Simon Jordan: Fans are unforgiving but Mason Greenwood deserves shot at redemption

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Simon Jordan believes a loan move would be a sensible option for Mason Greenwood’s future.

Manchester United are reportedly considering sending Greenwood out on loan to Spain, Italy or Turkey.

Greenwood had charges against him dropped earlier this year


Greenwood had charges against him dropped earlier this yearCredit: AFP

The 21-year-old remains suspended while an internal investigation continues around his behaviour.

He was arrested in February 2022, and subsequently charged, on allegations of attempted rape, assault and controlling and coercive behaviour.

The CPS announced in April that the charges against him were being dropped following the withdrawal of the involvement of a key witness.

Now United face the difficult decision about what to do with the £75,000-a-week forward.

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Former Crystal Palace owner Jordan told talkSPORT: “It’s a way of giving the player an opportunity to play football and to take him out of the inevitable spotlight.

“The tragedy for this boy is that it has all played out in the public domain before he was given the opportunity to have any sort of anonymity, i.e before you are in a position to be charged with something and then when you are charged then anonymity falls away.

“He was arrested and we all got to hear the audio of some of the circumstances the allegations were built around. 

“That’s all fallen away and we can question the motivations about why it has fallen away and how we got ourselves into this situation.

Greenwood remains suspended by Man United


Greenwood remains suspended by Man UnitedCredit: AFP

“We’ve got a boy who has put himself in a way of, I don’t think, the greatest of behaviours listening to those audio tapes and I also don’t think the best of behaviours when he was away with England in Reykjavik.

“But we’ve got a very talented footballer. Often in football the talent supersedes the behaviour and I’ve never been one to suggest that’s right.

“Then you’ve got the delightful companies like Nike who will instantly run away from anything that looks like reputational damage, whilst they are quite happy to sit there having Alberto Salazar and the Oregon Project on their watch (the training group was shut down in 2019 following Salazar’s ban for doping violations).

“There’s so much hypocrisy in this world.

“Where this young man sits now is he’s no longer being charged. I argued this a while ago when we covered it about the presumption of innocence and the presumption of innocence is something we should have in real terms.

“But the court of public opinion will make its own decisions about what they heard and what they know about this young man.

“That puts him in the way of a variety of challenges. One of them is Manchester United’s perception of its image around the world and the other is what he’s going to be subjected to, by the very nature of what we know to be a very blunt, cruel and often appraisal of anything football fans can get at to try and disadvantage a player.

“With all those factors in play, I think it’s a sensible move. It’s not kicking the can down the road.”

There has been a backlash against suggestions he could play for Manchester United again one day.

Jordan argued he has the right to get on with the rest of his life.

He continued: “Whether we like it or not, or whether people have presumed his guilt or innocence in equal measure, he has the right to go on with the rest of his life, he has the right to find some sort of redemption in whatever opportunities exist for him.

“The question is what is the best way for him and the best way for Man United. It’s a really difficult situation for Man United because we are constantly confronted and have to consume the staple diet of people telling us what the optics are rather than the reality.”

Greenwood could join a club in Spain, Italy or Turkey on loan


Greenwood could join a club in Spain, Italy or Turkey on loanCredit: GETTY

Jordan also argued Greenwood himself has to take responsibility for his behaviour and be prepared for the vitriol that is likely to come his way from fans.

He added: “He’s got to accept the fact he’s put himself in harms way. His behaviour. To what extent, we don’t know the length and breadth of it and how the accusations were made and how they were withdrawn.

“He must realise that by playing football he is going to come on the other side of the argument because he’s a good player.

“A good player can hurt you and opposition fans will do everything they can to distract him. He’s going to get that coming to him.

“There are other players that have been in that situation, a completely different crime and convicted of it, Adam Johnson [the former England player who served three years in prison for grooming and sexual activity with a girl aged 15].

“Mason Greenwood has been convicted of nothing. You had people like Ched Evans were vilified, yet he got cleared after the event [the former Wales footballer was jailed for rape and later found not guilty in a re-trial].

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“If he wants to be a professional football player, which I presume he does, going out to a different country and experiencing some of the vitriol and getting himself acclimatised to it will allow him the opportunity to come back and face what he’s going to face at some point.

“Football fans are unforgiving.”

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