Coldplay have counter-sued their former manager Dave Holmes, accusing him of making some costly errors on their most recent tour, as well as exploiting his relationship with the band to secure loans from live giant Live Nation.
According to The Times, Coldplay claim that their ex-manager owes them damages in excess of £14 million. However, a spokesperson for Holmes says that the band's lawsuit is relying on "non-existent ethical lapses and other made-up misconduct" to distract from the fact they reneged on their most recent deal with the manager.
Holmes sued Coldplay first, through the UK courts earlier this summer, after his long-term management relationship with the band fell apart last year. His lawsuit claims that, following the release of 'Music Of The Spheres' in 2021, his management deal was basically renewed for another two releases, taking his partnership with the band through to the end of 2025.
On that basis, he negotiated a new deal for the band with Warner Music, and started work arranging recording sessions and planning marketing campaigns for the next record. He also began preparations for a 2024/2025 world tour.
However, he alleges, once all that work was underway the band suddenly declared that his new management deal had not, in fact, been agreed. Then they tried to reduce his involvement with the band down to just their live activity. And then they sacked him.
In his lawsuit, Holmes wants that management deal - and the commissions he would be due under it - to be enforced. Or at least for the band to be obliged to pay him for the work he had already done on the next album and tour before he was sacked.
In their counter-suit, Coldplay deny Holmes’s claim “in its entirety”, insisting that they never extended their manager's contract because of growing concerns about his conduct.
As for what those concerns were, they claim that the manager made a number of errors in the management of their last tour, including allowing costs to surge, buying some equipment that was not suitable, and commissioning a “visual project known as Jet Screen” for $9.7 million, but then providing incorrect specs so that the screen could only be used at ten shows.
The mistakes ended up costing the band millions, the new lawsuit alleges, hence why they think they are due damages from their former manager.
Elsewhere, the band also allege that, unbeknownst to them, in 2015 and 2018 Holmes borrowed a total of $30 million from Live Nation, seemingly to fund a property development venture in Canada.
They allege that Holmes was only able to access that finance because of his relationship with Coldplay and that, as a result of the loans, he was "potentially or actually" conflicted when subsequently negotiating deals on behalf of the band with the tour promoter.
Responding to the band's new lawsuit, a spokesperson for Holmes said: “Coldplay know they are in trouble with their defence. Accusing Dave Holmes of non-existent ethical lapses and other made-up misconduct will not deflect from the real issue at hand - Coldplay had a contract with Dave, they are refusing to honour it and they need to pay Dave what they owe him”.