Mason Greenwood: Manchester United striker will leave club after internal investigation

Mason Greenwood: Manchester United striker will leave club after internal investigation

Last updated on 4 minutes ago4 minutes ago.From the section Man Utd

Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood will leave the club by mutual agreement after a six-month internal investigation into his conduct.

Greenwood was arrested in January 2022 following allegations surrounding material which was published online.

Charges against the 21-year-old England international, including attempted rape and assault, were dropped on 2 February 2023.

United said in a statement: “All those involved, including Mason, recognise the difficulties with him recommencing his career at Manchester United.

“It has therefore been mutually agreed that it would be most appropriate for him to do so away from Old Trafford, and we will now work with Mason to achieve that outcome.

“Based on the evidence available to us, we have concluded that the material posted online did not provide a full picture and that Mason did not commit the offences in respect of which he was originally charged. That said, as Mason publicly acknowledges today, he has made mistakes which he is taking responsibility for.”

In a statement, Greenwood accepted he had “made mistakes” and took his “share of responsibility”, but added: “I did not do the things I was accused of.”

He said: “Today’s decision has been part of a collaborative process between Manchester United, my family and me. The best decision for us all is for me to continue my football career away from Old Trafford, where my presence will not be a distraction for the club. I thank the club for their support since I joined aged seven. There will always be a part of me which is United.

“I am enormously grateful to my family and all my loved ones for their support, and it is now for me to repay the trust those around me have shown. I intend to be a better footballer, but most importantly a good father, a better person, and to use my talents in a positive way on and off the pitch.”

What is the background?

In material published online, a man – alleged to be Greenwood – could be heard shouting at a woman to “move your [expletive] legs up”. The woman responded that she did not want sex, and the man replied: “I don’t give a [expletive] what you want, you little [expletive].”

The man then says: “Push me again and watch what happens to you.”

Greenwood was charged in October 2022 with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

After the charges were dropped in February 2023, the Crown Prosecution Service said key witnesses had withdrawn and new material had come to light, meaning there was “no longer a realistic prospect of conviction”.

At the time, a statement released on Greenwood’s behalf said he was “relieved”.

United then started their own internal investigation.

In a statement last week, the club said they had gathered “extensive evidence and context not in the public domain” and spoken to “numerous people with direct involvement or knowledge of the case”.

In an open letter to fans on Monday, United chief executive Richard Arnold said the extra evidence included the alleged victim requesting the police to drop their investigation in April 2022, and the club receiving alternative explanations for the material that was posted online.

“While I am satisfied that Mason did not commit the acts he was charged with, Mason’s accepted that he has made mistakes which he takes responsibility for,” Arnold said.

An announcement of the investigation’s results was expected before United’s opening Premier League game of the season against Wolves on 14 August, but the decision was delayed amid fierce debate about Greenwood’s potential reintegration at Old Trafford.

A group of female United supporters protested outside Old Trafford against his potential return before the Wolves game, and said they wanted the club to “demonstrate a zero-tolerance approach” towards violence against women.

Female Fans Against Greenwood’s Return put out a lengthy statement to say Greenwood’s reintegration would tell them “as women, that we don’t matter”.

The club said they wanted to consult with their women’s team, some of whom were part of England’s World Cup squad playing in Australia, before announcing a decision about Greenwood’s future.

More to follow.