and NWSL, she found those female referees. Hell, I remember Ted Unkel working ALOT of women's games before moving into MLS. Same with Lukas Szpala. She found the females to have representation in the league. Coincidentlally, the number of spots for women on the FIFA panel increased and now there are more female FIFA officials there. That includes 3 Black women.

    When Prus was leading PRO2 (he might still be), we saw a lot of referees with Eastern European names coming up the ranks. We see a lot of these names across the USL and MLSNP assignments and moving into MLS 4ths.

    When Brian Hall was in charge, we saw a lot of Hispanic names advancing very quickly. (The rumors are what they are.... and there are many opinions out there). I'll just leave that there.

    Fletcher is in a position now where he can impact identification and, maybe, assignments, and we see Black referees getting a chance. This includes Freemon, who was stuck in the VAR booth for a long time before getting his shot. And Freemon has taken full advantage. He's shown he deserves to be in the league and has earned the FIFA badge. We saw his USOC final go very well and we saw that brilliant advantage decision in the MLS Playoffs last year. Rumor has it he was supposed to have the opener of Inter Miami v. RSL last Wednesday.

    Humans naturally gravitate towards people who resemble themselves. Having a single Black on-field referee in the league in the early 2020s can't be a good thing though. 2 if we're counting Elfath.
     
  7. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The rumor is true.

    But I think the question, relative toward the replacements, is whether or not Fletcher is serving the long-term interests of the match officials he helped recruit to fill in. As I said, this is a fraught topic because it mixes two issues where people can have strong opinions (diversity initiatives and labor disputes). One can easily argue--in all sorts of directions--how things should be. But I think the reality is that filling in right now probably sets your career back or at least makes it more challenging. So does that mean the hard work done on recruitment and identification of black referees is tossed out the window in the name of short-term expediency?

    It's complicated, but as much as some want to talk about PSRA members unfairly influencing or intimidating potential replacements, I think it's worth asking if management unfairly leveraged relationships to the actual detriment of the individuals in question.

    And regardless of the answer to that question, Garber's invocation of the issue is pretty cynical and gross.
     
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  8. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Des Moines, IA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That simply cannot be the case. Don Garber may be a lot of things, but dumb is not one of them. He chose his words carefully and has a meaning behind every word he was saying.

    For the minority question, I admit that the lack of African-American representation is concerning. But to be honest, I think that is a function farther down the pyramid as well. Admittedly, I live in Iowa, so we also have challenges recruiting and retaining officials from that group. I hope that as we have more kids play that we will see more referees from that group. But I would say overall, diversity at the higher ranks is at least good. We had a Moroccan immigrant who represented the US in a World Cup final. Women are regularly working MLS matches. Hispanic referees are regulars. Sure, things can always be better, but it’s not like a bunch of guys who look like me but in better shape are the only ones refereeing.

    I understand Don Garber was trying to score political points, but I sure don’t think that was the subject to attempt lighting up the scoreboard all things considered.
     
  9. soccerref69420

    soccerref69420 Member+

    President of the Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz fan cub
    Mar 14, 2020
    Nat'l Team:
    Korea DPR
    It is somewhat rare to have people pick up refereeing a sport, or especially end up excelling in refereeing that sport, that they have no experience in, so when certain groups have more or less participation in said sport, they will likely have more or less involvement in the sport as referees.
     
  10. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Pulling this over from the Week 1 thread:

    The refs are the NTSB in your scenario. The customer doesn't interact with them, doesn't understand their role, and doesn't really care what they say until the wheels fall off. But the manufacturer sure cares that they have competent NTSB directives and the employees want clarity on how they're supposed to do their job installing the lugnuts.

    The players and the coaches (the employees and the manufacturers) are going to be the ones that drive a bargain here, baring the "Fail Mary" scenario (wheels falling off). What the fans think is going to be largely immaterial. The way Messi went off on the ref after the game on Sunday is the type of indicator we should be looking for, not how Reddit rates the game.
     
