MLS Talk Podcast: Brian Zygo, on Labor Negotiations


In the third part (of three) in our series on Major League Soccer’s labor negotiations, I talked to Major League Soccer Talk contributor Brian Zygo.

After talking to legal and sports business experts in the series’ first two parts, I’ve asked Brian on the show to help bring the issues back to the pitch.  Bring is a practicing lawyer in Houston, and although his expertise is not labor law, his combination of legal knowledge and soccer expertise help translate bring a soccer-lean to the story.

Brian joined me on Thursday night in wake of the news the management and labor had agreed to a negotiating period extending through February 12, twelve days after the current collective bargaining agreement expires.

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5 Responses to MLS Talk Podcast: Brian Zygo, on Labor Negotiations

  1. Charles says:

    I appreciate the podcast. I think that Brian Zygo was so far in favor of the players that he could not think rationally.
    I don’t disagree with most of what he said, but did he address how the owners could make it work?…in reality?…not the fair way thing SHOULD be?…Remember the owners are heavily invested in these projects with a lot of risk.
    So take a team like Houston. Revenue of $10 million, net operating income of -$1.8 million a few years back accordning to Forbes. Not sure how much money the owners put up to own that, but even if it was zero, that is not a very good return on investment.
    The OWNERS made this league happen, and if they need to be a little less than fair in the early years to make it happen…The players and I are ok with that.

    The balance is how do you be fair to the players to get better talent to get more fans AND still be able to get the positive return on your investment that IS a requirement to have a league.

    • Richard Farley says:

      Hi Charles:

      I believe that Golden Boy paid $22.5 million for their 50% share of the team when AEG let them in. People: correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Brian Zygo says:

      Hi Charles:

      I’m completely on the side of the players in this matter, and have no desire to hide that fact. The point I’m trying to make, which was brought up by Taylor Twellman on a different outlet, is that there is still going to be a salary cap, so free agency is not going to result in salaries getting out of hand.


      • CoconutMonkey says:

        I’m inclined to take your word for it on that one BZ.

        But, assuming that player salaries increase over time, I would love to know what the rate of increase has been in other leagues before free-agency and after free-agency.

        Regardless, the idea of clubs owning the rights to players that are already out of contract seems crazy to me.

  2. Charles says:

    Well part of the return on investment is when you pay very little for team and then sell 50% for $22.5 million, but I will stand by my point. There is still a lot of risk in this league and it is easy to side with the players, some of which don’t make near enough.

    The hard part is to figure out how you are going to make a league work that has very few fans and not enough revenue to compete with European leagues.

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