Breaking news from mcfc.co.uk:
Manchester city Football club announce that 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 Onouha, has been concluded.
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, Chief Executive Officer Garry Cook has offered his resignation, which has been accepted with regret by the Board.
Once the allegations first surfaced this past Monday Cook was always on shaky ground given the nature of the content of the email.
What then didn't leave Cook with much room to manouevre was his almost immediate defence that his email account had been hacked: if this was then proved to not be true not only is he facing pressure over the email itself but there is then the issue of an attempted cover-up. And so it proved.
When the club announced the results of the board led review of the issue, the conclusion that was reached was that there was 'foundation to Dr Onouha's allegations': put simply he had lied. This in many ways - and not to diminish the nature of the seriousness of the initial allegation - was what did for Cook.
Had Cook held his hands up when the allegations surfaced then perhaps he may have been able to ride out the storm that swirled around the club in the days after. Even so this would have proved to have been difficult as the media smelt blood in the water and with his impressive CV dotted with publicly embarrassing gaffes he may well have run out of lives regardless.
There are perhaps genuine questions to be asked though in relation to the timing of the story. The Monday after a Premier League-free weekend (when said email was sent some ten months previously) and a mere days after the club had reportedly blocked a proposed loan move to Everton for Nedum Onouha (a move that involved the assistance of one Kia Joorabchian?) by refusing to contribute towards the players wages.
That said, these are not mitigating circumstances to be used as a defence for Cook. Whatever the motives for the issue coming to light in the public domain, the seriousness of Cook's actions cannot in anyway be glossed over. At best it was a crass, tasteless error of judgement, at worst it was a nasty and vindictive shot at someone suffering from a serious illness, and someone who was in the middle of negotiating with the club at the time.
Cook himself released a statement on the decision, in which he talked of the 'significant personal focus' on him and interestingly there were suggestions in some quarters over the summer that a parting of the ways may well have been something to happen sooner rather than later:
"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."
Also in the statement from the club was a tribute to Cook's achievements during his time as CEO and despite his public reputation this should in no way be underestimated. Daniel Taylor's excellent piece in The Guardian backs this out and if you take a look at how the club has progressed these past three years, yes the money infused the club with almost limitless possibilities, but Cook's stewardship has overseen numerous initiatives and pulled so much together. Ironic then that on the eve of City's first foray into the Champions League - surely top his task list when appointed - Cook heads out of the door with the project he was tasked with only part completed.