Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling has issued a public apology for comments made in an email exchange with a Norwich fan in the row over the Canaries' illegal approach for manager Paul Lambert.
Cowling, who had wanted Norwich hit with a harsher punishment this week after they were fined £75,000 for breaking Football League rules on enticing contracted managers, made derogatory remarks about two of the clubs' directors in response to an email sent by an angry Canaries supporter.
"For the first three paragraphs I was able to respond in a manner befitting a football club chairman but sadly, I allowed my guard to drop and continued to respond in a manner that was totally inappropriate," said a statement from Cowling.
"The email recipient has since sent copies of the emails to a Norwich newspaper, who have published a story relating to their content.
"I'm really sorry that I allowed myself to be drawn into a slanging match of this kind. My comments were in retaliation to a personal attack and do not reflect my honest opinions. I made a mistake and it won't be repeated.
"I can't stop being passionate about Colchester United and I will continue to stand my ground when I think I am in the right.
"I'm very quick to defend myself when I believe I'm in the right and therefore it is only right that I'm just as quick to apologise when I'm in the wrong. Sorry."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.