Osasuna fans face punishment after their ‘death’ chant during Mason Greenwood’s debut for Getafe in La Liga at the weekend.
Mason Greenwood returned to football on Sunday, but faced a chant of ‘Greenwood die’ from the travelling Osasuna fans. They were immediately drowned out by whistles from the Getafe fans.
He hasn’t played for the Red Devils since he was arrested back in January 2022, under suspicion of sexual assault, physical assault, and coercion.
Although Greenwood had charges against him dropped as federal prosecutors said there was a lack of sufficient evidence to try his case, he was still the subject of a Manchester United inquiry that found that he should no longer feature for the Premier League outfit.
The striker, on loan from Manchester United, is trying to rebuild his career in Spain, and his first game saw him help Getafe go on to win 3-2.
— Guillermo Rai (@GuillermoRai_) September 17, 2023
Osasuna fans face punishment for ‘death’ chant during Mason Greenwood’s Getafe debut
The chants, which could see Getafe sanctioned by the league, came as he was a late substitute, forcing an 86th minute corner from which Nemanja Maksimovic headed in the winner.
Getafe manager Jose Bordalas was pleased with Greenwood, then apologised post-game for suggesting last week that Greenwood had signed after being advised to do so by Jude Bellingham.
‘I’ve been told that it was not like that; that he had nothing to do with it, so I apologise,’ said Bordalas.
‘That’s what was told to me but Mason has joined us for other reasons — because he was offered to us and we had a lot of interest in him.’
In the lead up to the game, Bordalas was cautious about Greenwood, this showed in his decision to leave the him out of his starting line-up.
Three changes were made on 60 minutes, with the score at 2-2, with Bordalas overlooking Greenwood. But when those changes couldn’t get a winner for Getafe, he called on Greenwood to replace Juanmi Latasa in the 77th minute and forced several corners with the second producing a winner.
Juan Cruz charged down Greenwood’s shot, and from that, Carles Alena crossed for Maksimovic to nod in. Asked about Greenwood’s impact, Bordalas said: ‘We were pleasantly surprised. He offered us a lot going forward.
‘We are being patient with him because he hasn’t played for many months. Today must have been a very special day for him because footballers want to play. We have seen the response from the fans and from his team-mates. We have to be calm but his contribution was excellent.’
Mason Greenwood made more impact for Getafe in 20mins than Antony has done for Man Utd since he joined the club pic.twitter.com/dRA17aWLaf
— Punky 👨🏽💻 (@onepunky_) September 18, 2023
Osasuna coach Jogoba Arrasate criticised the chants from his own club’s supporters, but adds there was also abuse that was directed from the home fans.
“The chants of ‘F*** Osasuna’ were very bad and the chants against Greenwood were very bad, too,” he said. “He is a player who, in the end, the justice system had its say.
“He is a very good player. But if we talk about chants, we should talk about all the chants, not just some.”
Immediately after Greenwood signed for his new club, Spanish domestic abuse charity the Ana Bella Foundation asked for Getafe to revoke the transfer.
“The club is setting a terrible example,” a spokesperson for the charity is reported to have said. “Getafe executives should never have hired Mason Greenwood and should immediately overturn their decision.
“If you’re a public-facing organisation like Getafe, there is no excuse to take a neutral stance on violence against women – you must take moral responsibility.”
The BBC’s Simon Stone spoke with fans before the game on Sunday with one supporter talking about Greenwood giving him his shirt during his unveiling earlier this month.
“The shirt is at my house at the moment. I want to get him to sign it and then I will put it in a frame,” said Pedro Bonito, 17.
On the controversy around Greenwood, he adds: “For me, no [it doesn’t matter]. He is innocent, that has been decided by a lawyer.”
Greenwood stats (vs Osasuna)
13 minutes played
2 corners won – one leading to a goal
1 fouls won
Getafe accepts that there will be controversy on Greenwood with the player himself saying in his own statement last month: “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.”
According to the Daily Mail, more shirts with ‘Greenwood 12’ on the back were sold within a week of his arrival than any other player in Getafe’s history.