Rowbottom, Nick (1999)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The main aim of this thesis is to evaluate the feasibility of intangible asset accounting in financial reporting with particular reference to the football industry. It also examines related accounting policies. Lack of reliable measurement is the major obstacle to the recognition of intangible assets. The measurement of intangible assets is problematic due to a lack of verification through reference to an active market. However, drawing on Human Resource Accounting, the thesis argues that identifying and measuring human resource assets may be possible in the football industry. The human resource asset, the player registration, is subject to sufficient control through unique industry structures to justify recognition as an intangible asset. The existence of an active market for player registrations facilitates reliable measurement. In the football industry, a wide variety of accounting policies are employed in accounting for player registrations and other material transactions. Hypotheses regarding the reasons for selecting particular accounting policies are developed and tested. Findings suggest that institutional pressure which influences perceptions of legitimacy and credibility can affect the selection of accounting policies. The thesis also develops and tests a model to value player registrations as intangible assets where they are not subject to market transactions. The ability to reliably measure intangible assets is regarded as crucial to their recognition in financial reporting. In addition, it will lead to the acceptance of intangible asset policies as legitimate and credible, despite the market orientated bias of traditional financial reporting.
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