Late Conversion: The Impact of Professionalism on European Rugby Union
Rugby union only went professional in 1995, much later than other major team sports. League structures and arrangements regarding revenue sharing and salary caps differ between the three main European leagues. We consider the impact of these differences on competitive balance. In addition, unlike soccer, rugby does not require leagues to be organised along national lines, which has enabled the smaller rugby playing countries to establish a joint league. This has prevented a migration of all the best players to larger country leagues as has happened in soccer and resulted in a greater degree of competitive balance in European rugby competitions.
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