English Premiership

Rooney wins battle with agents

2011-12-01 15:21
Wayne Rooney (File)

London - Wayne Rooney claimed victory in his latest battle with his former management firm on Thursday when a judge ruled that a multi-million pound claim by Proactive was "unenforceable".

Proactive, who used to represent Rooney and his wife, Coleen, claimed it was owed commission payments and had made a claim for £4.3 million ($6.8m) from the Manchester United and England striker.

However, after the Court of Appeal in London delivered its verdict on Thursday, Rooney's legal team said judges had decided that an image rights agreement between the 26-year-old and Proactive was "unenforceable".

"I am delighted," said Rooney. "I was stunned when Proactive claimed the amounts they did.

"Coleen and I have always been happy to pay proper commissions to the people who are owed them. But Proactive's claims for money after we left the company were a joke."

Rooney added he was happy "justice has been done", saying: "I never wanted to go to court in the first place. But you just have to fight for what's right in life. That's what I've always done."

Paul Hughes, Rooney's lawyer, said the judges had ruled in Proactive's favour on one point and in his client's favour on other points, but stressed that Proactive had not succeeded in their claim for £4.3m.

Rooney had initially claimed victory in the case after the first round of litigation in July last year.

Then, Judge Brendan Hegarty QC ruled Rooney should pay £5 000 and his wife around £90 000 after a hearing in Manchester.

Proactive appealed in July this year and asked three appeal judges to overturn the ruling.

Rooney's lawyers said the initial ruling was correct and that the appeal should be dismissed.

Lady Justice Arden handed down the judgment in London on Thursday and said the appeal had been allowed "in part".

Hughes said appeal judges had decided that Rooney did not need to pay Proactive any more than the 5 000 Judge Hegarty ordered.

He said they had concluded that Mrs Rooney should pay more than the £90 000 Judge Hegarty ordered - and that amount had yet to be decided.

He estimated that the additional amount would be in the tens of thousands.

Hughes added: "They (Proactive) didn't get the 4.3m they had claimed. They succeeded on one (legal) point."

Rooney was signed for Proactive by agent Paul Stretford in 2002 while he was playing for Everton but left the firm in 2008 when Stretford set up a new sports management company and took Rooney with him.

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