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Home » Sport » Football

Man City CEO's job may be in jeopardy

The job of Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook was hanging in the balance Monday night after the English Premier League club launched an investigation into claims that he mocked a cancer victim.

Khaldoon al-Mubarak, the City chairman, was locked in crisis talks with the soccer club's hierarchy as Cook's position came under intense scrutiny amid a controversy that has embarrassed City's billionaire Arab owners.

Cook, who is in Portland, Ore., at present visiting his US-based wife and family, is not expected to return to England until next week, but his prospects of still being chief executive by then appear extremely doubtful.

The mother of Nedum Onuoha, the City defender, claimed that she received an email from Cook, supposedly intended for Brian Marwood, the club's soccer administrator, that poked fun at her year-long battle against cancer.

In a statement released Monday night, City said, "Following allegations made to the football club by Dr. Anthonia Onuoha, subsequently reported in today's media, the club can confirm that a board-led review has been launched into the matter."

Cook has denied sending the message and claimed that disciplinary action was "currently underway regarding one of our employees" after alleging that his email account was hacked while he was on a 10-day holiday in South Africa.

The veracity of those claims will be tested during the club's investigation. The board review is expected to be swift and an announcement on Cook's future could be made as early as Tuesday.

Sources who have seen the offending email told The (London) Times that it was sent from Cook's iPad because it included the electronic signature "sent from my iPad" at the bottom of the message.

Anthonia Onuoha had emailed Cook and Marwood in October last year during a contract dispute her son was having with the club to explain that, while her "body might be ravaged by cancer and ongoing chemotherapy," she was still able to negotiate on her son's behalf.

Two weeks later, Anthonia Onuoha — who acts as her son's agent — received an email that appeared to be sent from Cook, only addressed "Brian," that read, "Ravaged with it!! ... I don't know how you sleep at night. You used to be such a nice man when I worked with you at nike. G."

Anthonia Onuoha replied the next day by saying, "Thanks very much for your insightful email."

She said reading the email had been "the worst day of my life, even worse than being diagnosed with cancer."

Despite her sending official letters of complaint to the Football Association and Premier League, both organizations are expected to leave City to deal with the matter internally.


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