Who is Garry Cook? The former Man City chief set to be Derby County CEO

Derby County preferred bidder Chris Kirchner has made clear in recent social media posts that former Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook is being tabbed as the club’s next CEO should a takeover be completed.

Cook was in attendance with Kirchner, and Paul Stretford, who is Rams boss Wayne Rooney’s agent, at Pride Park in late November last year for the 2-1 Championship defeat to Queens Park Rangers. That was before the American businessman pulled out of the race to buy the club before the end of that calendar year.

The Birmingham-born administrator is now once again said to be involved with these latest efforts to takeover the club a second time around. But who exactly is the former Nike and UFC executive who Kirchner recently dubbed the best “business mind in football” he has met.

Read more: 40 players, free transfers, resources – What Chris Kirchner has said about Derby County’s big rebuild

Read more: Chris Kirchner makes major Wayne Rooney announcement as he closes in on Derby County deal

Who is Cook?

Cook has a background in advising on takeovers after helping secure Sheikh Mansour’s £ 210 million takeover of Man City in September 2008. The administrator had been CEO under previous owner Thaksin Shinawatra since May of that year.

After Mansour’s takeover, Cook remained in position and worked with current chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak until September 2011 when the CEO resigned. A year later, Cook was back involved in sports at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Several roles were held with the company, initially as a managing director and executive vice president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions and then as chief global brand officer and head of international business development. Cook was laid off as part of company cuts in October 2016.

Cook founded and became chief executive of i2 Global Consulting, an IT solutions and services company, later that year. The 64-year-old previously worked at Nike for 12 years from 1996, heading the Jordan Brand project for basketball icon Michael Jordan by assuming general manager and presidential roles.

What has Kirchner said about Cook?

Asked on social media whether Garry Cook would become chief executive should a takeover be completed, Kirchner was to the point in his response. “Yes. No secret I’ve been with Garry through all of this. I have yet to meet a better business mind in football than Garry. ” It has also been said that Cook “will be operating the club day to day.”

In another post, “Garry” is again mentioned as part of “the team”. “Garry (Cook) and the team have been working hard since we got confirmation from Quantuma [that] they were accepting the bid, “Kirchner said.

The American businessman has also suggested that other experts will be brought into the organization. “I’ll have people within the organization who are experts that we trust to provide the best guidance to Garry (Cook) and ultimately to me,” Kirchner tweeted.

What has Cook said about Derby & Kirchner?

Back in late January, Cook feared that a solution to save the Rams wouldn’t ‘be simple’.

At the time, Cook claimed to have spoken with former owner Mel Morris “over a year ago now”. These details were shared in an interview on The Athletic’s Business of Sport podcast.

“After 11 years, I have an appetite to go and try and do something again, with somebody, that’s different,” Cook said. “And so Derby was in a world of hurt.

“I was actually speaking to Mel Morris over a year ago now. That didn’t quite work out, and I’ll keep those reasons behind closed doors.

“We then go into an administrator, and the administrator has a job to do, and he’s trying to placate everybody, including Middlesbrough Football Club, and everybody’s got their own reasons and the right reasons.”

On the club’s situation, Cook predicted: “I think that the fractured requirements and everybody’s needs are so disparate and the club is in such a dire situation that it’s going to take something really magnanimous to pull it out of where it is. Like many, I’m afraid it won’t be simple. “

Cook also added: “If that football club can’t find a solution, it will be because nobody’s willing to give in on what they believe and the strength of what they believe.

“I think everybody has to look themselves in the mirror and go ‘you know what, maybe we do have a protocol or a rule, or we might have something that we’re not allowed to do, and the government may say you’re not supposed to do. ‘

“But these are different times, and we shouldn’t be worrying about a precedent that might get set because it’ll upset a few people, we should be figuring out how to keep Derby County part of that community because it’s important to them and their economy.

“So while we like it to use football as the catalyst and it’s an asset sector and it’s growth and all the stuff, don’t lose sight of why they all existed in the first place.”

What do you make of Cook’s involvement with Kirchner? Have your say in the comments section below …

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