Rory McIlroy to pay Horizon ‘in excess of $25m’ to settle dispute

No comment by either side but deal understood to involve $25m payment by golfer

Joint statement says legal dispute settled to the satisfaction of both parties.


Rory McIlroy’s case against his former management company Horizon Sports Management has been settled.

As part of the agreement, it is understood the golfer will pay the firm more than $25 million (€21.8 million) plus costs as part of the settlement.

The payment is a once-off and concludes the legal dispute between the parties.

In the High Court on Wednesday, counsel for the golfer told the court that the entire matter had been resolved.

Mr Justice Brian Cregan congratulated both sides on reaching an agreement and wished both Horizon and McIlroy success in the future.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed to the court.

A joint statement issued afterwards by both parties said the legal dispute between Rory McIlroy and Horizon Sports Management “had been settled to the satisfaction of both parties, who wished each other well for the future.”

The statement said the parties would be making no further statement.

Mr McIlroy was not in court on Wednesday. Horizon CEO Conor Ridge was present.

The hearing was due to get underway on Tuesday when the judge was told the case was scheduled to last eight weeks and there were many issues involved.

Both sides were seeing if they could narrow those issues and the case was adjourned twice to allow discussions continue which went on into yesterday evening.

Mr McIlroy attended court on Tuesday and sat in a reserved bench, along with a number of others, for the morning adjournment and for the one later in the day.

He was supported by business executive Barry Funston, who oversees the golfer’s charitable work through the Rory McIlroy Foundation, and his cousin Brian McIlroy.

The dispute had been expected to have involved arguments over tens of millions in lost commissions and earnings from potentially massive sponsorship deals and wins on the course. It had been expected to last eight weeks.

It centred on McIlroy’s contract with Dublin-based Horizon and two other linked companies, the Malta-based Gurteen and Canovan Management, also based in the Irish capital.

The golf star, who took up the game as a youngster in Holywood, Co Down, and now has a home in Florida, claims the terms he signed were inferior to those given to other top 10 players including fellow countryman and major winning friend Graeme McDowell, who was in the same stable.

Since McIlroy’s split with Horizon in 2013 his business interests have been overseen by Rory McIlroy Incorporated, which is headed by Donal Casey, formerly of Horizon, his father Gerry and Mr Funston.