The decision comes after serious fan backlash following reports last week which claimed that United figureheads – led by chief executive Richard Arnold – had told club staff for prepare for Greenwood’s return. There were suggestions that the forward, 21, was to be reintegrated into Erik ten Hag’s first-team squad but now the club have opted to shelve plans and part ways.
Greenwood had been suspended by United since January 2022, but in February of this year had charges of attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service which put his future as a footballer back in the spotlight.
The club then launched an internal investigation assessing Greenwood’s future, with the player training individually and United receiving data from his sessions. Once capped by England, the 21-year-old has two years left on his contract, with a club option of a further 12 months.
A statement from the club issued on Monday read: “Manchester United has concluded its internal investigation into the allegations made against Mason Greenwood. Our process commenced in February 2023, following all charges against Mason being dropped.
“Throughout, we have taken into account the wishes, rights and perspective of the alleged victim along with the club’s standards and values, and sought to collate as much information and context as possible. This has required us to proceed with sensitivity and care to obtain evidence not in the public domain, including from those with direct knowledge of the case.
“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.
“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.”
Mason Greenwood will leave Manchester United, the club have confirmed Image: AFP via Getty Images
Greenwood said in his own statement: “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, 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. I am 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.
“Today’s decision has been part of a collaborative process between Manchester United, my family and me. 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. I am enormously grateful to my family and all my loved ones for their support, and it is now for me to repay the trust those around me have shown. I intend to be a better footballer, but most importantly a good father, a better person, and to use my talents in a positive way on and off the pitch.”
CEO Richard Arnold has released an open letter explaining the club’s decision Image: Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images
CEO Arnold has also released an open letter to United supporters which included: “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.”
Mason Greenwood last played for Manchester United in January 2022 Image: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images