Manchester United have finally announced the club’s decision on embattled English youngster Mason Greenwood.
Greenwood’s Man United career was frozen since January 2022 following his arrest by British prosecutors for allegations of attempted rape, sexual assault and coercive behavior.
Viral social media footage posed by his girlfriend, Harriet Robson, and audio recordings of the alleged assault grind Mason Greenwood’s career to a halt as he had to run through a marathon of court hearings to establish his innocence.
Man United officially suspended him from the squad in the eve of the arrest and prosecution. However, they continued to foot his £70,000 weekly wage bill due to his contract with the club.
Mason Greenwood’s rape saga took a drastic turn when the Crown Prosecuting Service back off from pressing charges against him, citing technical inconsistencies due to the withdrawal of witnesses.
After charges against Greenwood were dropped, the 21-year-old was optimistic of returning to the squad but was still frozen out of the squad.
Manchester United conducted an internal investigation into the alleged rape saga to ascertain the facts of the matter before bringing him back.
The club also needed to weigh up the perspective of their commercial partners, stakeholders and the fanbase before taking a decision on Greenwood.
We reported earlier the club has finished their internal investigation into the rape saga and were set to take a decision on Greenwood.
Meanwhile, Mason Greenwood was eager to be back to the game after over a year without tasting action. He embarked on solo training trying to sharpen up his skills.
Manchester United have now finally taken a decision on Mason Greenwood, mutually ending his contract with the club although insisting he wasn’t guilty as charged.
A club statement confirming the final decision on Mason Greenwood reads;
“Manchester United has concluded its internal investigation into the allegations made against Mason Greenwood.
“Our process commenced in February 2023, following all charges against Mason being dropped. Throughout, we have taken into account the wishes, rights and perspective of the alleged victim along with the club’s standards and values, and sought to collate as much information and context as possible. This has required us to proceed with sensitivity and care to obtain evidence not in the public domain, including from those with direct knowledge of the case.
“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.” (culled from Manchester United website)
Mason Greenwood reacts
Reacting to the club’s decision, Mason Greenwood confirmed Manchester United’s decision stem from a collaborative effort between the club, his family and himself.
He also added it is the ‘best decision’ as his presence need not distract the club. He thanked his family and friends for the support throughout the trying times while hoping to restart his career elsewhere.
“Today’s decision has been part of a collaborative process between Manchester United, my family and me”, he wrote.
”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.”
As things stand, it is pretty obvious Manchester United’s decision will further drive apart rival sections of Manchester United fans, who were vigorously in the opposite ends of the debate on whether Greenwood should be brought back or not.
Some fans asked for reinstatement while others asked the club to do away with the forward.
In our earlier report, we revealed some Manchester United fans had taken to Old Trafford in the opening weekend to protest attempts by the club to reinstate Mason Greenwood.
The fans called for the club to freeze out Greenwood from Manchester United, threatening to withdraw their support of the club if they go ahead with the decision to bring back Greenwood.
Also, rival section of some Man United fans, particularly male fans, were unyielding as they press on their demand for Greenwood to be brought back to the squad.
Greenwood made 129 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 25 goals, with 19 assists in all competitions. He will hope for a fresh challenge away from Old Trafford as United finally laid to rest speculations on his future.