It was a grimly honest start to what would turn out to be a terrible era for him everton.
Saturday afternoon during preparation for defeat Southampton At Goodison Park, Everton released a statement saying the club’s board had been instructed not to attend the match due to a “real and credible threat to their safety and security”.
The statement added: “The members of the board have been instructed following unacceptably malicious and threatening correspondence the club has received and an increase in incidents of anti-social behavior – including targeted physical assault – in recent home matches.”
A club spokesperson concluded that it was “an unprecedented decision for Everton Football Club” and “a very sad day for Everton and Everton”.
Reporters in Goodison’s media room received the statement and then were told some broader context, including some specific threats emailed to chairman Bill Kenwright and CEO Dennis Barrett Baxendale. These e-mails were said to warn them that they would be unsafe at Goodison and to wish serious illness on both of them, as well as on Professor Barrett’s son Baxendale.
Everton: a broken football club
The club representatives present also described an incident in which the chief executive was put in a ‘lock up’ by a man at a recent home match.
They also said that on another occasion, she was cornered by her car and spat at following a match, and she was subjected to misogynistic abuse and ‘sexually aggressive’ comments while walking from her box seat to the lounge.
the athlete He gave a report on the club’s statement and allegations and sought further clarification from both Everton and Merseyside Police on specific incidents.
Club sources later said that the alleged “head-locking” incident had not been reported to the police, in accordance with Barrett Baxendale’s wishes as they did not want it to escalate into a criminal case.
the athlete It was separately told that the alleged incident occurred when the chief executive made her way from the directors’ box to the directors’ lounge at Goodison, sharing a guest with someone who had seats in the lounge. It remains unclear at which home match the alleged incident is said to have occurred.
A source in the club claimed that the security men spoke to the man at that time.
After, after the athlete Other local media contacted Merseyside Police on Saturday to clarify whether any of the allegations – death threats or ‘headline’ emails – had been reported – and the force confirmed they had not received formal complaints about any of the issues that prompted the board. to get away from the game. They added that they were aware of the board’s decision and had treated the match as very dangerous.
A club source later said their security experts, who include former police officers and members of the armed forces, had received specific intelligence that there was a risk of encountering managers when they arrived at Goodison or left on Saturday.
There were more police officers than usual stationed around the main stand near the directors’ box and press box before, during and after the match, which protesters had identified as one where they would stage a peaceful sit-in afterwards to express their anger and frustration with the board and their management of the relegation-threatened club.
The group behind the protest condemned the abuse directed at the board, writing: “Everyone involved in our campaign, and indeed every reasonable person from Everton fully and utterly condemns any threats to any Everton employee and/or club officials and directors”.
After the match, videos on social media showed young men approaching the players’ cars He sees MinaAnd Ellis Sims And Anthony Gordon And they turn away from Goodison. In one clip, someone is filmed running after Gordon’s car as he drives away from the stadium.
Merseyside Police He confirmed again on Monday that they had not received reports of any alleged crimes.
Their statement said: “We are in contact with Everton following alleged threats against the directors ahead of the match against Southampton on Saturday.”
“No threats or incidents were reported to the police before the match. We are however in contact with the club to determine if there has been any wrongdoing, and to ensure that any future reports are received through the existing channels.
“Any threats reported to Merseyside Police will of course be assessed and investigated, and any appropriate safety measures will be implemented.
“We are also aware of videos circulating of fans approaching players’ cars as they made their way from Goodison Park after the match.
“At this point no crimes have been reported.”
Concerned supporters have reported the alleged incident involving Barrett Baxendale to Her Game Too, which campaigns to tackle sexual abuse in sport and is currently communicating with Everton about a range of issues.
According to their website, Her Game Too is “a voluntary organization run by female football fans committed to growing the campaign with the aim of promoting an ethos in football in which women are equally welcomed and respected”.
Her game has also been contacted for comment.
Everton announced later on Monday that they would be “Review security on each match day and on non-match day after Saturday’s match.”
They also confirmed that, after discussions with Merseyside Police, the next match is against home Arsenal On Saturday, February 4th it will be rated High Risk.
“Reinforced security procedures and protocols are being put in place for the club’s players and employees after the incidents that occurred in these and previous matches,” a statement said.
“The Everton directors have been instructed not to attend Saturday’s match following a thorough pre-match security assessment. The direction was based on information gathered and information received directly by the club.”
On Monday, Everton tried to draw a line under the weekend’s events. In a statement, they said they would not make any further comment about “specific historical incidents.”
“The health, safety and security of our fans, staff and players is, and always will be, our top priority,” they said.
“The club would like to thank the vast majority of the fans who behaved so impeccably before, during and after the match with Southampton – as they have throughout the season.”
It is not clear at this stage if the Everton board will attend the fateful Saturday Premier League A match in West Ham.
(Top photo: Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)