After the confirmation that Mason Greenwood‘s charges were dropped, Manchester United released a statement indicating that they would carry out an investigation to look into the matter and the circumstances surrounding the player’s situation.
United are currently facing a dilemma that has split the fanbase. Do away with Greenwood completely and let him go, or keep the player and try to re-integrate him into the team at the expense of their own reputable image?
According to a controversial article by The Times, United lack the appetite to get rid of Greenwood even though it might be the right thing to do.
The Times reports, “Is there the appetite for that [cutting ties with the striker] inside Old Trafford? It would seem not. Greenwood has been at the club since the age of six.
“There will be those who have known him, quite literally, as a smiling little boy who worked his hardest to get into the first team. Would they wish him destroyed, no matter what we believe we have seen or heard? Will they think him incapable of redemption, of rehabilitation?”
United boss Erik ten Hag spoke about the matter in May last year and at the time, the Dutchman said that Greenwood would be given a chance in his team if proven innocent.
Ten Hag said, “Let’s wait for the judgment. If he’s proven innocent, he would get a place in my team.”
Nazir Afzal, former chief crown prosecutor for northwest England pointed out that in the eyes of the law, Greenwood is innocent and a free man.
As per Afzal, there is no legal premise for trial by media and Greenwood cannot be held accountable by these standards.
United’s investigation will likely not centre around the facts of Greenwood’s case and the collapse of his trial. The club’s extensive inquiry will revolve around the extent to which their efforts to restore Greenwood to the team will damage their public image.
Old Trafford chiefs must weigh this against the duty of care to a prized asset that has been in the club’s ranks since childhood.
Will Manchester United follow overwhelming sentimentality and part ways with the 21-year-old or will they exercise personal care and contrition to the player, with the promise of personal growth and remorse?
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