Premier League - Cook quits City over 'cancer' email

Fri, 09 Sep 15:18:00 2011

Garry Cook has quit as CEO of Manchester 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".

2011 Manchester City Garry Cook - 0

An email from Cook's account was received by Dr Anthonia Onuoha - who also acts as the player's agent - making light of her chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

The email addressed City director of football Brian Marwood by name but was sent to Dr Onuoha, presumably by mistake, and upon her complaint former Nike executive Cook claimed his account had been hacked by an unnamed employee at the club, a claim that attracted widespread ridicule.

Cook - who is as much known for controversial statements as he is for being a top executive - has since accepted responsibility for the email and quit with immediate effect, replaced temporarily by board director John MacBeath.

"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 added: "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."

The claims related to correspondence involving Dr Onuoha - who looks after all the player's contractual arrangements - and Marwood over a dispute in October last year.

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 I opened up my e-mails and saw the message, it was the worst day of my life, even worse than being diagnosed with cancer," Dr Onuoha told The Sun.

"I couldn't understand how anyone could behave like that. I'm critically ill.

"I cried and cried for hours."

It is not the first time Cook has been in hot water over his comments - he famously accused Brazil star Kaka of "bottling it" for rejecting a move from Milan to City - although it is by far the most serious incident.

City have said they will search for a new CEO, who is expected to come from the world of sports marketing.

Weekend warm up

Reda Maher - follow me on Twitter @Reda_Maher / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account