Erik ten Hag has refused to comment on Mason Greenwood’s future at Manchester United.
Greenwood, 21, can now play for United again after accusations of attempted rape, coercion, and assault causing serious bodily harm were dropped yesterday.
The United and England striker has two and a half years remaining on his £75,000-a-week deal at Old Trafford, but the club is now debating whether to reintegrate him or effectively tear up his contract and pay him off.
Ten Hag was asked three times about the problem during his noon press conference today, but he refused to say anything.
‘I can’t add anything,’ Ten Hag remarked. It’s… I’m referring to the club’s statement.’
When asked if he had spoken with Greenwood and if he will be a part of the inquiry United is now undertaking, he responded, ‘As I stated, at this time, I can’t comment on the process.’
Finally, given that Greenwood had been suspended by the club months before Ten Hag became manager, the Dutchman was questioned if he had ever spoken to the player.
‘I can’t comment on it,’ he added.
‘I refer to the club’s statement, and I am unable to contribute anything at this time.’
Ten Hag was asked if yesterday’s development will have any effect on preparations for United’s game against Crystal Palace tomorrow at Old Trafford.
‘We have to stay focused on the game at all times, it’s our duty,’ he said.
‘That is why we’ve come. Against Palace, we have a lot of work to do. We had a poor showing at Palace two weeks ago. I was dissatisfied with our performance. We lost two points despite having 90% focus and energy. We must avoid this tomorrow.
‘We need a better game tomorrow, a greater focus in the game, but especially better conduct in the way we play because we have to beat them, that’s evident.’
‘Manchester United notes the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been withdrawn,’ the club said in a statement released on Thursday. The club will now conduct its own investigation before deciding on the next steps. We will not say further until that process is completed.’
‘I am relieved that this matter is now finished, and I would want to thank my family, loved ones, and friends for their support,’ Greenwood added. At this moment, there will be no additional remark.’
The forward has not appeared under Ten Hag; his most recent appearance was against West Ham in January of last year, when Ralf Rangnick was in charge as an interim.
Greenwood, on the other hand, was classified as an under-21 player in United’s Premier League squad at the start of the season, and his profile and biography remain on the official United website.
His profile on the club website makes no mention of the charges against him, with the most recent update citing a new deal through 2025 that he signed in 2021 and his passing of the 100-appearance mark.
Given that Greenwood, who is under contract with United until 2025 with the option to extend for another year, is no longer facing charges or the potential of a trial, there is nothing legally preventing United from re-integrating him into the squad.
If they feel he has a future at the club, fitness would surely be an issue for a man who scored 35 goals in 129 games but has now been out for almost a year.
According to reliable sources, United may consider paying off Greenwood’s contract and releasing him, or reaching a financial settlement. It’s unclear whether the player would have a legal case against such a move.
Disrepute clauses are frequent in sports, and employment law experts have informed this newspaper that despite no longer facing charges, Greenwood’s camp will find it difficult to argue that he did not bring the club into disrepute.
Nike, the world’s largest apparel company, was fast to dump Greenwood after word of his arrest broke, and would be able to take a similar stance.
United may even take legal action against the player, saying that his actions forced them to suspend him and caused his worth to plummet.
The possibility of a harmful reaction to Greenwood on UK grounds will also be considered. If United believes he has no future at the club, a move abroad could be an option.
A loan move to another country could possibly be in the works. United may try to pay the player but keep his registration in order to get a fee if he moves elsewhere.
Greenwood was accused in October 2022, but the CPS decided to drop the charges on Thursday afternoon in accordance with the Crown Prosecutor’s Code.
The footballer, who has one cap for the Three Lions, was arrested for the first time in January on suspicions involving a young woman after photographs and videos were shared online.
He was later fired from United and removed from the FIFA 22 game.
‘We have a duty to maintain cases under constant review,’ said a CPS spokesperson. In this case, the withdrawal of crucial witnesses, along with fresh evidence, meant that conviction was no longer a realistic possibility.
‘In these circumstances, we have a duty to put an end to the case. We have informed all parties of our decision. We would always encourage potential victims to come forward and report the police, and we will prosecute when our legal standard is reached.’