As Manchester United continues to consider Mason Greenwood’s future, the English Premier League club faces growing scrutiny from fans, some of whom have staged protests at games.
In February, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that charges of attempted rape and assault filed against the striker in October 2022 had been dropped, as had a charge of controlling and coercive behavior.
According to the CPS, a combination of key witnesses withdrawing from the investigation and new material coming to light meant there was “no longer a realistic prospect” of the 21-year-old being convicted.
Greenwood had denied all the charges against him.
Earlier this week, United said that the club is in “the final stages” of making a decision on the player’s future. Days prior to that statement, one campaign group, Female Fans Against Greenwood’s Return, said on X (formerly Twitter) that allowing Greenwood to play again “legitimises and normalises sexual assault and domestic abuse.”
Meanwhile, broadcaster Rachel Riley, the co-presenter of UK quiz show Countdown, said on Thursday that she “won’t be able to support United if Greenwood remains at the club.”
Writing on X, Riley added: “We’ve all seen and heard enough. Pretending this is ok would be a huge part of the problem.”
Greenwood hasn’t played for the team since he was arrested in January 2022 following the emergence of graphic videos and images on social media. Charges followed in October.
In that statement, the club said that it has “conducted a thorough investigation” into the allegations against Greenwood.
The statement added: “This has drawn on extensive evidence and context not in the public domain, and we have heard from numerous people with direct involvement or knowledge of the case.
“Throughout this process, the welfare and perspective of the alleged victim has been central to the club’s inquiries, and we respect her right to lifelong anonymity.
“We also have responsibilities to Mason as an employee, as a young person who has been with the club since the age of seven, and as a new father with a partner.
“The fact-finding phase of our investigation is now complete, and we are in the final stages of making a decision on Mason’s future.”