Manchester United’s biggest shareholder will “vigorously contest” legal action by Sir Alex Ferguson over the racehorse Rock of Gibraltar, it emerged today.
The Old Trafford manager has issued a writ against John Magnier demanding tens of millions of pounds in stud fees from the horse which he claims the pair co-own, the Daily Mirror reported.
Sir Alex, 61, claims he was given a 50% share of the racehorse by Magnier as a present and wants half the stud fees, the newspaper said.
Rock of Gibraltar won a record seven successive Group One races in Ferguson’s colours, but the United manager says he was offered just a fraction of the horse’s stud value, it was reported.
In a statement issued on behalf of Magnier and Coolmore stud farm in Co Tipperary, public relations firm Murray Consultants said: “We wish to point out in response to the lodging of legal proceedings against our clients by Sir Alex Ferguson in Dublin, that our clients consider them to be without merit, and that they will be vigorously contested.”
Magnier and his business partner JP McManus, via The Cubic Expression Company Limited, increased their shareholding in United to just over 23% last month.
A Manchester United spokesman said he was aware of the legal action but that it was a private matter between the individuals concerned.