United 'had identified 'hostile' figures ahead of Greenwood's return

Manchester United staff ‘are discussing resigning or striking if the club stick with plans to bring back Mason Greenwood’, as executives hold crisis talks amid the backlash

  • United are yet to make their decision on whether to reintegrate Greenwood 
  • In a statement on Wednesday, the club denied that a decision had been made
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show 

Manchester United staff are discussing resigning or striking if the club decide to reintegrate Mason Greenwood, according to reports.  

Mail Sport revealed last week that United’s decision to consult with their women’s team and sponsors was a clear indication that the club is about to end Greenwood’s 18-month suspension.

And, according to The Athletic, United’s plan to reintegrate Greenwood saw the club identify which public figures – including ‘football pundits, journalists and politicians’ – would be for or against his return.

The outlet also claim that United’s plan saw them outline which types of pictures should be taken of the forward upon his return to training. 

They suggest that Erik ten Hag had also been briefed on how to answer questions regarding the situation. 

Manchester United had been expected to reintegrate Mason Greenwood into their team prior to club CEO Richard Arnold denying that a decision had been made on the matter 

Arnold (pictured) reportedly intended to record and share a video explaining the 21-year-old forward’s reintegration to Manchester United staff and the general public over a fortnight ago

The outlet also suggest that some staff members have already discussed resigning if Arnold’s plan goes through, whilst others have explored the option of striking.

Greenwood has been suspended since January 2022 following his arrest on suspicion of attempted rape and assault but all charges against him were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service in February. 

It had been reported that Arnold told senior staff that Greenwood would be returning to the club two weeks ago on August 4.

According to The Athletic, Arnold intended to record and share a video explaining Greenwood’s reintegration with the men’s first team to staff and the general public.

Arnold’s original plan was for Greenwood not to be involved in any appearances with the club’s charitable arm, the Manchester United Foundation.

But in a statement on Wednesday, United insisted no decision had been made.

Following the dropping of all charges against Mason Greenwood in February 2023, Manchester United has conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations made against him,’ the club said.

‘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.

Charges of attempted rape and assault were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service in February but United have spent the last six months carrying out their own investigation

‘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.

‘Contrary to media speculation, that decision has not yet been made and is currently the subject of intensive internal deliberation. Responsibility ultimately rests with the Chief Executive Officer.

‘Once made, the decision will be communicated and explained to the club’s internal and external stakeholders

‘This has been a difficult case for everyone associated with Manchester United, and we understand the strong opinions it has provoked based on the partial evidence in the public domain. We ask for patience as we work through the final stages of this carefully considered process.’ 

In the midst of the chaos, a number of prominent figures have voiced their concern over Greenwood’s potential return – such as Countdown co-host Rachel Riley. 

Riley declared she will stop supporting Manchester United if they welcome Greenwood back into the fold.

‘As an example, when it comes to VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls), less than 1 per cent of rapes reported to police lead to conviction.

‘We’ve all seen and heard enough. Pretending this is ok would be a huge part of the problem.

Rachel Riley insists she will stop supporting Man United if they bring back Mason Greenwood

‘It would be devastating for my club to contribute to a culture that brushes this under the carpet and send a message to perpetrators everywhere that you can continue to act as you wish with no consequences.

‘I really hope they do the right thing.’

Manchester United’s women’s side have reportedly voiced their concerns about Greenwood returning to the club’s Carrington training ground.

Ahead of United’s men team’s season opener against Wolves, fans protested against his potential reintegration, labelling the club ‘spineless’ and urging them not to leave the decision up to the women’s team, opening the women’s stars up to vile abuse. 

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