The outcome of Manchester United’s investigation into the conduct of Mason Greenwood is imminent. Greenwood has been suspended on full pay since his arrest for serious criminal offences.

Head of Employment Joseph Lappin spoke to the Mail Online for an article published on 18 August 2023 about the evolving situation and protests by supporters against the club. His comments are reproduced in full here.



Mason Greenwood has been suspended on full pay since his arrest in January 2022 for serious offences, including attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault. When a key witness withdrew and new material came to light, the CPS decided there was no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction. The allegations were dropped and the criminal proceedings ceased in February this year. Manchester United then commenced its own internal investigation.

Media reports in the past week have suggested that Manchester United will soon announce that Greenwood will be reintegrated into the first-team playing squad and will resume his career with the club. This news has been shocking for many.



It is my view that Manchester United has grounds to dismiss Greenwood lawfully. The board will have seen the photographs and heard the audio recordings released on social media by the alleged victim.

We do not yet know the findings of the club’s investigation and we will need to wait and see what information the club makes public. However, on the basis of the information in the public domain, it seems to me that the club might have formed a reasonable belief that Greenwood has committed a serious criminal offence, even if he has not been convicted of one. The club owes a duty to protect the health and safety of its staff, including everyone working at the club’s training ground.

From a football perspective reintegrating Greenwood into the playing squad makes sense. He is an exciting young striker and had been selected to play for England. However, if Greenwood does return (and that now seems likely) a public backlash is inevitable. The photographs and recordings cannot be unseen or unheard.

Many United fans protested against the possibility of Greenwood’s return before the team’s first Premier League game of the season. Domestic abuse charities, some of the club’s sponsors and many members of staff will be outraged if Greenwood returns. Parents will be worried what message the club will send to its young supporters. Erik Ten Haag is also likely to face endless questions at press conferences about the club’s principles if Greenwood returns.

Manchester United will have hoped that this depressing episode had reached its conclusion. That seems highly unlikely.



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