August 22 – Manchester United’s former England forward Mason Greenwood is to leave the club after a criminal investigation of possible attempted rape was closed by prosecutors six months ago.
The 21-year-old has not played for United since January 2022 and the Premier League club said Greenwood would be leaving to avoid being a “distraction”, despite the fact that he had been cleared of allegations of assault and attempted rape.
Greenwood was suspended when accusations against him first surfaced. He had been due to stand trial on November 27 this year but all criminal charges against him were dropped in February due to “the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light”.
United said their own investigation began once charges were dropped.
“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,” the club said in a statement.
But it said “all those involved, including Mason” recognised 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,” it said.
In a statement, Greenwood admitted he had “made mistakes”, adding: “I did not do the things I was accused of.
“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.”
In an open letter addressed to the club’s fans, CEO Richard Arnold said the club had considered several outcomes.
“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.”
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