The first group of Manchester United players will report back for pre-season training at Carrington tomorrow, 33 days after the FA Cup final defeat by Manchester City at Wembley. Preparations for the new season are under way and, for many, it represents a fresh start. For Mason Greenwood, on the other hand, very little seems to have changed.
Greenwood remains suspended by the club, just as he has been since January 2022 following his arrest on suspicion of rape and assault. The 21-year-old has not been allowed to play for United or train with his team-mates for 17 months, even though the UK Crown Prosecution Service dropped all charges in February.
Joseph Lappin spoke to the Daily Mail about the situation and how likely it will be that Greenwood will play for Manchester United again. Sections of the article are reproduced here.
Why is the investigation taking so long?
Greenwood hasn’t been found guilty of any crime. An internal investigation was launched on the CPS announced its decision and remains ongoing. It’s understood that the process has accelerated since the end of last season and it is now nearing a conclusion.
The Glazer family and chief executive Richard Arnold will have the final say over Greenwood’s fate, but it would be in everyone’s best interests if this whole sorry saga was resolved as soon as possible so it cannot cast its shadow over a third season. The signs are that it will be. While it seems highly unlikely Greenwood will be allowed back into Carrington tomorrow when the United players who didn’t feature in the recent international fixtures return to training, all options still remain open
It’s not impossible that United and Greenwood could risk the backlash by reintegrating him into Erik ten Hag’s squad for the new season. Meanwhile, replica shirts with his name on the back are still unavailable on the club website even though United launched their new home kit last week.
Joseph Lappin, a partner and head of employment at law firm Stewarts, does not expect to see Greenwood in the red of United again. “The length of time this process appears to be taking is surprising,” said Lappin. “Although the issues the club needs to grapple with are serious, there will be relatively few witnesses who need to be interviewed. The specific findings of the investigation will likely remain confidential. That said, at some stage the club will need to make an announcement regarding Greenwood’s future. When and how they do that will naturally depend on the outcome of the investigation.
“It is not beyond the realms of possibility we see Greenwood in a Manchester United shirt again. However, the chances of that happening are slim. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, the club will be concerned about its reputation, including with its fan base and commercial partners. Many fans will have heard the audio recordings released on social media and will take a dim view of the club reintegrating Greenwood into the first team.”
Not for the first time, there are more questions than answers when it comes to the issue of Mason Greenwood.
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