Marseille Mayor Opposes Mason Greenwood’s Move to Club

Marseille Mayor Opposes Mason Greenwood’s Move to Club

The mayor of Marseille has publicly opposed Mason Greenwood’s expected move to the Ligue 1 side, insisting he does not want his club ‘shamed by someone who hits his wife’.

The Manchester United star, who has not played for the club since he was arrested in January 2022 for attempted rape, assault and coercive behaviour, spent a season on loan at Getafe last campaign after the charges were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service and the Red Devils completed their own internal investigation.

After impressing at Getafe, scoring 10 goals and winning the club’s player of the season award during his loan spell, Greenwood has attracted interest from Marseille following the arrival of their new manager Roberto De Zerbi. 

The former Brighton boss vowed to ‘publicly defend’ Greenwood if he signs for the club amid unfolding controversy over his potential move. 

But left-wing French politician and mayor of Marseille Benoit Payan has opposed the signing, describing his alleged charges as ‘unspeakable and unacceptable’.

Manchester United exile Mason Greenwood has attracted interest from French side Marseille

Greenwood was arrested in January 2022 for attempted rape, assault and coercive behaviour - but the charges were ultimately dropped 13 months later by the Crown Prosecution Service

Greenwood was arrested in January 2022 for attempted rape, assault and coercive behaviour – but the charges were ultimately dropped 13 months later by the Crown Prosecution Service

He told RMC Sport: ‘Greenwood’s behaviour is unspeakable, unacceptable. Hitting his wife… I saw images that deeply shocked me. Abusing his wife in this way is unbecoming of a man and he cannot have his place on this team.

‘The values ​​of OM and Marseille are anything but that in fact. It’s a shame. I will ask Pablo Longoria not to recruit Greenwood. I don’t want my club to be covered with the shame of someone who hits his wife.

‘Olympique de Marseille is more than a club. It is a spirit, and there is no place for those who behave in this way, for those who commit this kind of crime and offence. 

‘It is unbearable. I cannot imagine for a second that Pablo Longoria would make this major mistake.’ 

Greenwood, who has continually denied any wrongdoing, said in a statement upon leaving Manchester United last August: ‘I want to start by saying I understand that people will judge me because of what they have seen and heard on social media, and I know people will think the worst.

‘I was brought up to know that violence or abuse in any relationship is wrong, I did not do the things I was accused of, and in February I was cleared of all charges.

‘However, I fully accept I made mistakes in my relationship, and I take my share of responsibility for the situations which led to the social media post.’

After concluding their internal probe, Manchester United’s statement read: ‘The club has concluded its internal investigation into the allegations made against Mason Greenwood.

‘Our process commenced in February 2023, following all charges against Mason being dropped. Throughout, we have taken into account the wishes, rights and perspective of the alleged victim along with the club’s standards and values, and sought to collate as much information and context as possible. 

‘This has required us to proceed with sensitivity and care to obtain evidence not in the public domain, including from those with direct knowledge of the case.

Roberto De Zerbi claimed that he would try to protect Greenwood if he moved to Marseille

Roberto De Zerbi claimed that he would try to protect Greenwood if he moved to Marseille

Appalled Payan has urged to tell Marseille president Pablo Longoria (left) to call off the transfer

Appalled Payan has urged to tell Marseille president Pablo Longoria (left) to call off the transfer

‘Based on the evidence available to us, we have concluded that the material posted online did not provide a full picture and that Mason did not commit the offences in respect of which he was originally charged. That said, as Mason publicly acknowledges today, he has made mistakes which he is taking responsibility for.

‘All those involved, including Mason, recognise the difficulties with him recommencing his career at Manchester United. It has therefore been mutually agreed that it would be most appropriate for him to do so away from Old Trafford, and we will now work with Mason to achieve that outcome.’

Marseille has emerged as the front-runner for Greenwood’s signature following interest in the forward from a handful of European clubs — and are thought to have made an offer worth £27million and a substantial sell-on fee for the player. 

Incoming head coach De Zerbi, when asked about bringing Greenwood to Stade Velodrome, seemed to suggest that he would be interested in working with him. 

‘Greenwood isn’t recruited yet so there isn’t much to say. He’s a champion, an international level player,’ De Zerbi said. 

‘I don’t know what happened, I’m not concentrating on private lives. When a player signs for the club, I consider him my child.

‘Even if I can pull his ear in private, I will defend him publicly. My players are like my sons.’

Marseille fans have started a protest movement in a bid to keep Greenwood from signing

Marseille fans have started a protest movement in a bid to keep Greenwood from signing 

The 22-year-old was named Getafe's player of the season after a fruitful loan spell in Spain

The 22-year-old was named Getafe’s player of the season after a fruitful loan spell in Spain

Meanwhile, fans of the southern French club have launched a public campaign –  #GreenwoodNotWelcome – and are insistent that signing the player could do ‘irreversible damage’ to the club’s reputation. 

A statement on OM Forum said: ‘At a time when negotiations for the arrival of Mason Greenwood are announced as becoming increasingly heated, it seems necessary to explain, once again and before the damage becomes irreversible, why this transfer seems inconceivable in view of the values displayed by the club and why it would mean for many of us a red line that would irreparably damage the passion that we have for this club.’

Comments

No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *