29 September ~ In the aftermath of the Manchester derby it has emerged that Man Utd's players were goaded into their second leg comeback by the words of Garry Cook, City's chief executive. In his pre-match teamtalk Sir Alex Ferguson quoted Cook's claim that City would definitely reach the final. Earlier in the week Cook had boasted – in the aptly named Mad Hatters Saloon – that City would be going to Wembley, "not if, but when, we beat United".
Aware of the embarrassment caused by Cook's propensity to speak first and think later, City's owners are reportedly considering dispensing with his services. This would no doubt come as a shock to Cook, who was recently described as a "fundamental pivot-point of the regeneration of the club".
Cook's sacking would deny him the opportunity to make City "the biggest and best club in the world", a project he believes is ticking over nicely – much like the banner on the Stretford End. But while his exit would embarrass the club, it would free up some time for Cook to see his old golf buddy Thaksin Shinawatra.