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Accounting and disclosure of football player registrations: Do they present a true and fair view of the financial statements?: A study of Top European Football Clubs
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The game of football has transformed from just being a game into a huge economic market attracting investors from all over the world. As clubs spend more and more money on player acquisitions, player registrations (considered intangible assets) now represent a significant part of the total assets of major European football clubs. Due to this, treatment of player registrations has become a significant accounting issue.

The purpose is to analyze and compare from the perspective of an investor, how a sample of European football clubs account and disclose values of player registrations. The purpose aim to answer the questions how and what kind of information each club discloses on their financial statements. Also, are current accounting procedures and disclosure harmonized, and do they present a true and fair view of top European clubs financial status.

A descriptive case study was the most appropriate as it aims to answer the questions “how” and “why”. A sample selection filter was set in the beginning of the process together with the research questions. The final sample was set to be: Arsenal FC, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus FC and FC Porto. The purpose of the selection filter was to get a study both fair on economical as well as competitive sports level. Primary data consist of information from annual financial reports, and in order to enhance validity, interviews with professionals have been conducted and used. 

Findings show similarities as well as differences in disclosure and treatment of football player registrations. All clubs meet the minimum requirements from IAS 38 and UEFA. However, how and what kind of information each clubs disclose differ substantially and due to lack of valuation models and the possibility to capitalize home-grown players and free agents, the value of player registrations is not presented in a true and fair view.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
Football player registrations, Intangible assets, IAS 38, Fair value accounting, Economics of european football, Disclosure theory
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-23997OAI: diva2:721716
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Available from: 2014-06-13 Created: 2014-06-04 Last updated: 2014-06-13Bibliographically approved

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