Friday, September 29, 2023

Manchester United fans to stage Mason Greenwood protest at Premier League opener

A group of Manchester United fans are planning a series of protests in opposition to the return of Mason Greenwood.

The group of match-going supporters will make their feelings known before United’s Premier League opener against Wolves at Old Trafford on Monday evening.

The anonymous group will make their feelings known on Monday

Greenwood is closing in on a return to professional footballGetty

A banner has been made in United’s famous red, white and black colours bearing the message: “Female Fans Demand No Greenwood Return – End Violence Against Women.”

“It’s time for the club to stand up and make the right decision,” one of the organisers anonymously told The Athletic for fears of backlash by Greenwood’s supporters.

“It’s time to say, ‘We have high standards at United about how we expect players to conduct themselves and, if you do not meet those standards, you need to be moved out.’

“This is a tipping point for the club. Are they going to side with commercialism and trophies and money? Or are they going to take the side of match-going fans and the club being a social and community institution that we can be proud of, and proud to have as part of our identity?”

The group also released a statement via their Twitter account reinforcing their desire for United to offload Greenwood.

The statement read: “Today, we female fans of Manchester United are demanding that the club abide by their duty of care towards their female fans and employees and demonstrate a zero tolerance approach towards acts of violence against women by refusing to bring Mason Greenwood back into the squad.

“The situation is clear – taking Greenwood back legitimises and normalises sexual assault and domestic abuse. It tells other players, and the men and boys that look up to them, that abusing women is acceptable, without consequence, and won’t affect you or derail your career.

“It also tells us, as women, that we don’t matter. It tells female MUFC employees that their employer is happy to make them work alongside an abuser, and tells hundreds of thousands of female fans that supporting the team we love involves supporting men who abuse women like us.

“It tells us that our safety doesn’t matter, our experiences don’t matter; that the 1 in 4 women who experience domestic abuse and/or sexual assault in the UK don’t matter. It tells us that men who make the club money matter; not us, our fellow fans, mothers, sisters or daughters.”

The female fan group released a statement opposing Greenwood’s return

The 21-year-old striker has not featured for United since he was arrested in January 2022 for alleged assault and rape.

Greenwood denied all offences against him but was suspended by the club pending their own internal investigation.

All charges against Greenwood were dropped in February 2023 with the Crown Prosecution Service saying: “A combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.”

United are still to announce a final decision on Greenwood’s future at the club and were expected to do so before the start of the Premier League season.

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