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  11. ManiacalClown

    ManiacalClown Member+

    Jun 27, 2003
    South Jersey
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  12. SouthRef

    SouthRef Member+

    Arsenal
    Jun 10, 2006
    USA
    Club:
    Rangers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I will push back on this very slightly to say that while the players and coaches are much more important to this process than fans, the ultimate deciders here are the owners and they can see things very differently than players, fans or coaches.

    Some of these teams have very good and open relationships with ownership and owners take their input seriously. Some teams have relationships that are strained at best and are looking for ownership to listen to them more.

    I've been peripherally involved in this type of contract negotiations a few times and it has really surprised me what management wants out of it. I know someone said it earlier on the board but it's worth repeating - it's 29 billionaires who are really making the decision and they think differently than most people.
     
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  13. squamuloselaggard

    Your Mom's House FC
    Chad
    Sep 10, 2023
    Strongly disagree. MLS is a for-profit business that’s ultimately funded by fans and advertisers. If neither of those groups is unhappy, there’s no problem from MLS’s perspective. And judging from week 1, neither of those groups is unhappy.

    Players’ and coaches’ opinions barely matter. Outside of the one extreme outlier, literally the greatest footballer ever to walk the face of the earth, every other player and coach in MLS is almost completely replaceable. Fans’ eyeballs and advertiser $$$, on the other hand, aren’t replaceable. So I’m sorry to say it, but unless a player’s name starts with Lionel and ends with Messi, his opinion on this matters less than redditor xxsoccerdude69’s opinion. You may not like that, but that’s reality.

    I also think it’s funny that the folks here think any act of dissent against a PSRA ref means that the dissenting player or coach is a whiny child and not that the PSRA ref may be doing a lousy job, but suddenly Messi wags a finger at a replacement ref and it’s indisputable proof that the replacement ref is an incompetent buffoon.

    Guess what: Messi, Busquets, Alba et al are going to work the refs, and that goes double in any match that isn’t going the way they want it to go. It’s not any more damning than anything Pete Vermes said on a weekly basis prior to 2024.
     
  14. RedStar91

    RedStar91 Member+

    Sep 7, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    I don't 100% agree with @squamuloselaggard but he does have a point to an extent.

    it's a middle ground.

    If the players/coaches are in 100% uproar and saying "hey we need them back" then obviously that will move the needle and MLS might listen.

    But if the players/coaches are kind of annoyed and frustrated and the fans still show up it won't move the needle and put MLS in a sense of urgency.

    But if the players/coaches don't really care or are not bothered, but the fans aren't showing up as a result, I guarantee you that MLS Is gonna do something.

    Again, this is a league that fundamentally doesn't really care that much what the players/coaches think. They'll listen, but they won't make the changes if it thinks it's gonna cost them money or not make money.

    Otherwise why are there still games being played on artificial turf in MLS? Every single player to a man hates turf fields? Messi, Ibrahimovic, Henry, etc. have all basically never played in New England, and Portland, and Seattle because of the turf.

    The officiating in the NFL during their ref lockout was bad, but the NFL didn't do anything until the Fail Mary because the fans weren't turned off by it.

    Once the Fail Mary occurred, the league's credibility with the fans started to take a hit and they decided to do something.

    It's a balancing scale. The players/coaches concerns will move the needle, but if the fans have greater concerns and credibility issues with the league it will move the needle faster.

    So for those of you that want the lockout to end as soon as possible. Convince all fans to not show up to the stadiums this weekend. I guarantee you the lockout ends on Monday.
     
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  15. Twotone Jones

    Twotone Jones Member

    United States
    Apr 12, 2023
    Assuming it sets their careers back, it would hinder the replacement refs with the PSRA, not with PRO. PRO is assigning them games in the MLS regular season, which starts the clock on the minimums, right? or at least counting towards "trial" games. Whatever flack the replacement refs get won't come from PRO staff, who is doing the assigning. It'll come from their potential compatriots that they'll work with on the field. And if PRO assigns the games, theoretically they'll assign who they think deserves the assignment. And they'll give contracts to those referees that deserve the contract based on performances during this period. This will ruffle PSRA feathers but if PRO is controlling the recruitment and assignments, what PSRA says doesn't matter. The CBA negotiations is the place for PSRA to say "No replacements refs get contracts or future assignments" and where PRO says "We'll hire X amount of replacements based on performance". That's probably a sticking point since there are current PSRA members who were replacements in 2014.

