Soccer-Man United's Greenwood has all charges against him dropped

  • Football
  • Thursday, 02 Feb 2023

FILE PHOTO: Manchester United's Mason Greenwood leaves the Manchester Magistrates court in Manchester, Britain, November 21, 2022 REUTERS/Peter Powell

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood has had all criminal charges against him dropped, police and prosecutors said on Thursday.

Greenwood, who was suspended by United in January 2022 when accusations against him surfaced on social media, was charged with attempted rape, controlling behaviour and assault last October. He had been due to stand trial on Nov. 27, 2023.

"I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time," Greenwood said in a statement.

United also released a brief statement saying the club would "conduct its own process before determining next steps", adding that it would not make any further comment until that process was completed.

"A decision has been made to discontinue prosecution in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors," the Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement naming Greenwood.

A CPS spokesperson said: "A combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction."

The CPS added that it encouraged "any potential victims to come forward and report to police".

Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, Greater Manchester Police's Head of Public Protection, said: "The investigation team has remained in regular contact with the legal team, providing any updates of note, and so understand the rationale for the discontinuation of proceedings at this stage, and that this decision has not been taken lightly.

"Despite the media and public's interest in this case, we have decided not to comment on it in any further detail.

"I would, however, like to use this opportunity to reiterate GMP’s commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls and supporting those affected, regardless of their circumstances, throughout what can be a hard and upsetting time for them."

Greenwood came through United's youth academy and made his first-team debut in 2019 aged 17. He was a key member of the side last season, making 18 Premier League appearances, the last on Jan. 22 against West Ham United, before being suspended.

He played once for England in 2020.

In February, 2022 Nike ended its sponsorship with Greenwood following the accusations and he was removed from some versions of the FIFA 22 video game.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis, Ed Osmond)

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