Oct
14
2013
Rory McIlroy gets the legal ball rolling against Horizon
By Stephanie Wei under Rory McIlroy
Rory and his ex-manager in better days...

Rory and his ex-manager in better days…

Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy has officially launched his lawsuit against his former management company in court on Monday in Dublin, according to Britain’s Press Association

McIlroy alleges in court papers he was misled by Horizon Sports Management and its leading agent, Conor Ridge, who were “primarily concerned with maximising their own share of any commission.”

Lawyers for Horizon have said they plan to file a counterclaim. A trial date is scheduled for October next year.

PA said court papers claim McIlroy signed his contract with Dublin-based Horizon at the company’s Christmas party “in circumstances of great informality” and without having seen a draft of the agreement before it was given to him to sign.

McIlroy also alleges Horizon paid children’s charity UNICEF $166,000 of his money in March without his knowledge or consent.

Oof, yikes. See, that’s the problem with going to court — it gets really ugly and can end up biting you in the butt and causing mini-PR crises.  That unfortunate UNICEF bit is just to make Rory’s case stronger against Horizon, but when you learn of such things with words, like, “alleges” and “charity money,” it just doesn’t sound or look good from a bit of a superficial standpoint.

I’m sure Rory doesn’t *actually* care about the $166,000 to charity, but this battle with Horizon has also officially gotten ugly.

Here’s the Guardian’s Ewan Murray on what the basis of Rory’s suit is:

McIlroy is understood to be trying to recover €7m (£5.94m) from Horizon in the belief that fees charged during an 18-month spell with the Dublin-based firm were excessive. While under Horizon’s guidance the 24-year-old signed an equipment deal with Nike worth US$100m over five years. A full trial date for the case between McIlroy and Horizon has been set for next October. Court papers reveal McIlroy claims he was misled.

The multi-millionaire-dollar question is answered! — why did Rory sign a contract he wasn’t comfortable with two years ago?

McIlroy maintains he was not furnished with any draft of the agreement with Horizon before it was presented to him for signature on 21 December 2011, in a solicitor’s office on the day of Horizon’s Christmas party “in circumstances of great informality”.

I get it, he’s too trusting. He’s young. He was only 22 at the time. Perhaps since his former BFF Graeme McDowell was represented by the company, he didn’t think to have a lawyer or advisors review it more closely. I’m not saying it’s an excuse, but we were 22 once and we certainly weren’t two-time major champs worth multimillions!

It’s just too bad that all this has to unfold in the news, while Rory is trying to play out of his slump (and eventually capture a third major title).

Oh, in other Rory-related news, despite reports to the contrary, Caroline Wozniacki says she and McIlroy have not broken up.

Really? Someone purported that they split over a Twitter picture? Please. I am guilty of not actually realizing that was apparently the *reason.*

McIlroy is currently in South Korea as he is set to compete in this week’s Korea Open.

(Photo via The Mail/Online)