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Victory off the pitch

29 July 2010

Wayne Rooney has won a case against his former management company, Proactive Sports Management Ltd. The case concerned an agreement which gave Proactive an eight-year monopoly over the exploitation of Wayne Rooney’s image rights.

The agreement, which imposed a restriction that was much longer than the industry standard, was a restraint of trade and therefore unenforceable. The judge also considered Rooney’s age at the time the agreement was executed (he was only 17) and concluded that the agreement was not the result of a negotiation between equals.

The case illustrates the dangers of imposing lengthy restraints, particularly where these exceed industry standards (FIFA regulations stipulate a cap of 2 years for on-field agreements). Rooney was “delighted to have won this case” and the £4.3m he saved no doubt came in handy during Wayne and Coleen’s recent holiday in Barbados.

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