Greenwood to Depart Club Amid Investigation


Greenwood to Depart Club Amid Investigation

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Manchester United has officially announced that Mason Greenwood will be leaving the club following an internal investigation into allegations of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behavior, and assault made against him. The nature of Greenwood’s departure is still uncertain.

In a statement, the club explained,

All those involved, including Mason, recognize the challenges he would face in resuming his career at Manchester United. As a result, it has been mutually agreed that it would be best for him to pursue his career away from Old Trafford. We will now collaborate with Mason to achieve this outcome.

The 21-year-old player had been suspended from Manchester United’s training and matches while the club conducted an internal investigation. This was prompted after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the case against Greenwood. The CPS stated that a combination of factors, including the withdrawal of key witnesses and new evidence, led to the discontinuation of the case.

Greenwood, who rose through Manchester United’s academy, last played for the club in January 2022. He has represented England at the senior level, earning one cap during a match against Iceland in September 2020.

Richard Arnold, CEO of Manchester United, added that the process of integrating Greenwood back into the first team had been considered and planned.

Reintegration was one of the outcomes we considered and planned for. Over the past six months, various outcomes have been contemplated and planned for, and my view evolved as our process progressed.

The club’s statement emphasized their careful consideration of evidence, the perspective of the alleged victim, and the club’s values. The investigation aimed to gather as much information as possible, including evidence not publicly available, from those directly involved in the case.


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In Mason Greenwood’s own statement:

I fully accept I made mistakes, and I take my share of responsibility for the situations which led to the social media post. I am learning to understand my responsibilities as a professional footballer and as a father, as well as a good partner.

Arnold’s open letter to fans provided further insight into the complexity of the case. He revealed that the alleged victim requested the police to drop the investigation, and alternative explanations for the audio recording and images posted online were presented. Despite being unable to access certain evidence, the club concluded that Greenwood did not commit the acts he was initially charged with.

Richold Arnold’s Open Letter to Manchester United Fans

Dear fans,

Now that we have concluded and announced the outcome of the club’s investigation into Mason Greenwood, I want to be direct and transparent with our fans about the process and the reasons for our decision.

This was an internal disciplinary investigation between employer and employee which would ordinarily take place outside of the public eye. Given the public nature of the allegations and Mason’s profile, I acknowledge that this was not an ordinary situation, but I felt it important that we still follow due process and, so far as possible, avoid media comment until I had made a definitive decision.

When audio footage and imagery was posted online in January 2022, my feelings were of shock and concern for the alleged victim. Her welfare, wishes and perspective have been central to the club’s approach ever since, as have the club’s standards and values. While we immediately concluded that Mason should be suspended pending investigation, we were also conscious of our duty of care towards him and the importance of making a decision based on full information. Until February this year, this was a matter for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. It was only when charges were dropped that the club discussed the allegations with Mason and others involved in the case.

Our investigation sought to collate as much evidence as possible to establish facts and context. This was not a quick or straightforward process for a variety of reasons. It was essential for us to respect the rights and wishes of the alleged victim. Also, we have limited powers of investigation which meant we were reliant on third party cooperation. Timings have also been influenced by my desire to minimise the impact of the investigation on our men’s and women’s teams, as well as our Lionesses. I acknowledge that this gave more time for speculation, but the alternative would have been to compromise due process or create untimely disruption.

While we were unable to access certain evidence for reasons we respect, the evidence we did collate led us to conclude that Mason did not commit the acts he was charged with. I am restricted as to what I can say for legal reasons, including the alleged victim’s ongoing right to anonymity, but I am able to share the following with you which should give you some insight into the complexity of this case.

  • The alleged victim requested the police to drop their investigation in April 2022.
  • We were provided with alternative explanations for the audio recording, which was a short excerpt from a much longer recording, and for the images posted online.
  • The alleged victim’s family participated in the process and were given the opportunity to review and correct our factual findings.

Last week the media reported that we had decided to reintegrate Mason and that elements of a plan to do so had been leaked to them. Reintegration was one of the outcomes we considered and planned for. For context, over the course of the past six months several outcomes have been contemplated and planned for, and my view has evolved as our process progressed. While the ultimate decision rested with me, I was taking various factors and views into account right up until the point of finalising my decision.

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. I am also mindful of the challenge that Mason would face rebuilding his career and raising a baby together with his partner in the harsh spotlight of Manchester United. Further, this case has provoked strong opinions, and it is my responsibility to minimise any distraction to the unity we are seeking within the club.

Although we have decided that Mason will seek to rebuild his career away from Manchester United, that does not signal the end of this matter. The club will continue to offer its support both to the alleged victim and Mason to help them rebuild and move forward positively with their lives.

Thank you for your continued support.

Women’s Aid response

Women’s Aid, an organization focused on domestic abuse, responded to the announcement, stating that Greenwood’s departure from the club might be a relief for many survivors of abuse. They emphasized the importance of addressing attitudes and working with players to stand against sexism and misogyny.


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