Man Utd forward Mason Greenwood has not been found ‘innocent’; that’s important

Editor F365
Man Utd player Greenwood

The Mason Greenwood Mailbox has predictably prompted a flurry of replies and most make the same point.

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Mason Greenwood: A reaction to that Mailbox
It was a predictable but still disappointing. It would be a waste of time to go through the mails from Soheil and Will and pick apart every ridiculous and willfully ignorant thing they said in their gallant defence of Mason Greenwood. It’s clear that their team winning trophies so they can claim second hand social media clout trumps everything. You cannot reason with that kind of mentality, no point even trying.
Kev, Dublin


…As an often reader, never commentator on the 365 Mailbox it takes a lot to get me as far as the draft stage of an email, never mind actually hitting send. But, having seen the tweet and link to this morning’s mailbox I think it’s important that there’s a general awareness of how the legal system works in this country.

In the UK legal system people are either found Guilty or Not Guilty, it’s a binary verdict and the standard of proof is a certainty of guilt. Our legal system is built on a foundational principle that it is better to let some of the guilty walk free rather than convict an individual innocent.

If a jury is not certain the accused is guilty, they are instructed to find in favour of the defendant and return a not guilty verdict, even if they think there’s a 98% chance they committed the acts they are accused of.

After the front line police, the CPS is the entry into the legal system and has the burden of ensuring cases that are brought forward on behalf of the crown, have a realistic chance of prosecution, which obviously would mean meeting this threshold.

Given the fact the CPS had the case for over a year, and cited witnesses dropping out as a reason for no longer pursuing a prosecution, it seems as if they felt that had this not happened they may have proceeded with the case. Though no-one outside the CPS will know for sure.

A number of responses this morning seemed to be going down the line of argument that because no prosecution was brought forward, there is no chance Mason Greenwood committed any act worthy of club sanction and all should move on from the issue. It clearly isn’t as binary as that. It may well be Greenwood is more likely than not (over 50% probability – incidentally the burden of proof in a Civil case) to have commited the crimes he was accused of, but that’s not something that gets near to the threshold to move forward with a prosecution.

I’m not going to comment on what United should do, as it’s something I’ve really not thought through, but anyone that is commenting on that should ensure they understand the nuance that goes into these decisions before forming their own opinion.
RM – London (The fact Stewie Griffin speaks positively of Bukayo Saka means he’s now officially the most likable footballer in the country)


…My mate, let’s call him Phil because that is his actual name, got accused of shoplifting in 1988. He was however, not prosecuted for this crime. The local shop suspected a few school children of shoplifting, they spoke to the school, the school spoke to the children and asked them to confess. Some did, Phil didn’t. He was not prosecuted.

Thing is, he definitely did do a load of shoplifting. Masses of it. I had at least 8 illegally obtained Mars Bars off him. He was, absolutely, unquestionably guilty of the thing he was accused of. And he’d done it a lot…absolute tons of shoplifting – it was not a one-off but a pattern of behaviour. And free Mars bars for me.

Interesting to note that there some people in the mailbox who would cheerfully describe Phil, who definitely did an absolute shedload of shoplifting, as ‘innocent’.
Jeremy Aves


…If ever there was a perfect analogy for the current state of the world, Will from Cumbria poops up with his diatribe this morning.

I just have one question back to Will – do you genuinely 100% believe every word you wrote in that email or did you have a bit of time and your hands and decide you would see if you could boil some piss.

If it is the former, just have a sit down for 5 mins – imagine a female who means a lot to you going through something horrific but decides not to come forward due to (not just this case) the figures surrounding convictions for rape accusations. Think of the turmoil they would be going through and then think whether it is more important to you to see an above average player playing for your club again.

When live decisions are clouded by so badly wanting the football team you support to do well, life has taken a wrong turn somewhere.
J Belfast


…I’m not a lawyer and I don’t work for the CPS. How I feel about Mason Greenwood is largely based on the recordings that were leaked. That said, I’m trying my best not to make my mind up based on the calibre of people who are defending him. However…

Sometimes it’s really edifying to read something that you feel uncomfortable with, and then have those suspicions confirmed when the mask slips. Will from Cumbria’s Mason Greenwood email was the perfect example of this. I was feeling a little itchy about all the moral grandstanding and righteous indignation, and then this delightful paragraph came up.

‘If the members of the women’s team cannot accept that in the eyes of the law, which is all that counts in this matter, that Greenwood is innocent then they need to be educated about it.’

‘all that counts’
‘they need to be educated’.

Reading you loud and clear Will.
Joe, EFC


…Will, Cumbria makes a case for Greenwood’s reintegration into the Manchester United squad. But he appears to overlook that a professional footballer isn’t just a professional judged solely on his or her technical merits. He’s also part of a team unit, and a very-well-remunerated advertising hoarding.

I confess that I’m not entirely sure what TeamViewer are (something to do with IT support taking over your laptop remotely maybe?) but I can’t imagine they’re delighted to see their name front and centre in the photo accompanying every single article in the media about one of the UK’s highest-profile sexual-assault cases. It probably is something that United need to consider when they’re making a decision about reintegrating them into the squad.

