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Man City boss quits over cancer email

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Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook has resigned over allegations he sent an offensive email that made light of a cancer sufferer's plight.

The email, meant for City's director of football Brian Marwood, reached Dr Anthonia Onuoha, the mother of City defender Nedum Onuoha at a time she was both recovering from cancer and negotiating her son's future at the club last October, The Guardian reports.

Dr Onuoha sent Marwood and Cook a message at the time stating that although she was "ravaged with cancer" she would still be negotiating on behalf of her son. She received a reply from the club in response addressed to "Brian", that said: "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."

The email returned to embarrass the club 10 months after it was sent when Dr Onuoha went to The Sun to tell the paper of her hurt and distress.

Dr Onuoha told The Sun: "When I opened my emails and saw the message, it was the worst day of my life, even worse than being diagnosed with cancer. I couldn't understand how anybody could behave like that. I just cried and cried for hours. I'm critically ill and at that point I was undergoing chemotherapy. I was just so shocked but I couldn't tell Nedum or any of my family because I didn't know how they would react."

Cook initially claimed that an unidentified hacker had sent the contentious email, and that the culprit had been identified and disciplined. However an internal investigation by the club, which is seeking to build a global brand and sensitive of its reputation, dismissed this line.

Following the investigation, Cook admitted an "error of judgement" and tendered his resignation, which has been accepted, as a MCFC statement explains.

Cook is credited with doing a very good job during his three years at Manchester City, despite the occasional gaffe. For example, he built a shelter for supporters queuing outside the ticket office after seeing fans queuing in the rain.

His blunders included describing controversial former City owner Thaksin Shinawatra as a "great guy to play golf with". He also raised eyebrows with claims that former world football player of the year Kaka "bottled it" in deciding not to move to Eastlands from AC Milan in January 2009. ®

Bootnote

We wouldn't be surprised in the least if the incident was used to sell Data Leak Prevention technology, a filtering technology designed to block the accidental or deliberate extraction of sensitive content outside corporate boundaries, to Manchester City.

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