HomeBusinessEconomyMason Greenwood kicked out by Manchester United as rape case debacle ends

Mason Greenwood kicked out by Manchester United as rape case debacle ends

Mason Greenwood Photo: POOL / PHIL NOBLE

Premier League side Manchester United have put an end to the long-drawn saga regarding the fate of their player, Mason Greenwood. On Monday, the club released a statement confirming that the 21-year-old will not return to Old Trafford following an 18-month suspension after he was arrested in January 2022.

The young striker was accused of rape, assault and coercive control by a former partner who took to social media to publicly accuse the footballer. Police later got involved and arrested Greenwood, who was immediately barred from playing and training with his Manchester United teammates.

Formal charges were brought upon Greenwood later in 2022, but in February this year, the Crown Prosecution Service was forced to drop the charges against him. No acquittal nor conviction was made, but the court decided to drop the case after key witnesses refused to cooperate. At that point, there was no longer any possibility of conviction.

Manchester United then decided to conduct an internal investigation before making a decision on the player’s fate. That investigation dragged on for a further six months, until the club confirmed last week that the internal probe has ended.

Did Manchester United make a U-turn?

Last week, speculations had been rife that the club was planning to reinstate the player, and that the announcement would be made after the FIFA Women’s World Cup final. England’s Lionesses were facing Spain, and United did not want to provide any distractions.

However, after reports of Greenwood’s possible return went public, it became very clear that the Red Devils will be facing massive backlash if they went in that direction. Some fans launched protests from the stands last week, and even public personalities like Westlife singer Bryan McFadden and TV presenter Rachel Riley expressed their disapproval.

Numerous fans also wrote to the club to express their opinions about Greenwood, but the club has refused to acknowledge that public opinion played a major role in the decision that was made.

Club CEO Richard Arnold and American owner Joel Glazer finally made the decision to kick Greenwood out, even though it is believed that manager Erik ten Hag and many first team players were open to welcoming the striker back.

In an official statement, the club reiterated that they took the alleged victim’s welfare into account, and that the internal investigation delved into evidence that is not available to the general public.

“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. 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.”

Although it has been confirmed that Greenwood’s future will not be back at Old Trafford, the club did not elaborate on where the striker will be heading. They also did not confirm whether or not his current contract will be terminated, from which he has continued to earn a salary of £75,000-a-week during his suspension.

According to reports, the club’s key stakeholders, kit sponsor Adidas, as well as the Manchester United women’s team were all involved in the deliberations over the case before a final decision was made.

Now, it remains to be seen if Greenwood will be sent out on loan or if he will be sold outright. The promising striker has been out of action for 18-months, but it is understood that there is already interest coming from clubs outside England. Saudi Arabia is also expected to come knocking in the coming days.

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