Gary Neville critical of Manchester United’s handling
It has been “pretty horrible” how Manchester United handled the Mason Greenwood investigation, according to Gary Neville.
After a six-month internal investigation, Greenwood, 21, will leave the club.
In February, the player was cleared of attempted rape and assault charges.
“It was clear from the start that he would not play for Manchester United again,” said former defender Neville.
On Sky Sports Monday Night Football, Neville, 48, said: “The process of getting there has been pretty awful.” When you have significant situations, and challenging situations like this, it requires strong authoritative leadership. And that comes from the top. Manchester United does not have that.”
Former England midfielder Karen Carney described the situation as “really uneasy” and “poorly handled”.
A material that was published online led to the arrest of England international Greenwood in January 2022.
Despite his “mistakes” and “share of responsibility”, Greenwood added: “I did not do the things I was accused of.”
United have said “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”, adding: “All involved, including Mason, acknowledge the difficulties he faces in resuming his career.”
Before United’s opening Premier League game against Wolves on 14 August, the investigation’s results were expected to be announced, but the announcement was delayed amid debate about Greenwood’s reintegration.
A decision about Greenwood’s future will be made after consulting with the club’s women’s team, some of whom were on England’s World Cup squad.
According to Richard Arnold, the club’s chief executive, they have “limited powers of investigation” and “are reliant on third-party co-operation in order to establish facts and context”.
Over the past six months, several outcomes have been contemplated and planned for, and my view has evolved as our process has progressed.”.
“I think Manchester United as an institution, as a football club and what it stands for, handled this really, really badly,” said Carney.
From statements that have been confusing and contradictory for everyone. From leaks. From involving stakeholders unnecessarily, such as our female players.”