x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Football back on field as NFL lockout ends

The new labour deal is valid for 10 years and does not contain an opt-out clause which precludes the possibility of renegotiation.

The four-and-a-half-month NFL lockout came to an end today after the players' union and 32 team owners reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The team owners last week gave their support to the new CBA, and today it was the turn of the players to rubber-stamp the deal, with their representatives lending their unanimous support to the agreement.

The new labour deal is valid for 10 years and does not contain an opt-out clause which precludes the possibility of renegotiation.

"It's been a long time coming," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at a media briefing alongside NFL Players' Association executive director DeMaurice Smith.

"Football is back and that's the great news for everybody.

"I want to thank all of the players for their leadership and for securing the long-term future of the game.

"Having a 10-year agreement is extraordinarily great for our game, but most importantly our fans. I think this agreement is going to make our game better.

"We're grateful for all the work that both parties did to make sure we came to this day."

Today's announcement means players can return to their teams for the first time since the league lockout began upon the expiry of the former CBA in March.

The regular season is not due to begin until September 8.