McIlroy’s former agents in the swing as cash deposits more than double

The cash pile at Horizon Sports more than doubled to €506,882 last year, as it prospered overseeing the career of superstar golfer Rory McIlroy.

New accounts filed by the Dublin-based sports agency show that the firm’s accumulated profits increased by €63,947 from €275,217 to €339,164 in the 12 months to the end of December last.

The figures show that during last year, the agency’s cash pile increased from €248,364 to €506,882.

Last year was the only full year the agency represented two-time major winner McIlroy, before the relationship went sour earlier this year, with the two sides now embroiled in a costly High Court battle due to be heard fully next year.

The abridged accounts — signed off on Nov 5 — make no reference to the falling out with McIlroy or the potential costs arising from the case.

Shareholder funds last year increased from €315,464 to €397,411. The abridged accounts do not disclose revenues or what was paid in salaries.

In the court case, McIlroy claims he has paid more than $6.8m to Horizon, based on unreasonable fee rates many times greater than is standard in the sports agency industry.

He is seeking court orders cancelling “restrictive” and “unconscionable” representation agreements with Horizon and related companies on various grounds, including alleged negligence and breach of contract.

Horizon denies the claims and will be bringing a counterclaim, with the case due to go to hearing in the High Court next autumn.

Solicitors for Horizon claim McIlroy has received “extraordinary benefits” from the work of the agents and is seeking to avoid his contractual responsibilities.

The firm — headed by Conor Ridge and Colin Morrissey — was established in 2005 in a Ballsbridge basement.

Ridge, a commerce graduate from UCD with a masters degree in marketing from the Smurfit Business School, remortgaged his house to get the business up and running

Explaining his move to Horizon Sports at the time, McIlroy said: “I saw at close hand what a great job Conor [Ridge] and Horizon have done for G-Mac [Graeme McDowell] over the past few years and that’s something that has always been there and always been in front of me... it’s not a decision that I’ve made overnight. I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’ve spoken to the people who are close to me, obviously my mum and dad, and they’re 100% behind any decision that I make. I just feel like it’s a good move for me.”


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