Manchester United’s decision to keep paying Mason Greenwood after he was charged with attempted rape could be used by Benjamin Mendy in his £10 million lawsuit against Manchester City over withheld wages.
Telegraph Sport has been told Mendy may also cite the cases of Adam Johnson and Ched Evans in his upcoming legal battle with the Premier League champions.
It was confirmed on Monday Mendy had filed a claim form with an employment tribunal over City’s refusal to continue paying him when he was charged with multiple counts of rape.
The former France full-back, who was acquitted of all charges at Chester Crown Court this summer, has also hired top sports lawyer Nick De Marco KC to represent him in a landmark case over the withholding of wages of players accused of serious sexual crimes.
City stopped paying Mendy from when he was first charged at the start of the 2021-22 season until his release by the club at the end of the last campaign.
That contrasted to United’s approach to Greenwood, who they continued to pay in full when he was charged – the case was later dropped following the withdrawal of key witnesses and the emergence of new material – until he joined Getafe on loan this summer.
It also differed from historic cases involving Johnson, whom Sunderland continued to select after he was charged with child sexual offences – he was eventually jailed for six years – and Evans, who played for Sheffield United after being charged with rape – he was also imprisoned before later overturning his conviction.
The main focus of Mendy’s claim, however, would almost certainly be to argue that City had no legal basis to withhold his wages under a standard Premier League contract featuring termination clauses governing criminal convictions, gross misconduct, or a failure to heed a final written warning.
City, meanwhile, would be able to point to the fact Mendy spent more than four months behind bars while awaiting trial, having been arrested for breaching bail conditions.
He was eventually released on the basis he lived at his home address, did not contact complainants and surrendered his passport.
The full bail conditions were not disclosed in open court, including whether they precluded him from training with or playing for City for the entirety of his time on remand.
It is also unclear whether Mendy was subject to a Football Association suspension during this time.
Mendy’s pursuit of City for unpaid wages emerged during a High Court hearing in August that was told he was selling his house to avoid bankruptcy.
City have declined to comment on Mendy’s claim but are understood to have reacted with some bemusement to it, having rebuffed his approaches to settle out of court.
A specialist judge heard that HM Revenue and Customs was seeking a bankruptcy order against him over a tax debt of nearly £800,000.