Wayne and Coleen Rooney's fortune to be laid bare in court case with former agent
The Manchester United and England star will face unprecedented questioning over his multi-million pounds earnings when he appears as a witness in the long-running and bitter case involving his controversial agent Paul Stretford. Coleen Rooney will also be called into the witness box to give details of her earnings from endorsements of perfume and make-up, magazine columns and her TV series Coleen's Real Women. Andreas LiverasThe couple are being required to take the stand after being sued by the James Grant Group, the sports and celebrity agents, for more than £4 million in unpaid commissions incurred after Mr Stretford left on acrimonious terms to set up his own firm in 2008, taking the striker and his wife with him. Rooney, 25, has built a portfolio of lucrative endorsement contracts with global names such as Nike, Coca Cola and EA Sports, bringing him a fortune previously estimated at £35 million and a lavish lifestyle far removed from his humble roots. James Grant, which represents stars including Simon Cowell, Ant and Dec and Davina McCall, claims it is owed the commissions from future contracts negotiated on the couple's behalf by Proactive Sports Management, the company which Mr Stretford founded 20 years ago but which now forms part of James Grant. But Rooney and his 24-year-old wife have described the legal action, which opens at Manchester Mercantile Court on Monday as "exploitative". They claim the commissions in the magnitude of 20 per cent were only ever payable against management services actually rendered. The couple claim neither Proactive nor James Grant have provided them with any services since Mr Stretford quit the firm to set up Triple S Sports and Entertainment. Mr Stretford has represented Rooney since the age of 17, when he was a supremely talented 'prospect' playing for Everton. He masterminded Rooney's record breaking £25.6 million transfer to Manchester United in 2004 and subsequently negotiated his £6m million a year contract with United. In July 2008 Mr Stretford received an 18-month suspension by the Football Association and a £300,000 fine for breaking regulations when he signed Rooney. The Rooney camp fear the case could become a potential distraction for Rooney in the run up to the World Cup year and his best ever season as the Premiership's leading scorer. A spokesman for the couple said: "Both Wayne and Coleen regard the claims being made against them as exploitative and financially driven. Neither would have chosen to see these matters aired in Court. However, the actions of those running James Grant/Proactive have left them with no choice but to defend what is for them a matter of principle." A friend of Mr Stretford said: "Proactive/James Grant and its owners have played no part in the management or either Wayne or Coleen's business affairs was November 2008 when they last had contact with Proactive. "It is inconceivable that they should expect payment for the period since November to now, never mind for the years ahead." Documents presented before the court in December 2008 as part of the long running dispute revealed that on top of his £90,000 a week club salary Rooney receives £760,000 a month for his image rights, £1m a year from Nike and £118,689 every six months from EA Sports. He also made £3.55 million from a 12-year, five book contract and £600,000 from a four-year deal with Coca-Cola. The papers showed Coleen earns £13,000 for each episode of Real Women and £41,667 a month from her OK! magazine column.
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