The whispers and swirling rumours within football can never be silenced.
Yet for Paul Cook, the tittle-tattle does not usually centre on a fridge.
Neither does it often emanate from a fellow football manager, particularly a friend.
Pompey’s boss was drawn into issuing a tongue-in-cheek denial to Micky Mellon’s claims of raiding his office fridge.
The curious scenario arose following Cook’s presence at Tranmere’s home clash with York during the Blues’ recent blank weekend.
Attending the Prenton Park fixture alongside Mark Catlin, Cook’s scouting trip also provided the opportunity for an update on loanee Ben Tollitt’s progress.
As it was, Tollitt would depart Fratton Park six days later having not sufficiently impressed the Blues boss.
Meanwhile, during his post-match address following a 1-0 victory over the Minstermen, Tranmere manager Mellon joked about Cook’s presence.
He told the Liverpool Echo: ‘The only thing I’m worried about with Paul Cook being here is that he’s in my office now.
‘And anyone who knows Paul Cook, my fridge is wide open with beer.
‘So that’s about as much as I’m worried about Paul Cook being here – he’s a great friend of mine and I’ve known him for many, many years.’
Clearly a statement made in jest by the boss who has steered Rovers to the top of the National League since his October arrival from Shrewsbury Town.
Nonetheless, upon hearing about the comments, Cook sprang to his defence.
And he insists he never even met Mellon after the final whistle, let alone infiltrate a fridge in the interests of alcoholic consumption.
Pompey’s boss responded: ‘What is amazing about this world is I never saw their manager!
‘All this on the Internet and all this about alcohol, I haven’t seen Micky Mellon, I haven’t been in Micky Mellon’s office.
‘But apparently I have drunk all his beer and fallen out of there!
‘You couldn’t make it up – although someone has!
‘I travelled to the game with Mark Catlin, we watched the match and we left. It wasn’t a great game and wasn’t a great spectacle.
‘From there I am in his office drinking all his beer.
‘So just to let Micky know, unfortunately I wasn’t in your office.
‘I do know you, so if there’s another Paul Cook in there drinking all your beer – it wasn’t me.
‘I also watched Macclesfield the night before draw 0-0 against Oxford United in the FA Cup.
‘But apparently I had a great weekend away, drinking everywhere with Micky Mellon!’
Tranmere are presently a point clear of Lincoln City at the top of the National League.
They are unbeaten in 10 matches, winning eight of them.