Mason Greenwood 'relieved' as charges against him dropped after 'key witnesses' withdraw and 'new material' emerges
Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood says he is "relieved" after all charges against him were dropped following the "withdrawal of key witnesses".
The 21-year-old forward faced one count of attempted rape, one count of controlling and coercive behaviour, and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
All three charges related to the same woman.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had a "duty to stop the case" following the "withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light".
Those developments meant there was "no longer a realistic prospect of conviction" and it has "explained" the decision "to all parties".
Greenwood said in a short 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."
Manchester United said it had "noted" the CPS's decision, adding: "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 investigation began just over a year ago, in January 2022. A trial date had been set for 27 November this year.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the decision to drop the charges had "not been taken lightly".
Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, GMP's head of public protection, said it was "only fair" that the force publicised the latest development given the "significant media coverage of this case".
She added: "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."
Ms Kerr did however appeal to people who felt they were, or might have been, a victim, reiterating GMP's "commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls".
She continued: "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 made one appearance for England, was suspended from playing or training with Manchester United.
Nike also suspended and later terminated its sponsorship deal with him, while Electronic Arts confirmed he had been removed from active squads on its FIFA 22 game.