OTTAWA, July 3 (UPI) -- An analysis of North America's four major sports leagues indicates the National Football League is the most "socialist" of all in salaries and profit-sharing.
In its ongoing assessment of professional sports, the Conference Board of Canada, a not-for-profit research organization, said the NFL has a salary cap on how much any franchise can pay its players and the league requires more than 80 percent of all revenues are shared, the board said in a release from Ottawa.
Glen Hodgson, the board's senior vice-president and chief economist, said there was an irony that the NFL is also the most popular league of professional sports.
"It is somewhat ironic that America, land of capitalism and free enterprise, is so fond of a league that has made sharing the wealth fundamental to its business model," Hodgson said.
The National Hockey League was named as second in socialist policy.
Under the NHL 2005 collective bargaining agreement, there is also a salary minimum and cap for players. There is a "complex" revenue-sharing agreement and smaller franchises are subsidized by the larger ones, the board said.
"Both the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball operate much like a modern capitalist economy," the board said. "In general, the financial playing field in these leagues is not level, and the largest, richest markets and teams tend to be the most successful."
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