Mason Greenwood: La Liga president ‘does not care’ about Manchester United striker’s past

Mason Greenwood: La Liga president 'does not care' about Manchester United striker's past

Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga, says he “does not care” about Mason Greenwood’s past and the forward should not be “condemned” in Spain.

Greenwood, loaned out by Manchester United to “rebuild” his career after attempted rape charges were dropped, has enjoyed success at Getafe, prompting interest from Barcelona. MPs and campaign groups have vehemently opposed the forward’s return to playing action but Tebas insists he is “innocent” and should be considered as “just another player”.

“We cannot be judges for everything,” he told a briefing with reporters at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit. “We cannot say you cannot play here to every case otherwise you will have empty teams.”

Tebas said Greenwood was “doing really well as a player and I hope he continues to do well and stay in La Liga”. His comments come after Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the new United co-owner, signalled last week he could make a new decision on the matter as he said he needed to make “a fair decision” reflecting the club’s values.

Greenwood’s United contract runs up to 2025. He was arrested for attempted rape and assault allegations in 2022, but charges were dropped in February last year. Greenwood denied all allegations throughout the process.

Senior Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, who chairs the women and equalities committee, has previously expressed concern at Greenwood continuing his career in top-level football.

Tebas, however, cited his background in law as he declared “you should respect the legal decision”. Comparing the Greenwood case with Ukraine striker Roman Zozulya, who plays for Rayo Majadahonda and had been accused of links to a Nazi group, he said: “I’m a lawyer, so it’s important to say he is not condemned. He was acquitted here. Should we have reopened the case in Spain? Do I know the case in great detail? No.”

Tebas confirmed La Liga had been investigating allegations that Jude Bellingham had mouthed a slur at Greenwood when they played together.

“It’s true that La Liga investigated the Bellingham case,” he said of the Real Madrid player, who, he said, should be ranked alongside the best in the world. “It’s not the first time we used lip reading in cases of investigation. We do not know what the effect was of what was said. Maybe he did not say what he is said to have said.”

Tebas: ‘I hope Greenwood continues to be successful and stay in Spanish football’

Of the dropped case against Greenwood, Tebas said: “He was not condemned so I do not care. If he was not condemned here [in England], why would we condemn him [in Spain]?”

Richard Arnold, the then United chief executive, was previously criticised over his handling of the internal investigation into Greenwood, which led to some calls for his resignation after United were forced to backtrack on plans to bring the striker back into the first-team squad.

On Greenwood’s subsequent switch to Spain, Tebas said: “Maybe the circumstances have made it easier for him to come but he’s a great player and I have got no other comments to make. He’s doing really well at Getafe as a player and I hope he continues to be successful and he continues to stay in Spanish football because that’s always good for us.”

Earlier at the FT event, Lucy Frazer, the culture secretary, urged Premier League clubs to finally agree on a long-awaited financial rescue package for the football pyramid.

The event took place as clubs gathered separately at a nearby hotel to discuss the so-called “New Deal” as well as a new model to replace the current model of profitability and sustainability rules.

No firm agreements were made, but hope has been expressed privately that executives will finally vote on a new support package at least by March 11.

“We don’t want this to be an issue for the independent regulator,” Frazer said of the latest talks. “We have been clear that football should resolve the issues in football. We want the Premier League and EFL to come to a deal. It’s in both their interests.”

Frazer confirmed separately that sporting sanctions, such as the points deduction issued to Everton this season,  “wouldn’t be a question for the regulator”. “We want to leave it to football so the regulator will just be about financial stability,” she said. “Points deductions would not enter into the remit of the regulator.”

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.