Manchester United officials have held talks with the club’s women’s team on Tuesday to discuss the Mason Greenwood decision.
A report by The Daily Mail describes how the situation surrounding Greenwood has “created tensions” between the female players and the club’s hierarchy, who were reported to be initially bringing him back into the men’s senior squad.
A six-month investigation by senior figures at Old Trafford – into the allegations made against Greenwood – had yielded the verdict he had not committed the crimes he was charged with.
This process was explained in an open letter by Richard Arnold two days ago.
The lengthy process had, in part, been explained by the club’s desire to inform their female players of the investigation’s conclusions, some of whom were still competing for England at the World Cup.
This created a pernicious situation where United’s Lionesses were targeted on social media as the reasons behind the delay.
United officials had begun implementing a planned reintegration of Greenwood, with a public announcement reportedly scheduled for last week to explain this.
The Athletic caught wind of this proposal, however, and the decision was leaked. This was met with intense public backlash, crossing the divide into the public consciousness in a way few football stories do. This was a situation which had little to do with football however.
A tumultuous 72 hours followed with a series of crisis meetings occurring at the top level of Old Trafford. These executives quickly reached the conclusion that their current position was untenable, and began to initiate a complete 180.
This eventually culminated in Monday’s announcement: Mason Greenwood would be leaving Old Trafford.
The Daily Mail’s report indicates the women’s team were informed of this decision prior to its public release. They were then more comprehensively briefed on the situation, twenty-four hours later.
John Murtough, United’s Football Director, chaired the meeting. He outlined the processes involved in the internal investigation, as well as an explanation for the reasons behind the decision.
A number of the women’s team were reported to be giving “serious consideration” to public critiques of the club, had the decision to reintegrate Greenwood been made.
These grievances, as well as the targeted social media attacks, are thought to have driven the initiation of the meeting.
The Daily Mail contends that the talks between Murtough and the players “ended positively” with an acceptance of the Football Director’s explanation.
United’s Lionesses – Mary Earps, Ella Toone and Katie Zelem – were not in attendance as they are still away from the club, following England’s heartbreaking World Cup Final loss to Spain on Sunday.