Ten facts about Man City executive chairman Garry Cook

Meet the man with huge plans for the Citizens

Thaksin Shinawatra and Garry Cook

In ten years time, when the first words of most children in Asia are ‘Manchester City’, and all of David Beckham’s children are begging for a game at Eastlands, we’ll have one man to thank. It’s not that barmy former Thai Prime Minister with the frozen assets, but City executive chairman Garry Cook. Keep reading for ten fascinating facts about the man and his mental ambitious plans for the future of his club and the entire league…

1. Shinawatra poached him from an executive position at Nike, where he has gained marketing expertise for the past 22 years.

2. His time in the USA with Nike has clearly affected his sensibilities about sport. He believes there should be a break-away division of 10-14 clubs with no promotion or relegation. “The fans would find a way to get passionate about it,” he says.

3. He sees City becoming a global empire that will be bigger than Manchester Utd. By tapping into the Chinese and Indian markets, which represent 30 per cent of the world’s population, he believes the Blues can win the Champions League in “ten years or more”.

4. He is obsessed with the nonsense term ‘box office signing’, and is the man responsible for trying (and failing) to lure the likes of Ronaldinho and Henry to Eastlands. He sees this as an essential step in gaining global popularity: “No disrespect, Richard Dunne doesn’t roll off the tongue in Beijing.”

5. Despite Mark Hughes’ disapproval of the Vedran Corluka and Stephen Ireland transfers, Cook is happy to line anyone up on the chopping block: “Everyone’s for sale. If they want to stay at this club they will have to aspire to it.”

6. He is a Birmingham fan.

7. When questioned, Cook will skim past Thaksin Shinawatra’s legal problems and troubled past, insisting that he is a nice guy who is great to play golf with. On the subject of his issues with the Premier League’s ‘fit and proper person’ stipulation: ”It’s almost a tongue-in-cheek term that you would use for Premier League football over the last 10 years. There are plenty of unfit and improper individuals.”

8. The Gaz-man is quick to reassure fans that Shinawatra is in it for the long haul: “I asked ‘why did you buy it?’. He said he bought it because there is a 10-year plan.”

9.Despite the owner’s £800m of frozen assets and the recent £30m bank loan that Manchester City took out, Cook insists they are a long way from dire financial straits. In a move that suggests he thinks countries are people, he said he has had “Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait on the phone,” and they have met with ‘the second richest person in China.”

10. Good news for Sparky – Cook insists he won’t be fired if Manchester City fail to reach the top six this season.

17 responses so far
  • KopiteNo1 // August 26, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    You are a TAD harsh in your analysis of the guy aren’t you?

  • Jan // August 26, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Dude! no offense dude but do u have a vendetta to city

  • SPENNY BLUE NOSE // August 26, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    A rag WUM has written this, its as plain as day!

    Jog on!

  • matt // August 26, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    this is just lifted from saturday’s guardian, but reaffirms that cook is a total anchor

  • Chris the Lemon // August 26, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Mostly from a Henry Winter Telegraph article. Doesn’t seem anti-city to me, but then Cook doesn’t come over at all well to football fans.

  • GAGA // August 26, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    why do you say mental ambition when what he proposes is not impossible also its city not citeh. my guess is that this w a n k e r is a backward cockney whose mother is his sister as they normally write city as citeh. everyone wants to jump on city now it looks like things could go well and they can keep it up you wont stop us from growing into englands biggest force again because city fans wont let you stop us, we are impeccable

  • blue // August 26, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Terms like “Sparky” and “Citeh” give you real allegiances…go back to your armchair in the swamp of Salford and maybe leave the real journalism to the professionals

  • Upminster Iron // August 26, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    GAGA – “you wont stop us from growing into englands biggest force again”

    Would you mind telling us uneducated, backward southerners when the last time you were England’s biggest force was?

  • Jack Millington // August 26, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Tut tut, fellow blues! Please stop criticising mentally deficient people. It is very cruel, if your IQ was less than your age, you too would support MU.

  • GAGA // August 26, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    upminster iron obviously you were offended i wasnt suggesting all cockneys are backward, i just think he is a cockney and the backward remark was meant for the article writer only.and you are obviously not a big football person if you dont know how big city were but im not getting into it because i cant be bothered.

  • Didsbury Dave // August 26, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Upminster Iron –

    League Champions 1968 and 1934.

    When’s the last time West Ham won the league again?

  • BlueDalziel // August 26, 2008 at 3:38 pm


  • Upminster Iron // August 26, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Yes I am aware you won the league twice 34 years apart from one another. Leeds won the league in 1991-92 and Blackburn did in 1994-95 but it didn’t make them the juggernaut that you try to claim City were. Just two one-offs back in a much better time where more than two teams could win the title.

    Yes, West Ham have never won the league but I’m not claiming that we were England’s ‘biggest force’ at any point in time, not even when our players scored the goals that won England the World Cup.

  • GAGA // August 26, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    didsbury dave you didsbury div you are wrong 1937 we won the league as for you upminster we were englands best team at one time accept it as for your players winning the world cup thats not true the other players need to be on the pitch for hurst to have done the business so pack it in.

  • Chris // August 26, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    I saw the original interview, and this is fairly accurate.
    Even as a City fan, I thought this Cook sounds a right wanker.
    I’d sooner go back to the dark days of Wycombe, Bury and Macc than see City in a 10-team premiership that’s geared to the Asian TV markets.
    I’m rapidly losing any interest in top flight football.

  • Jenks // August 26, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Who says we’ll be in this “super league” anyway. The day we get no relegation from the top league is the day we’ve gone too American and turned our national game into an American franchise load of bollox….that’s the day I go back watching non league with me dog.
    PS, Cook won’t be here for long, he aint daft, the bubble has burst already, 37 k on sunday says it all really, we’re fed up of high prices, joke owners and matches on any day but saturday.

  • GAGA // August 26, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    jenks high prices? we are letting kids in for a quid and adult tickets are not dear as far as i know (i have season ticket) i paid 10 quid for europe game ticket plus you want the glory for city dont you? i do so even if they went up to alot of money as long as city keep growing ill keep paying .

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