Man Utd legend Gary Neville slams club’s ‘horrible’ handling of Mason Greenwood investigation
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Manchester United legend Gary Neville has slammed the club for not referring their investigation into the future of Mason Greenwood to an independent adjudicator.
The 21-year-old hasn't played for the club since January 2022 after he was suspended pending allegations of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault. Greenwood was arrested at his Bowdon home at the time with material relating to the allegations circulating online.
The Crown Prosecution Service discontinued its case against Greenwood in February due to 'the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light' meaning that there was 'no longer a realistic prospect of conviction'.
With the charges dropped and no criminal trial completed, United launched a six-month internal investigation into the forward. Details of that process were leaked by The Athletic last week with suggestions that the club could be looking at bringing back the player with a 'a plan for reintegration' going through 'more than a dozen iterations'. The outlet suggests that following intense backlash over the idea of Greenwood playing for the club again, United held crisis meetings and issued a public statement on Monday announcing that the Englishman had left the club 'by mutual consent'.
Reacting to the news on Monday Night Football, Neville criticised Manchester United for a 'horrible' handling of the situation. He said: "The process in getting there has been pretty horrible. When you have significant situations, and difficult situations like this, it requires strong authoritative leadership. And that comes from the very top. Manchester United don't have that.
"On an issue like domestic abuse, on violence against women, there needs to be independence. It shouldn't be that Manchester United are the judge and jury on such a significant issue. Not just for themselves, but also for the game. People talk about the reputation of Manchester United but it's the Premier League here as well.
"My view is that on issues of this importance, and severity, they should be dealt with independently by a panel. It's been clear that Manchester United have not had the skill and ability to deal with this situation properly. It's been well above their grade of experience and ability."
Despite parting ways with Greenwood, United stuck by their youth academy graduate and insisted that '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'.
Monday's official club statement added: "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."