Manchester United plc – Annual report – 30 June 2018
2 Summary of significant accounting policies (extract)
2.15 Intangible assets – registrations and football staff remuneration
Remuneration is charged to operating expenses on a straight-line basis over the contract periods based on the amount payable to players and key football management staff for that period. Any performance bonuses are recognized when the Company considers that it is probable that the condition related to the payment will be achieved.
Signing-on fees are typically paid to players and key football management staff in equal annual installments over the term of the contract. Installments are paid at or near the beginning of each financial year and recognized as prepayments within trade and other receivables. They are subsequently charged to the income statement (as operating expenses) on a straight-line basis over the financial year. Signing-on fees paid form part of cash flows from operating activities.
Loyalty fees are bonuses which are paid to players and key football management staff either at the beginning of a renewed contract or in installments over the term of their contract in recognition for either past or future performance. Loyalty bonuses for past service are typically paid in a lump sum amount upon renewal of a contract. These loyalty bonuses require no future service and are not subject to any claw-back provisions were the individual to subsequently leave the club during their new contract term. They are expensed once the Company has a present legal or constructive obligation to make the payment. Loyalty bonuses for ongoing service are typically paid in arrears in equal annual installments over the term of the contract. These are paid at the beginning of the next financial year and the related charge is recognized within operating expenses in the income statement on a straight-line basis over the current financial year.
b) Initial recognition
The costs associated with the acquisition of players’ and key football management staff registrations are capitalized at the fair value of the consideration payable. Costs include transfer fees, PL levy fees, agents’ fees incurred by the club and other directly attributable costs. Costs also include the fair value of any contingent consideration, which is primarily payable to the player’s former club (with associated levy fees payable to the PL), once payment becomes probable. Subsequent reassessments of the amount of contingent consideration payable are also included in the cost of the player’s registration. The estimate of the fair value of the contingent consideration payable requires management to assess the likelihood of specific performance conditions being met which would trigger the payment of the contingent consideration. This assessment is carried out on an individual player basis. The additional amount of contingent consideration potentially payable, in excess of the amounts included in the cost of registrations, is disclosed in note 29.2. Costs are fully amortized using the straight-line method over the period covered by the player’s and key football management staff contract.
Where a contract is extended, any costs associated with securing the extension are added to the unamortized balance (at the date of the amendment) and the revised book value is amortized over the remaining revised contract life.
d) Disposals and loan income
Assets available for sale (principally players’ registrations) are classified as assets held for sale when their carrying value is expected to be recovered principally through a sale transaction and a sale is considered to be highly probable. Highly probable is defined as being actively marketed by the club, with unconditional offers having been received prior to a period end. These assets would be stated at the lower of the carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell.
Gains and losses on disposal of players’ and key football management staff registrations are determined by comparing the fair value of the consideration receivable, net of any transaction costs, with the carrying amount and are recognized separately in the income statement within profit on disposal of intangible assets. Where a part of the consideration receivable is contingent on specified performance conditions, this amount is recognized in the income statement when receipt is virtually certain.
Loan income on players temporarily loaned to other football clubs is recognized separately in the income statement within profit/(loss) on disposal of intangible assets.
Management does not consider that it is possible to determine the value in use of an individual player or key football management staff in isolation as that individual (unless via a sale or insurance recovery) cannot generate cash flows on their own. While management does not consider any individual can be separated from the single cash generating unit (“CGU”), being the operations of the Group as a whole, there may be certain circumstances where an individual is taken out of the CGU, when it becomes clear that they will not participate with the club’s first team again, for example, a player sustaining a career threatening injury or is permanently removed from the first team playing squad for another reason. If such circumstances were to arise, the carrying value of the individual would be assessed against the Group’s best estimate of the individual’s fair value less any costs to sell and an impairment charge made in operating expenses reflecting any loss arising.