Everton’s board of directors has instructed not to attend tonight’s match against Southampton, it is a serious matter

Everton’s board of directors has instructed not to attend tonight’s match against Southampton, it is a serious matter

Everton’s board of directors has instructed not to attend tonight’s match against Southampton, it is a serious matter

Everton have instructed their board of directors to avoid Saturday’s Premier League clash with Southampton due to a “real and credible threat to their safety”.

The Toffees are currently in the relegation zone with a 15-point lead ahead of this afternoon’s 3pm start at Goodison Park.

And after the recent defeats to Manchester United, Brighton and Wolves, tensions among supporters are high.

In fact, the club posted a statement on its official website ahead of kick-off against Southampton, saying club directors had been instructed to avoid playing for safety reasons.

It reads: “Chairman Bill Kenwright, CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Financial and Strategy Officer Grant Ingles, and Non-Executive Director Graeme Sharp reluctantly accepted the outcome of the Security Advisors’ security review.

“Board members have been instructed regarding the malicious and unacceptable threat received from the Club and the increasing number of incidents of anti-social behavior – including targeted physical aggression – during recent home games.

“The safety and security advisor said: ‘After a thorough risk assessment and in response to tangible threats received by the club and the information we have gathered, members of the club’s board of directors have been told that they cannot attend today’s meeting.’

A club spokesperson added: “This is an unprecedented decision for Everton Football Club – never before has our entire Board of Directors been told not to attend a game for safety reasons. It’s a very sad day for Everton and the Evertonians.”

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri recently pledged a vote of confidence in manager Frank Lampard.

Lampard was recently asked if the news had eased the pressure on him. He said no. It’s my job to take care of things. I’m not taking that statement lightly at all, but honestly, I’ve been in this game for a long time.

“I left Chelsea after beating Luton in the FA Cup and in preparation for the next game. That’s the job. I don’t get carried away when it’s the other way around.

“I don’t win a game or two and I don’t expect a new contract. You just have to work.”

The former England international also said fans had an “absolute right” to protest.

He added: “Me and the players have to be the first, me the first with no distractions because this is a big game for us in terms of our league position, points and what it would mean if he could win the game.

“Fans have an absolute right to protest.

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