In the first instalment of our exclusive interview with the managing editor of 90min Football, Scott Saunders, we sat down to discuss the Mason Greenwood situation and the reasons behind the club’s dramatic last-minute u-turn.
“There are people who’ve done deep digging into [the u-turn] and we should credit them – Adam Crafton for one, and the work he’s done with the Athletic, in forcing it essentially. I had personally heard suggestions throughout the last few months, that [Manchester United] were leaning towards wanting to bring Greenwood back in.”
“As far as I knew when the summer started, United wanted two strikers and obviously, they’ve signed one – yet Erik ten Hag wanted a senior striker as well. A point had presumably came where the club were planning for it be Højlund plus Greenwood, but I think they were incredibly naive in not thinking about the kind of reaction a decision like that would come with.”
“I think the whole situation has been managed poorly, incredibly poorly, and it’s pretty typical of the Glazer ownership to be indecisive, underhand and to chase the financial decision. Mason Greenwood as a footballer has been considered very talented and one of the best players of his generation, potentially, and if he was a less talented player this wouldn’t have even been a conversation.”
“So, I think United had made it clear enough that bringing him back was an option they were seriously considering. I thought they were going to plan to bring him back and then everything that’s happened over the past week, media getting a hold of the information and the plan, has forced them into a u-turn.”
“I think they have, eventually, made the right decision but could’ve saved themselves a hell of a lot of bother – the last couple of weeks have been disastrous. They could’ve saved themselves looking as poor as they have by making the right decision in the first place, and I think there’s a lot of fans who feel they should’ve made the correct moral decision, not the one that could potentially benefit them financially. The club tried to do the opposite.”
“It’s naive to think they wouldn’t have got the type of friction they have, but it’s symptomatic of the way the club has been run and it goes from the top. I think the fact that the Glazers handed this to Richard Arnold and practically wiped their hands clean of it and said ‘it’s your decision, you take the fall if this goes wrong’ speaks volumes of their ownership.”
I would like to thank Scott Saunders for taking the time to do this exclusive interview. The remainder of this interview will be released in instalments over the coming week – but you can keep up to date with the latest football stories by following @_scottsaunders and @90min_football on X.