Greenwood to leave Man Utd after abuse allegations

AFP , Monday 21 Aug 2023

Manchester United and Mason Greenwood have mutually agreed for the forward to leave Old Trafford after he faced allegations of abuse involving a young woman, the club announced on Monday.

Manchester United s Mason Greenwood looks on during their English Premier League soccer match against Aston Villa at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. AP


The 21-year-old forward has been suspended by the Premier League giants since January 2022 over the allegations after images and videos were posted online.

Prosecutors said in February they were dropping charges, including attempted rape and sexual assault, against Greenwood, after key witnesses withdrew and new evidence came to light.

On Monday, the club said that after a six-month internal investigation into his conduct, it was releasing Greenwood so he could attempt to rebuild his career elsewhere.

The club said Monday: "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. "

Greenwood, whose contract runs until June 2025, said: "I did not do the things I was accused of, and in February I was cleared of all charges.

"However, I fully accept I made mistakes in my relationship, and I take my share of responsibility for the situations which led to the social media post."

He added: "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."

The club said: "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."

Greenwood was tipped for stardom at United after rising through the Old Trafford youth system and went onto score 35 goals in 129 senior appearances for the club.

People will think the worst

In his statement, he said: "I want to start by saying I understand that people will judge me because of what they have seen and heard on social media, and I know people will think the worst.

"I was brought up to know that violence or abuse in any relationship is wrong... However, I fully accept I made mistakes in my relationship, and I take my share of responsibility for the situations which led to the social media post.

He added he was "learning to understand my responsibilities to set a good example as a professional footballer, and I'm focused on the big responsibility of being a father, as well as a good partner".

Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold, who was criticised after suggesting this year that Greenwood might be reintegrated back into the first-team squad, wrote an open letter to United's fans.

He acknowledged that while "reintegration was one of the outcomes we considered and planned for," his view had "evolved as our process progressed".

Arnold added: "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.

"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."

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