LOS ANGELES -- Manchester City did the necessary and obvious thing in accepting -- or is that forcing? -- the resignation Friday of its chief executive Garry Cook, who allegedly sent an email seeming to ridicule a player's mother who has cancer.
This may sound like wishful thinking, but the venerable English Premier League football club missed an ideal opportunity to make a point, an out-of-the-box creative statement going beyond the usual safe corporate response.
Why couldn't the organization instead announce that Cook was going to be taking his energy, vision and talent to spend this next soccer season, not in the boardroom, but working in the corridors at the Christie?
The Christie happens to be based in Manchester and, according to its website, is the largest cancer center in Europe, treating more than 40,000 patients a year. Certainly it would offer Cook a valuable and, apparently, much-needed education in what cancer patients have to endure.
City accepted Cook's resignation after the board's investigation determined that there was "foundation" to the allegations of Dr. Anthonia Onuoha, the mother and agent of defender Nedum Onuoha.
The controversy started almost a year ago after she had emailed City officials, assuring them she would still be involved in issues regarding her son's contract. According to reports, Cook mistakenly sent an email back to Onuoha that was meant for another team executive and demonstrated insensitivity to her medical condition.
What happened much, much later was almost predictable. A national tabloid broke the news and Cook claimed his email account had been hacked. That position changed with the brief investigation, his resignation, the team's apology to Onuoha and formal statements on Manchester City's website.
"I am privileged to have held my position at Manchester City Football Club and to have experienced the opportunities that it has presented," Cook said. "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 judgment in this matter that has prompted me to reach this decision, which I believe is in the best interests of the football club."
Drinking, soccer and tabloids
Citygate, email style, was about the only thing to trump, at least temporarily in England's soccer world, the long-running debate about high-priced Liverpool striker Andy Carroll's fitness and lifestyle.
Fabio Capello, coach of England's national soccer team, said in a news conference Monday that if Carroll wanted to be a good player "he needs to drink less than the normal."
Liverpool Coach Kenny Dalglish threaded the needle in jumping into the fray. He defended his player but didn't go after Capello, putting the blame on the media.
"I think (Carroll's) fitness would stand up against anybody's," Dalglish said at a news conference. "How long are you going to milk it? You don't know his lifestyle. Who knows his lifestyle? Andy.
"I think Andy is wiser than a lot of you boys, by the way, and a lot of people who write about it."
At least Dalglish didn't send off an email.