This is it, though, really. American sports are based on the franchise idea, such that balance is redressed through drafting and a system geared around preparing people through minor league affiliates and college systems for that draft, whereas sports in much of the rest of the world are built around a jeopardy program, with promotion and relegation, as a meritocracy where the worst performing teams are replaced by those at a lower level, and so independent (i.e. non-affiliate) smaller teams have more raison d'être because they can rise up to become the best, and consequently there's no option of coasting for the big teams with their status secured because too much poor performance and you lose your spot at the top.I think cycling has simply evolved, inevitably, from its grass roots to have to accomodate a global demand. The solution, as ever in the European system, has been a cut-throat pass/fail praxis (no grade inflation here). The downside, of course, has been untoward instability. Although, in principle, I prefer results over moneyed privilege. At any rate, big investors who spend unwisely get the shaft and, deviously, I'm all for it.
It's not to say that one system is better than the other - it's just that it's very difficult to implement one when the other is established. It's nigh on impossible in the big American sports leagues to realistically introduce promotion and relegation without completely dismantling the affiliate system, and at first almost all of the teams outside of the top league would be full of the prospect players of the top league teams, so would never be able to achieve true independence; meanwhile in systems with promotion and relegation, locking off the top division would completely kill all investment in the lower leagues, while implementing a draft to enable teams to remain competitive would be nigh on impossible because of the difficulty in setting eligibility.
Vaughters got stick for his idea largely because he was trying to have his cake and eat it; he had built his team from a middling ProConti team up to the top tier by utilising the European/South American-style meritocratic promotion system - but then wanted to implement an American style closed shop to make it impossible for him to be relegated and to stop anybody else achieving precisely what he had (and of course it didn't work, as DSM are the successors of Skil-Shimano and Bora-Hansgrohe of Team NetApp, two other teams that did just that).