Sep 13 • 40M

Reporting on Mason Greenwood's Man Utd Return

Adam Crafton of The Athletic explains how he revealed the club's plan

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Charlotte Henry
Charlotte Henry adds together media, tech, politics and culture with the help of some fantastic guests.
Episode details

an empty stadium with red seats and a green field
Photo by Harry Walsh on Unsplash

Mason Greenwood was one of the most exciting young talents in English football, having broken into both the Manchester United and England first teams. Then, in January 2022, disturbing audio and images appeared online and the forward was arrested on charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He has always denied all the charges against him. In February this year, all the charges against Greenwood were dropped following a key witness withdrawing their cooperation from the investigation. This led the Crown Prosecution Service to conclude that there was “no longer a realistic prospect of conviction”.

Now Manchester United had a decision to make about a young, talented player still under contract to them. As the latest Premier League season got closer, they made plans to bring him back and Adam Crafton of The Athletic revealed it all. After his stories were published, there was widespread public outcry and ultimately a U-turn from the football club.

Crafton joins the show to explain how to report on such a sensitive story and the importance of investigative reporting in sport more broadly. It gives a fantastic insight into the process of journalism.

N.B. I incorrectly said in the episode that Ched Evans was convicted of sexual assault. He went to prison for rape. He was found not guilty in a retrial in 2016.


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