Everton directors told not to attend Southampton clash due to ‘real and credible threat to safety and security’

    EVERTON’S board of directors have been told not to attend today’s match against Southampton because of concerns over their safety.

    After a risk assessment taken by a security and safety advisor, Toffees chiefs were advised to stay away from the Premier League fixture at Goodison Park which kick’s off at 3pm.

    Everton's board of directors will not be at the game against Southampton

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    Everton’s board of directors will not be at the game against SouthamptonCredit: Getty
    Everton chairman Bill Kenwright will be among those that will miss the game

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    Everton chairman Bill Kenwright will be among those that will miss the gameCredit: PA:Press Association

    Chairman Bill Kenwright, chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Finance and strategy officer Grant Ingles and non-executive director Graeme Sharp are said to have “reluctantly accepted” and will not be at the game.

    The advice came after the club is said to have received “unacceptably threatening correspondence”.

    This came along with an increase in anti-social behaviour and physical aggression at recent home fixtures.

    A statement from the advisor said: “Following a thorough risk assessment, and in response to tangible threats received by the Club and intelligence we have gathered.

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    “The Club’s Board members have been told they must not attend today’s fixture.”

    The club released the following statement in response: “This is an unprecedented decision for Everton Football Club.

    “Never before has our entire Board of Directors been ordered not to attend a match on safety grounds.

    “It is a profoundly sad day for Everton and Evertonians.”

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    Everton fans were believed to be planning a protest against the board after the club’s devasting 4-1 defeat to Brighton last week.

    The loss left the Toffees in the relegation zone on goal difference.

    Manager Frank Lampard‘s side are only three points off the bottom of the table.

    If they lose to Southampton today, they could find themselves even closer to the basement position.

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