Peter Kenyon used to top my list of most hated football executives. Seeing him lead Chelsea up to get their medals after losing the Champions League medal in Russia, instead of a Chelsea legend, I thought was pure hubris.
I did not think that any executive could be as arrogant as Kenyon, but then came Gary Cook. Cook brought new meaning to the words snugness and arrogance. He is the former Nike executive remember who once said that Kaka “bottled it” after Cook failed to get the Brazilian to sign for Man City.
But Cook is out at City after he was found responsible for an offensive email sent to defender Nedum Onuoha’s mother, which he described as “an error of judgement”
Dr. Onuoha, who is here son’s agent, sent an email to City director of football Brian Marwood last year regarding the player’s contractual arrangements In the email she mentioned that she was suffering from cancer, but
She was stunned to receive an e-mail from Cook, which mocked her use of the phrase “ravaged with it” to describe her condition, while jokingly accusing former footballer and pundit Marwood of no longer being the “nice man” Cook worked with at Nike.
When news of the email broke in the Sun earlier this week, Cook claimed his account had been hacked by an unnamed employee at the club, a claim that attracted widespread ridicule.
Man City investigated the issue and today released this statement:
“The board-led review initiated on Monday of this week – as a response to allegations made to the football club, football authorities and a national newspaper by Dr Anthonia Onuoha – has been concluded,” the club said in a statement. “As a result, the club can confirm that there is foundation to Dr Onuoha’s allegations and the chairman has written to apologise to Dr Onuoha for any distress caused. Following the findings of the review, CEO Garry Cook has offered his resignation, which has been accepted with regret by the board.”
Cook issued his own statement saying:
“I am privileged to have held my position at Manchester City Football Club and to have experienced the opportunities that it has presented. The privilege is in part offset however by the significant personal focus which has, at times, detracted from the magnificent achievements of those working at the football club. It is that factor, together with my error of judgement in this matter that has prompted me to reach this decision, which I believe is in the best interests of the football club.”
You might notice on thing missing from Cook’s statement. And that is an apology. True to the end, Cook doesn’t have the class or dignity to apologize to Dr. Onuoha for his remarks.