Manchester United fan Rachel Riley reacts after the club announced Mason Greenwood will never play for them again, having threatened to stop supporting them if he did
- Manchester United have announced that Mason Greenwood will leave the club
- United undertook a lengthy internal investigation into the 21-year-old’s future
- Rachel Riley said she would no longer support the club if he returned to the team
Rachel Riley has broken her silence after Manchester United announced Mason Greenwood will leave Old Trafford following the club concluding its internal review into the striker.
The 21-year-old, who was arrested in January 2022 on suspicion of a number of offences including attempted rape, will not play for the club again and is likely to leave on loan or see his contract settled.
The Crown Prosecution Service subsequently dropped the charges in February of this year after key witnesses withdrew and new material came to light.
But Greenwood has not played for United, who launched their own probe, since his arrest. That seven-month investigation has now ended. United found Greenwood did not commit the offences which he was charged with but have also concluded it would be best for all if his future was away from Old Trafford.
And Riley – an outspoken United fan – had revealed last week how she would stop supporting the club if they brought Greenwood back into the first team fold when she tweeted: ‘I won’t be able to support United if Greenwood remains at the club.
Rachel Riley has broken her silence after Man United announced Mason Greenwood will leave
United announced the news on Monday after an internal investigation into Greenwood’s future
Greenwood saw charges of attempted rape and assault against him dropped earlier this year
‘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.’
Following the news of Greenwood’s impending departure, which was released in a club statement by United, Riley shared a post from Women’s Aid – a charity that attempts to end domestic abuse against women and children – and added: ‘Great statement’.
The original statement from the charity read: ‘We know that today’s news from Manchester United that Greenwood will be moving on from the club will be a relief for many survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. Football is loved by so many people worldwide, and players are often idolised by fans, so the way that alleged domestic abuse cases are treated in clubs has a huge impact on public understanding about what is accepted and tolerated in society.
‘We have heard firsthand the impact this case and the related materials shared on social media have had on survivors of abuse, and while next steps are established following the outcome of Manchester United’s internal investigation, this will happen away from centre stage of Old Trafford.
‘With many survivors never contacting the police to report abuse in the first place, and the majority of domestic and sexual abuse cases not resulting in a criminal conviction, it is vital that clubs – like all employers – have an approach that is wider than the criminal justice system, and which deals with the reality of the scale of the issue.’
They continued: ‘This needs to involve addressing the attitudes that underpin domestic and sexual abuse, and working with players from a young age to make it clear that clubs stand against sexism and misogyny. This is an issue that reaches far wider than football, with misogynistic content widely available on social media, so it is important to recognise how widespread harmful attitudes are and address this.
‘We reached out to Manchester United last week in light of the statement made on Wednesday, and have since had conversations with the club. Our approach at Women’s Aid remains the same – we want to work collaboratively with football clubs and organisations to increase understanding and awareness of domestic abuse, as part of our ongoing football campaign.’
After the decision regarding Greenwood was announced on Monday afternoon, a United spokesperson said: ‘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.’
Riley shared a tweet from Women’s Aid – a charity that attempts to end domestic abuse against women and children – after they released a statement on the Greenwood decision
Riley revealed last week she would no longer support the club if Greenwood was reintegrated
Greenwood’s last outing for United came in a home win over West Ham in January 2022
‘Based on the evidence available to us, we have concluded that the 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. That said, as Mason publicly acknowledges today, he has made mistakes which he is taking responsibility for.’
Meanwhile, Greenwood added in his own statement as he said: ‘I was brought up to know that violence or abuse in any relationship is wrong, I did not do the things I was accused of, and in February I was cleared of all charges. I take my share of responsibility for the situations which led to the social media post.
‘Today’s decision has been part of a collaborative process between Manchester United, my family and me. The best decision for us all, is for me to continue my football career away from Old Trafford, where my presence will not be a distraction for the club. I thank the club for their support since I joined aged seven. There will always be a part of me which is United.’
Chief executive Richard Arnold handled the investigation, which was assisted by chief operating officer Collette Roche, the club’s legal counsel Patrick Stewart, their communications director Ellie Norman and Red Devils football director John Murtough.
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