Erik ten Hag has refrained from commenting on the discussion surrounding Mason Greenwood’s employment status at Manchester United.
Following yesterday’s dismissal of the allegations of attempted rape, coercion, and assault causing actual bodily harm, Greenwood, 21, is now technically eligible to play for United once more.
The Old Trafford club is carefully deciding whether to reintegrate the United and England striker, who has two and a half years left on his £75,000 per week contract, or to effectively rip it up and pay him off.
At Friday noon press conference, United manager Ten Hag was questioned three times about the matter but remained silent, as he had promised.
According to Ten Hag: ‘I can’t add nothing. It’s… I refer to the statement of the club.’
When asked if he had spoken to Greenwood and if he would be taking part in the investigation that United is now undertaking, he responded: ‘As I said, in this moment, I can’t give a comment about the process.’
The Dutchman was then questioned about if he had ever spoken to Greenwood given that the player had been suspended by the team months before Ten Hag even took over as manager.
‘I can’t say anything about it,’ he insisted.
‘I refer to the statement of the club and at this moment I can’t add anything.’
Erik Ten Hag was questioned about if yesterday’s development will have any bearing on the team’s preparations for Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
‘We have always to focus on the game, no matter what, it is our job,’ he continued.
‘That is why we are here. We have a lot to do against Palace. Two weeks ago, we had a bad performance at Palace. I wasn’t happy with the performance from us. It was 90 per cent focus and energy and we dropped two points. We have to avoid that tomorrow.’
‘We need a better game tomorrow, a better focus in the game, but especially better conduct in the way of play because we have to beat them because that’s quite clear.’
According to the club’s statement, which was made public on Thursday: ‘Manchester United notes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been dropped. The club will now conduct its own process before determining next steps. We will not make any further comment until that process is complete.’
Greenwood himself stated that: ‘I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.’
The forward hasn’t featured under Erik ten Hag; his most recent outing came in January of last year against West Ham, when Ralf Rangnick served as temporary manager.
However, Greenwood’s profile and biography are still available on the official United website, and he was listed as one of the team’s under-21 players when the Premier League season began.
The charges against him are not mentioned in his biography on the team website, which also notes that he recently signed a new deal through 2025 and reached 100 club appearances.
There is nothing legally preventing United from re-integrating Greenwood into the team given that he no longer faces charges or the possibility of a trial under the terms of his £70,000 a week contract through 2025 with the option of an additional year.
Fitness would be a problem for a man who scored 35 goals in 129 matches but hasn’t played in more than a year, should they decide he does have a future at the club.
What Happened To Mason Greenwood?
In January 2022, the 21-year-old was detained due to suspicions including pictures and videos.
Later, he was accused of trying to rape a woman, acting in a controlling and coercive manner, and assault resulting in serious bodily harm. In a statement, Greenwood expressed his “relief” and thanked his friends and family for their support.
Greenwood’s sponsorship agreement with Nike was put on hold and eventually terminated, and Electronic Arts acknowledged that he had been dropped from the FIFA 22 game’s active squads.
What Next For Greenwood, Erik ten Hag and United?
According to reliable sources, United may consider settling Greenwood’s debt or paying out his contract in order to release him. However, there is no certainty that the player would have a legal defense against such a maneuver.
Although Greenwood is no longer charged, employment law experts claimed that it would be challenging for his team to argue that he did not bring the club into disrepute. Disrepute provisions are popular in sports.
United might even take the player to court, arguing that his conduct forced them to suspend him and led to a subsequent decline in value.
The possibility of a hazardous reaction to Greenwood at UK venues will also be taken into consideration. A move abroad may be an option if United decides he has no future with the club.
Another possibility is a loan switch to another country. In order to secure a fee should the player transfer elsewhere, United may attempt to pay the player up yet keep his registration.
Greenwood was charged in October 2022, but on Thursday in accordance with the Crown Prosecutors’ Code, the CPS decided to end the investigation.