Charges including attempted rape and assault against Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood have been discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Greater Manchester Police said criminal proceedings against a 21-year-old man had been discontinued as of February 2.
Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, GMP’s head of public protection, said:
“Given the significant media coverage of this case, it is only fair that we share the news that the 21-year-old man, who had been arrested and charged in connection with an investigation opened in January 2022, no longer faces criminal proceedings in relation to this.
“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.”
Greenwood, who has been suspended by United since news of his arrest in January last year was confirmed, said in a statement: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”
United also issued a statement, which read: “Manchester United notes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been dropped.
“The club will now conduct its own process before determining next steps. We will not make any further comment until that process is complete.”
The PA news agency understands Greenwood will not return to playing or training while United carry out their own internal investigation.
The club hope to gain a clearer understanding of the circumstances surrounding the allegations made against Greenwood before determining their next steps.
It is unclear how long this will take and was not commenced until now to avoid prejudicing criminal proceedings.
Bradford-born Greenwood came through the United academy and made his senior debut for the Red Devils in a Champions League victory away to Paris St Germain in March 2019.
He has one senior cap for England, playing in the Nations League match against Iceland in September 2020.
Greenwood was charged in October with one count of attempted rape, one count of controlling and coercive behaviour and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
A decision has been made to discontinue prosecution in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, the CPS said.
A spokesperson said: “We have a duty to keep cases under continuous review.
“In this case a combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. 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.”