Manchester City to probe 'offensive email from Garry Cook'

Garry Cook
Garry Cook is Manchester City's chief executive

Manchester City are to investigate claims chief executive Garry Cook emailed defender Nedum Onuoha's cancer-suffering mother mocking her illness.

Dr Anthonia Onuoha received an offensive email which was intended for the club's football administrator Brian Marwood, in regard to a contract dispute her son was having with City.

Cook has denied he sent the message, claiming his account was hacked.

Dr Onuoha told the Sun the email had left her "humiliated and devastated".

Defender Onuoha's mother, who acts as his agent, had previously sent a message to Marwood and Cook, explaining that while she was "ravaged with cancer" it would not prevent her negotiating on behalf of her son.

Dr Onuoha then received an email, allegedly from Cook and addressed "Brian", which apparently ridiculed her use of language in describing her illness.

The email is reported to have 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".

Manchester City have responded to the allegations by releasing a statement promising a full investigation.

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

Dr Onuoha told the Sun:external-link "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."

Dr Onuoha said she replied to Cook the following day, writing: "Thanks very much for your insightful email."

She told the Sun: "The illness I have is very stressful, I'm having chemotherapy and radiotherapy, including having radiotherapy on my brain and this year has been traumatic. I didn't want anybody adding to my stress but that is what they've done.

"The feeling of humiliation still persists. Now I just want the FA and the Premier League to see what's happened and to take the appropriate action. Treating people like this is completely abominable."

Cook apologised for "any hurt or embarrassment this may have caused" as well as denying sending the email.

He told Dr Onuoha: "I cannot and will not condone this unacceptable behaviour. I can confirm Brian did not receive this email and disciplinary action is currently under way regarding one of our employees."