HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège
HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège

L'impact de l'audit sur l'équité financière de clubs de football belges et l'obtention des licences

Reul, Geoffrey ULiège
Promotor(s) : Stas de Richelle, Laurent ULiège
Date of defense : 4-Sep-2023/8-Sep-2023 • Permalink :
Title : L'impact de l'audit sur l'équité financière de clubs de football belges et l'obtention des licences
Translated title : [en] The impact of the audit on the financial fairness of Belgian soccer clubs and the granting of licenses
Author : Reul, Geoffrey ULiège
Date of defense  : 4-Sep-2023/8-Sep-2023
Advisor(s) : Stas de Richelle, Laurent ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Francois, Pierre 
Compagnie, Vincent ULiège
Language : French
Number of pages : 78
Keywords : [fr] Audit, Football, Licence, Equité, Finances,
Discipline(s) : Business & economic sciences > Accounting & auditing
Target public : Professionals of domain
General public
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en Financial Analysis and Audit
Faculty: Master thesis of the HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège


[fr] This dissertation examines the impact of auditing on the principle of financial fairness among Belgian soccer clubs, and its link with licensing. Indeed, audit professionals play a role in the process of submitting license applications to the Belgian Football Federation (Pro League, s.d.-d). More specifically, the annual accounts requested by licenses for applications made up to February 15 must be reviewed by these audit firms, which are appointed by the General Meeting of the soccer club in question (Pro League, s.d.-d). We therefore put forward the following hypothesis: "Compulsory financial audits, by virtue of their impact on the annual accounts, improve the financial transparency of Belgian soccer clubs, thereby promoting fairer competition between clubs".

To carry out this study, directive interviews were therefore carried out to consider the auditor's point of view in the soccer environment. A sample of seven auditors of different ranks and from different auditing firms was recruited. Their informed views on the subject were needed to form an opinion on the research question set up following the literature review.

Several objectives were pursued in this dissertation. The first was to demonstrate the link between licenses and auditors responsible for Belgian soccer clubs (Pro League, n.d.-d). The second objective was to demonstrate whether there was any impact between the audit carried out when applying for licenses and the financial equity that might exist between these soccer clubs. Thanks to the interviews we conducted, we were able to answer the research question and thus refute the hypothesis we had put forward. In fact, the audit is a procedure that is in no way binding on companies. It is merely a procedure for analysing the annual financial statements made at the closing (IAASB, 2017a). These results have been discussed thanks to the various characteristics of the auditors, the different licensing regulations but also thanks to interviews conducted downstream of this theoretical analysis.

These results therefore suggest that an audit is necessary and mandatory for soccer clubs, but that it has no impact on the financial fairness that exists in the Belgian soccer league. As a result of all these analyses, we have disproved our initial hypothesis. In view of the significant number of methodological limitations, it would therefore be interesting to replicate this study, reducing the limitations as far as possible, to obtain more marked and significant results. This study deserves to be deepened by other research projects, considering the methodological limitations and perspectives of this study.



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  • Reul, Geoffrey ULiège Université de Liège > Master sc. gest., à fin.


Committee's member(s)

  • Francois, Pierre
  • Compagnie, Vincent ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > HEC Liège : UER > UER Finance et Droit : Audit and Financial Accounting
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
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