Warning! If you're negotiating with Manchester City and it isn't going well, don't get cancer. Apparently, cancer is something to be poked fun at inside their organisation. So admits Garry Cook, from whose email account the following message was sent to Dr. Anthonia Onuoha:
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.
Ok, maybe not sent to. More like 'sent at' or 'sent near' - the message was intended for Brian Marwood, City's football administrator. As it stands, that email doesn't seem so bad, at least until you realise that Dr. Onuoha, who represents her son, Nedum, currently in a contract dispute with the club, had just sent an email saying she would continue to act as agent in the negotiations despite being 'ravaged' by cancer.
Obviously mocking a cancer victim to their face is very much not the done thing (mocking them behind their backs is also deeply unpleasant, but harder to get in trouble for). Cook's explanation is that he was holidaying in South Afric at the time and thus could not possibly have sent the email - instead some rogue prankster within the organisation has hacked into Cook's account an played a bizarre prank involving disguising what may well be the worst 'joke' ever told*.
*I mean seriously, even if you ignore the ludicrous offensiveness of the comment, it's not actually funny in any way. What kind of 'joke' is that supposed to be?
Some bloggers might be tempted to point out that a) the internet is available in South Africa and b) it's far more likely for a rather silly individual to hit reply all on an email they meant for private consumption than to hack into someone's email account and set up an elaborate prank to make that paragon of humanity known as Garry Cook look like a smug donkey's bottom. I am not one of those bloggers. Mr. Cook's story is very clearly the truth, and I wish Manchester City luck in rooting out the insidious trickster that has settled into their midst. Truly, 'tis a noble cause.
NB: If you are Mr. Cook and you do not like the contents of this article, I am hollidaying in Novaya Zemlya and couldn't possibly have written, as a polar bear has eaten the internet. Therefore, I too have been hacked. It's an epidemic and our only hope is this vital internal investigation.