Man City trump Michael Jordan for top Nike exec

The Daily Mail says Shinawatra has moved to offer Garry Cook the position of executive chairman with the brief to turn City into a Barclays Premier League superpower.

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Thaksin wanted a British supremo with an understanding of football to take the post and American-based Cook is a long-standing Birmingham fan.

Cook will have the responsibility of overseeing City's budget, including their player recruitment programme and expanding their global appeal, specifically across America and Asia where he has expertise of marketing the Nike brand.

Cook, 45, has worked in the sports industry for 22 years and is president of Nike's Brand Jordan, where he has worked closely with basketball legend Michael Jordan. Brand Jordan sales have helped Nike become the world's No 1 seller of sports shoes.

Sources in America claimed last night that Jordan himself had tried to persuade the Birmingham-born businessman not to leave the company.

One Nike source said: "For Garry to leave such a key position here, Manchester City must be an attractive project. We tried to keep him, but this is not about money. Clearly, they must have a great deal of ambition. This guy is a serious operator, a class act."

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