It’s not really for him or me or any of us to pontificate on the rights or wrongs of the CPS’ decision. But reputational damage is a thing. While Greenwood may be innocent in the eyes of the law, to some extent this is irrelevant; Manchester United are perfectly entitled to make a decision that it is not in their best interest to be associated with him any further, and people are perfectly entitled to have an opinion on whether or not they should.
Dara O’Reilly, London


On the side of Mason, Soheil and Will
Very well put mate. And well done to football365 for deciding to publish such a well reasoned and balanced view on what is a tense and highly emotional topic.
Akeel Hajat


…Maybe it’s me but until we have all the facts let just keep an open mind hey. Footballs a funny old game it seems, without knowing all the facts this guy has been hung out to dry in the court of public opinion whilst the world found it easy enough to let others crack on with their career after shall we say more evidential crimes – Woodgate, Bowyer, Barton, Collymore, Adams, Vinny Jones, Denis Wise, Pennant, Duncan Ferguson.

Regardless of the misdemenours they were all punished and generally accepted back into football. Lets be clear, Greenwood has not been found guilty of anything unlike the names mentioned. He clearly has issues and if he hasn’t learned from all this then God help him but wishing a 21yrs olds career over without hearing a single word from him or claimant doesn’t sit right with me. We have to be very careful in this country that we dont go down the road of ensuring someone being accused of something gets the same punishment as someone found guilty of something. It might just open a a can of worms we cant close again.


Fanmail for Stewie
Goodness me, Stewie you are as bad as the newspapers Mediawatch regularly tear apart. It’s almost as if scrolling through ‘football twitter’ is a really rubbish way of forming opinions about football.

No serious Arsenal fan thinks Spurs really gauge their success against Arsenal. Sure some will comment on it even me, just like Spurs fans commented last season about Arsenal ‘bottling it’ but this doesn’t mean every Arsenal fan asseses every result in how it relates to Spurs. Even the mail you reference was actually just asking Spurs fans what constitutes success to them in light of sacking their manager. He wasn’t making their ‘failures and troubles this season all about Arsenal’s success’ as you put it.

I dont recall a single mail on this website saying that there was a conspiracy from Rodri to injure Odegaard. I saw that on Twitter, but then I also saw a Spurs fan on Twitter say that Lenglet is better than Saliba, so, lets not take what is said on that hellsite particularly seriously shall we?

I know you’re just a troll Stewie who likes to use this particular Family Guy moniker in the mailbox and several other names in the comments. I also know F365 likes to publish you to get lots of lovely content, but come on now, lets not just make things up to get angry about. There is enough of that in the world of politics.
Andrew (here’s a conspiracy for you, Stewie is actually one of the F365 writers!)


…I see now. We’ve all had the wool pulled over our eyes for all these years. Stewie isn’t actually an Arsenal fan! I can’t believe I’d never seen it before, now his mask has finally slipped. He mentions They, them etc when referring to us.

Go on then Stewie, put us out of our misery. Who do you actually support?
JazGooner (my guess is Tottenham. Obviously)


Pride of Scotland
A few more coherent thoughts on the game last night.

Firstly, what a win! An incredible victory against one of the World’s top tier football nations. We don’t get those often. Spain have lost twice in World Cup or Euros qualifiers since 2006, so this is a remarkable result. Without a doubt the best victory since the double over France in the 2008 Euro qualifiers.

The progress under Steve Clarke has been excellent. We’ve got better and better but until now, didn’t really have a marquee victory to go alongside the improved performances. We do now. That will go down in history as one of Scotland’s famous nights.

The best thing about the game as well was that it was deserved. We played really well. Spain dominated possession but it wasn’t a smash and grab. Despite their possession, they barely threatened and Gunn didn’t really have a save of note to make. When Scotland countered they looked dangerous and the gameplan worked perfectly.

A word please for Scott McTominay. Or Scott “Goal Machine” McTominay to give him his full name. 4 goals in 2 games! Never have I loved a Man United player so much.

The important thing now is that we don’t let this go to waste, as we did in 2008 (although to be fair, we had France, Italy and Ukraine in our group then. Norway should be our main rivals for 2nd and they’ve already dropped 5 points. Our next game we play in Oslo, and that is huge. Come away with a point and beat Georgia at home and we would be in a superb position for our 2nd major tournament in 3 years.
Mike, LFC, London


…Had to write a wee email in and say what a joy it was watching us- Scotland beat the mighty Spain.

Yes I know they are a team in transition but we made them look ordinary and it really could have been 4 -0 . Despite us only having 33% possession. We took the 3 points and are already looking good for 2nd place and avoiding the dreaded play off ( I know maybe getting carried away but!)

Steve Clarke has done a superb job , I know he comes across as a bit dour but he’s built a good team of experience and youth. We have some good young players now. Tierney was immense. Robertson the usual fantastic shitehousery which led to our first goal. And a word on McTominay who it was recently said wasn’t good enough to play for either of the Old Firm- what bollocks!
And eh Rodri greeting about us being too physical, hilarious coming from him. Sour grapes mate!!
Neil, Glasgow


…If McTominay played for West Ham, we’d probably be talking about him in the same breath as Declan Rice. He got a bad rep playing for unstructured managers, in a position not suited to his game. He’s a pretty useful box to box midfielder who can score good goals. He’s not a cover for Casemiro, and will never be. Here’s hoping he finds the right position and the right opportunity for his game to flourish.
Ved Sen (MUFC)


CR7 > (Henry + Bergkamp)
Fat Man (oh to be an Arsenal supporter, haven’t they had it tough??), quite clearly Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player the premiership has ever seen. CR7 has 5 Balon d’ors, Messi has not played in the premiership.

You’re welcome.
Jon, Cape Town