Manchester City chairman Gary Cook to apologise to fans after Uwe Rosler blunder
Published 23:00 28/11/09 By Simon Mullock
Manchester City executive chairman Garry Cook will be writing to the club’s fans to apologise for a humiliating blunder at a supporters’ club gala evening.
Cook was inducting Uwe Rosler into City’s Hall of Fame during a 60th anniversary dinner for the Official Supporters’ club at Eastlands on Friday night when he mistakenly said the German striker had played for bitter rivals Manchester United.
Fans at the function jeered the former Nike marketing man after he announced: “I’d like to welcome Uwe Rosler into the Manchester United Hall of Fame.”
Cook was still being booed when Rosler stood up to deliver an acceptance speech and he left the ceremony soon afterwards looking deeply embarrassed.
Given the rivalry that exists between City and United, many Blues will view Cook’s slip as a cardinal sin. And Simon Pearce, a key adviser to City owner Sheikh Mansour (below), was at the event.
Cook did not want to comment on his gaffe, but he will be writing a letter to more than 70 branches of the supporters’ club to ask them to accept it was an innocent slip of the tongue.
And Kevin Parker, general secretary of the Official Supporters’ Club, last night called on fans not to be hard on the man tasked with leading the Eastlands revolution off the pitch.
Parker fears that a fan backlash might even prompt Cook to stand down from the role handed to him by former owner Thaksin Shinawatra 18 months ago.
“Mentioning Manchester United like he did is not something you would want your executive chairman to do on such a special evening, but the fact is that it was an honest slip of the tongue,” said Parker.
“Some footage had just been shown of Uwe Rosler scoring a goal against United and that’s probably what planted the seed in Garry’s mind.
“Some fans were upset at the time. But they should just remember how Garry has helped bring City closer to the OSC than they have been for a very long time.
“I would hate it if Garry decided to step down from his position over something like this just because a few fans have over-reacted.
“That would be extremely detrimental to Manchester City.
“It shows that Garry is only human. He isn’t this automated marketing man who has come in from Nike.”
Senior Eastlands sources indicated last night, though, that Cook will not be making any rash decisions.
He has worked tirelessly to build bridges between the club and the fans.
And last night he attended another supporters’ function at the City of Manchester
Cook met Parker and several members of the OSC committee to offer a personal apology before City’s game against Hull at Eastlands.