Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughFootball works in mysterious ways - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Football works in mysterious ways - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Football works in mysterious ways

Two stories have gathered momentum during this early part of a breezy, cold and grey week: An alleged e-mail sent from Manchester City CEO Garry Cook to a City player’s cancer suffering mother, and a fallacy relating to Steed Malbranque retiring from the game to care for his ‘ill son’.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
These two stories are repugnant and bizarre, and if either or both proven true, one has to ask the question: Has morality been totally eradicated from the once called ‘beautiful game’?                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Garry Cook, according to The Sun, is “fighting for his job” today after allegations were published in their paper yesterday claiming he had sent an e-mail to Nedum Onuoha’s mother, addressed to City football administrator Brian Marwood, which mocked her fight against cancer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
The message was sent to Dr. Anthonia Onuoha, who represents her son, after she contacted the club last October to pursue a claim, which was in regards to her son and client’s contract.                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The Sun published the e-mail, which 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 (sic).”                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Cook has vehemently denied the abhorrent claims and apologised for the ‘embarrassment’ it had caused. He also claimed his account had been hacked and that he was away on holiday in South Africa at the time of delivery.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
City have bided their time in relation to this allegation, and they have tread concernedly whilst deliberating the options open to them; however, they released a brief statement on Monday evening.                                                                                                                                                                          
The statement read: “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.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
City need to do this in a correct and proper manner because they can’t afford to sweep this matter under the carpet – not even their millions will accomplish that. The FA will also be tested; they jump on the bandwagon to hand players and managers bans and fines – what will their stance be on this new scale of gratuitous behaviour and loathing attitude?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Difficult choices will need to be made about the character of personnel City want to run the club going forward. The way they conduct themselves off the pitch, as well as on it, is a part of the mould which dictates the integrity it rules by. An integrity which has seen neighbours Manchester United soar  above the rest.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
This story will run until that hacker – if indeed a hacker exists – has been caught, and for City’s sake, the story must also be resolved without losing anymore decorum.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Meanwhile, Ex-Sunderland midfielder Steed Malbranque has thanked fans, players and coaches from all over the world for their decorum and humble wishes after the tragic news spread that he would be retiring from the game to look after his cancer-ridden son. In an aberrant turn of events, however, the story has proven to be an utter lie.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Confusion reigned supreme after reports emerged that the Frenchman had – reluctantly – elected to call time on his career to care for his young son, but a statement from his London-based solicitors Thomas Cooper on Monday dismissed these claims, stating that Malbranque does not have a son.                                                                                                                                                                                           
“Steed has read with concern the recent stories currently circulating about him and his family,” read the statement.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
“He would like to reassure all of his friends in England and throughout world football that these stories are wholly without foundation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
“Steed does not have a son and his immediate family are all in good health. Steed does not know the origin of these stories but would like to stress that they are without merit.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
“Steed trusts that the rumours will now cease immediately.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
The source of this story is unknown, according to Malbranque’s representatives, but a hoax like this only demonstrates further what vile measures someone will undertake to create an exclusive.                                                                                                                                                                                       
What ever happened to validity? Ethics? Class? It repulses me to think someone in an industry, that I hope to join one day, would create a devastating fabrication to pull in the readers.                                                                                                                                                                                                   
I am no longer surprised about anything I read, see or hear about in football, but I think this is a new low.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
By Tom Henman
Twitter @T_Henman


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