Accounting for football players’ cost:
It is an accepted accounting practice in the football industry to capitalize the cost of acquisition of players’ registration as ‘intangible assets’ which are then amortized over the contract period of individual players. Intangible assets recognized as above meet the criteria of IAS 38 in that the football clubs have control over the player contracts whose value is recoverable from the players’ performance and / or through transfer fees. The intangible assets are written down for impairment when the carrying value exceeds the amount recoverable through use or sale.
Intangible assets in respect of the players’ registration cost of leading English football clubs according to their 2012 annual reports are as follows:
-Arsenal - £85.7 million
-Chelsea - £201.3 million
-Liverpool - £120.9 million
-Manchester City - £226.2 million
The figures for cost of player registrations are historic cost figures for purchased players only. Accordingly, the net book amount of player registrations will not reflect the current market value of these players.