    This deficiency happens at the State level for sure, but let's be real, Jon Freemon is a Kansas referee right? The young lady who just made the FIFA list is from Mississippi. Talent is out there and I'm glad someone is trying to find it and cultivate it. There's absolutely no reason that USSF had it's first African-American FIFA referee EVER in 2022.

    It takes recruitment and development to achieve equality. Look not that far away from the USMNT and USWNT. The men's team can put out a full starting 11 of legit African-American players to compete in the World Cup right now. the 1994 squad had Earnie Stewart (found in Holland) and Cobi Jones (a backup). the infamous 1999 USWNT that won the WWC had Brianna Scurry and Saskia Webber. That's it. Now there are African-American women all over the current roster.

    It's a good thing this is trickling down to the refereeing sector.
     
  16. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No, because the idea of top players not coming to North America due to officiating concerns has never, ever, ever been raised in the history of MLS. Nope, that's never come up before and I've never heard it suggested once in the last 30 years.

    Your love of MLS radiates.

    Also, the confidence in saying "that's reality" when the opposite was true in 2014 is impressive.

    You're just making things up. Many of us regularly use the existence of dissent in a professional setting precisely a reason to believe something went wrong. There's bad/extreme dissent, sure. But there's also helpful dissent. Or understandable dissent, at least. Professional referees know this. It can help them adjust course. And it's a reason why a lot of visible dissent is oftentimes countenanced or swept under the rug.

    The difference from this past weekend--and particularly Messi's behavior--and regular instances of dissent is the just general lack of respect exhibited by the players. They weren't necessarily in referees' faces over specific injustices; they were shaking their heads, laughing and smiling (sometimes in tandem with the opposing teams) at more routine decisions and results.

    I'm happy to be wrong, but I take it you haven't been around professional players or coaches in an officiating setting. There is a rapport and understanding that exists. Even with Sartini's outlandish comments last year, he made a point of saying how much he likes Tim Ford and respects him (normally). Things get heated and can go over the top when a mistake is perceived or the stakes are too high. But you don't get players just laughing casually and shaking their heads reflexively in bewilderment. And you don't get Lionel Messi going out of his way at full-time to go up to a referee, tell him he's not good and won't work his matches again, while purposefully refusing to shake his hand. It was a deliberate sign of disrespect and Messi knew exactly what he was doing.
     
  17. SouthRef

    SouthRef Member+

    Arsenal
    Jun 10, 2006
    USA
    Club:
    Rangers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He comes across as very reasoned and thoughtful - he seems to be an excellent public face of the PSRA
     
  18. El Rayo Californiano

    Feb 3, 2014
    Pick your battles, folks. On and off the field.
     
  19. SouthRef

    SouthRef Member+

    Arsenal
    Jun 10, 2006
    USA
    Club:
    Rangers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Listened to the whole thing - he is very clear that he doesn't ask for a boycott of the games or for fans to threaten to cancel season tickets. Even when the interviewer suggested that he made sure to come back and correct him "now look, we are not asking anyone to cancel their membership here".

    Seems to be a collegial approach which seems wise.
     
  20. the_phoenix612

    Manchester United
    United States
    Sep 13, 2022
    Houston, TX
    Lockout has officially impacted me ... I'm getting pushed a full division down in the mens league games that I'm working because the local PRO guys are working the top division :ROFLMAO:
     
  21. soccerref69420

    soccerref69420 Member+

    President of the Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz fan cub
    Mar 14, 2020
    Nat'l Team:
    Korea DPR
    When the NBA, the second most popular/profitable sport in the country, has nearly weekly (including last night) player and coach meltdowns about officiating and the fans pretty much openly claim the referees are corrupt but still watch regularly, the PSRA doesn’t really have a leg to stand on when it comes to the topic of fan/coach/player opinions affecting the referee CBA of MLS games. Outside of either a Messi injury directly caused by referee incompetence or Messi boycotting games, this lockout likely only ends by major PSRA concessions on their demands, no matter how incompetent the game by game refereeing may be over the next week or two
     
