Mason Greenwood will no longer stand trial for an alleged attempted rape and assault against a woman after prosecutors said that key witnesses had withdrawn and new evidence came to light.
The 21-year-old had been suspended by Manchester United since the allegations surfaced in January 2022. He was subsequently charged with one count of attempted rape, a count of assault and repeatedly engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour and had been set to face trial in November of this year.
Greenwood had also been re-arrested in October for a breach of his bail conditions.
But the Crown Prosecution Service have this afternoon said that “the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.”
The CPS added: “In these circumstances, we are under a duty to stop the case. We have explained our decision to all parties. We would always encourage any potential victims to come forward and report to police and we will prosecute wherever our legal test is met.”
United are yet to comment on the development. He remains under contract at Old Trafford until the summer of 2025 and was understood to be still receiving his £75,000-a-week wage.
Following his initial arrest several of Greenwood’s sponsors, including Nike, cancelled their deals with the England international striker. He was also removed from the FIFA computer game and Football Manager series.
United stopped selling all merchandise with his name and face on it and a number of team-mates unfollowed him on social media.
In a separate statement, Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, Greater Manchester Police’s head of public protection, said: “The investigation team has remained in regular contact with the legal team, providing any updates of note, and so understand the rationale for the discontinuation of proceedings at this stage, and that this decision has not been taken lightly.
“Despite the media and public’s interest in this case, we have decided not to comment on it in any further detail.
“I would, however, like to use this opportunity to reiterate GMP’s commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls and supporting those affected, regardless of their circumstances, throughout what can be a hard and upsetting time for them.
“An ever increasing number of officers are receiving specialist training and the force is more consistently utilising tools, available via the criminal justice system, to keep people safe and care for victims.
“If you feel you are or might be a victim, please don’t let this case put you off asking for help.”