TV star and Manchester United fan Rachel Riley has said the club’s chief executive office should consider his position over the handling of the Mason Greenwood case.
The forward will leave the club by mutual consent after he was suspended in January 2022 over allegations relating to a young woman after images and videos were posted online.
In February, charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, all involving the same complainant, were discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.
It was reported that Chief Executive Richard Arnold told the club’s executive leadership in early August that United were planning to bring Greenwood back.
But that story, and further information, led increased pressure on the club, with Arnold publishing a public letter to supporters upon the conclusion of their in-house investigation.
Countdown star Riley, who is a passionate fan of the club, previously said she would not be able to continue to support Manchester United if Greenwood remained there, and has now branded the handling of the situation as a “disgrace”.
Speaking on The News Agents podcast, she was asked if Arnold should consider his position.
She replied: “Yes I do. I say this with such a heavy heart.
“As a fan I grew up – these players are heroes for little kids, they’re your heroes.
“I did Manchester United as my subject on Mastermind, I’ve been lucky enough for work to go to the club to do charity events, to meet the players, to meet the manager, to go to the director’s box for matches, it’s like my ultimate dream and I would love more than anything else in the world to give that to my daughters, but I can’t not speak out.
“But I just don’t agree with what’s happened at all.”
After the charges were dropped, Manchester United conducted its own investigation, saying the club had “concluded that the material posted online did not provide a full picture and that Mason did not commit the offences in respect of which he was originally charged”.
But they added Greenwood had publicly acknowledged “he has made mistakes which he is taking responsibility for”.
Riley said the club has “greenlighted” social media abuse of the alleged victim.
She said: “I think it’s been absolutely mismanaged. I’ve been a Man Utd supporter since before I was born.
"My dad’s been going since 1960s, I have my babies’ Man Utd stuff ready when they were in the womb and I’ve never been more ashamed of the club. It’s a disgrace."
Gary Neville has said he believes independent panels should investigate serious allegations made against footballers after criticising Manchester United’s “pretty horrible” handling of the Greenwood case.
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