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  22. incognitoind

    incognitoind Member

    Apr 8, 2015
    I think you’d be surprised to see that the bulk of the money an owner makes from the league is not from ticket sales. It’s from ad revenue, tv deals, and franchising fees. As in any business, the reason a team will pay 350 million to join the league or Apple will pay 250 million for tv is because of the interest in the league. So while fans may buy some tickets in the short term, the integrity of the product is being diminished. The officials are part of the production of their product. They keep it on schedule, the enforce the laws the way the league wants, they adjust to requests like var announcements or points of emphasis and many other things. It’s so incredibly short sided to think that fans are what drives the decision. It’s clicks, Internet traffic, and a sponsor saying “I need my name on that stadium or that broadcast”.

    we’re headed into a period of time when soccer will be at its absolute peak interest in the country and the product the league is willing to put forth has been decreased. More people will watch soccer in the US over the next 2 years than quite possibly ever will again and this is the chance to lock them in as life long fans. Long delays, poor public image, and 300% increase reviewable incidents do not make us look like a soccer nation about to host the world event. It makes us look like a joke.

    so get your lug nuts from where you want. People don’t buy lamboughinis for the lug nuts but I promise no part on that car is from a discount wholesaler.
     
  23. RedStar91

    RedStar91 Member+

    Sep 7, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    I think you're just completely overstating the impact bad officiating will have on viewership and TV ratings. Sure someone like Herculiz Gomez may raise a stink about bad officiating, but the ratings aren't suddenly gonna tank because you have a musician on some Inter Miami matches instead of Elfath.

    Maybe, if MLS continues to throw out a bunch of weekend warriors for the foreseeable future then you'll see a decline in TV ratings and Ad revenue.

    People aren't gonna stop going to the games or watching the games because the officiating sucks.

    I mean the Premier League has seemingly has had an officiating crisis for like two decades now. Has that turned away fans?

    Every couple of months some ex-EPL referee writes an articles titled "standards are slipping" or "we have an officiating crisis in this country" "Riley/Webb Out!"

    EPL fans can't stand VAR and think its a blight on the game yet ratings have never been higher.

    There is an entire cottage industry of people saying NFL officiating stinks and yet ratings are never higher for the NFL.

    Short of the officiating being so bad that it fundamentally changes the way the sport looks (i.e. 60 fouls a game and 4 red cards a game) it's not gonna do anything. We are gonna watch because people love the sport.

    And as we saw this weekend. Was the officiating tough to watch at times? Obviously. But could the average fan or average owner or average executive tell the difference? No. Will those people suddenly not watch next weekend? No.
     
  24. squamuloselaggard

    Your Mom's House FC
    Chad
    Sep 10, 2023
    Ad revenue, tv deals, and franchising fees are all downstream from fan interest, and fan interest is downstream from the perceived entertainment value of the product…and it’s pretty clear that fans aren’t perceiving any drop-off in the entertainment value of the product.

    Regarding the integrity of the product, the unbalanced schedule, attempted withdrawal from the Open Cup, scheduling of matches during FIFA international windows, Calvinball player acquisition rules, 3-game first-round playoff series, and the magical ability of Inter Miami to acquire a gazillion dollars worth of talent while remaining under the salary cap are all compromising the integrity of the product far more than having replacement refs for these games…and none of those things turned fans, advertisers, or AppleTV away to any noteworthy degree.
     
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  25. RedStar91

    RedStar91 Member+

    Sep 7, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    This right here is amazing to think about and is kind of related to the actual lockout.

    MLS won't pay what is the equivalent of $3,000,000 to pay what the referee's are asking for in total during this CBA negotiation.

    But they are seemingly allowing Inter Miami to form a La Liga has been all decade starting XI if reports are that Modric might be coming to Miami in the summer.
     
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