Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy agent stand-off looks to be ending up in court

By Shane Phelan

There seems little prospect that the bitter dispute between golfer Rory McIlroy and his former agents being heard in Dublinwill be settled out of court.

Sources close to ongoing talks between lawyers for both sides indicated the case is likely to go to a full trial next year.

Those talks, which have been ongoing for several days, have been limited to the issue of documents that may be involved in the case.

There has been no discussion about a possible resolution of the complaint made by McIlroy against Dublin firm Horizon Sports Management.

The world's number two ranked golfer instituted proceedings against Horizon, claiming he had been on a worse deal than another high-profile client, fellow major winner Graeme McDowell.

An exchange of documents is taking place ahead of the case going to trial next January.

The agency helped negotiate McIlroy's $20m-a-year (£12m) deal with sportswear giant Nike in 2012.

However, the newly crowned Open winner later parted company with the agency in acrimonious circumstances.

McIlroy claimed he was on "markedly inferior" commercial terms than McDowell, despite alleged assurances from Horizon that they both had similar deals.

McIlroy alleges that he had to pay a higher commission than McDowell on lucrative off-course earnings.

However, Horizon has said it was not represented to McIlroy that he would be on the same commercial terms as McDowell.

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