- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Arena Football players and management have reached agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement, paving the way for the league to restart play next year.

Both the players’ union and the league’s board must ratify the deal, which would cover four seasons from 2010 through 2013.

AFL acting commissioner Ed Policy called the agreement crucial to bringing back the indoor football league, which canceled the 2009 season due to the economy.

“The AFL is working tirelessly to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure that the league not only survives but thrives as a business enterprise,” Policy said. “This revised deal with the players provides a fundamental and vital foundation upon which we can rebuild the economic model of our league and its teams.”

The union’s acting executive director, Richard Berthelsen, said players agreed to make concessions in return for a share of the league’s expected future success.

“AFL players have remained steadfast in their love for their sport and their appreciation of their fans,” he said. “The players are doing everything reasonably possible to ensure that the AFL relaunches in 2010 and grows in the years to come. Players are making economic concessions now in return for a share of expected increases in the league’s value and revenue, because the players believe in the future of the AFL.”

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