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Fans hit back hard over ‘safety threat’ statement from Everton board before Southampton game

Fans hit back hard over the ‘safety threat’ statement from the Everton board before Saturday afternoon’s game against Southampton.

Everton’s board of directors say they will not being attending Saturday’s Premier League game because of a “real and credible threat to their safety”.

The club go on to claim the directors were advised not to attend Goodison Park following “malicious and unacceptably threatening correspondence”.

Everton fan groups planned to protest at the 3pm fixture following last week’s 4-1 home defeat by Brighton.

CLUB STATEMENT:

Everton’s Board of Directors have been instructed not to attend today’s Premier League fixture against Southampton because of a “real and credible threat to their safety and security”.

Chairman Bill Kenwright, CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Finance & Strategy Officer Grant Ingles and Non-Executive Director Graeme Sharp have reluctantly accepted the outcome of the safety assessment carried out by security advisors.

The Board members received the instruction following malicious and unacceptably threatening correspondence received by the Club and increasing incidents of anti-social behaviour – including targeted physical aggression – at recent home matches.

A Security & Safety Advisor said: “Following a thorough risk assessment, and in response to tangible threats received by the Club and intelligence we have gathered, the Club’s Board members have been told they must not attend today’s fixture.”

A Club spokesperson added: “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.”

In a statement published on their website ahead of a sit-in protest at Goodison after the Southampton game, NSNOW wrote: “The campaign calls on Farhad Moshiri to make sweeping changes at Chair, Board and Executive levels. It demands he brings in competent, experienced professionals who can reverse the club’s decline, and make the necessary changes to make Everton competitive once more.

“At Everton’s critical home game versus Southampton on Saturday fans are pledging their support to Frank Lampard and the team with a resumption of the coach greeting prior to the match and full-blooded support during the game.

“Immediately after full-time, Evertonians from all areas of the ground will join in a large-scale sit-in which will highlight Farhad Moshiri’s failure to change and strengthen Chair, Board and Executive positions at the club.

“The sit-in will feature numerous crowd-funded banners calling for change.”

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri blamed their FANS for ‘driving out good managers’ in a shock talkSPORT interview on Thursday.

The 67 year old has also urged supporters to give their backing to manager Frank Lampard, so that he has time to get things right.

Recently, Moshiri wrote an open letter to fans, pledging support for Lampard and the board despite intense pressure following a 4-1 defeat at home to Brighton.

The Toffees chief has now warned fans that they lost good managers due to ill-feeling at the club. He doesn’t want this history to repeat with Lampard and for now, is backing him.

Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, Moshiri said: “It [the letter] is really genuine because I’m a fan like all the other fans.

“Sometimes, we just need to be patient. We drove out Roberto Martinez, Marco Silva, Ronald Koeman. They’re all good managers.

“I think a manager should be given time. He’s a hard-working, very good manager and we should support him.”

Moshiri wants supporters to see the bigger picture and pointed towards the building of their new stadium as a sign of brighter times ahead, even if the club are looking for a relegation battle this season and potentially dropping into the Championship.

He added: “I’m building a big stadium, I put £400million in it, and the future of the club is revenue from the new stadium.

“You can’t be competitive without income and I think we will be there in two years.

“Right now, the club has rebuilt the defence, the midfield, we had a lot of injuries with strikers, but they’re back.

“I have no doubt everything will steady. You just have to follow the programme and get there.”

Many supporters however feel Moshiri and his Everton hierarchy are the problem, not Lampard.

Club legend Alan Stubbs recently urged Moshiri to sell up and added Lampard wasn’t to blame for the Toffees’ form.

Everton have struggled for many years when it comes to mismanagement under Moshiri and the club only just finished above the drop zone last season.

When questioned if fans have faith in him as an owner, Moshiri said: “I hope so. I put my money where my mouth is and that is all an owner can do. I’ve done that.

“Some of the decisions we’ve taken have been with the fans, all the managers who were driven out by the fans, not by me.

“I think you have to stay with the manager to get the systems going with the players he buys.

“I have a lot of faith in Frank. He is a thinking man and he’ll get it right.”

Moshiri tells fans to direct their passion towards backing the players.

He continued: “I think protest is a democratic right of everyone. I think the feeling is well-known, we are communicating. But the biggest thing is to support the team.

“There is nothing bigger than supporting the players who give everything on the pitch.”

Pressure grows on director of football Kevin Thelwell and the board of directors over their running of the club, with fans showing ‘Sack the Board’ signs and banners.

Moshiri claims their jobs are safe, and he plans not to get rid of anyone anytime soon.

He added: “You can’t just make rash decisions. Right now, we have two big games. That is the only focus.”

EVERTON STATEMENT TO FANS LETTER

Everton Majority Shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, has responded to the Everton Fans’ Forum following their open letter last week…

Dear Everton Fans’ Forum,

Thank you for your letter and also more importantly for everything you do for the Club.

As the majority shareholder and proud custodian of Everton, I have the utmost respect for the support of Evertonians. I am also fully aware and understand the concerns that fans may have.

I hope through my two open letters to fans in the last 12 months I have provided clarity on my position, commitment and the direction of the Club. I trust that you also agree that the Club operates a well-structured and ongoing dialogue with not only the Forum, but also the Fan Advisory Board, the Supporters’ Club Committees and the many other fan groups that form the most robust fan communication network of any Club in the Premier League.

In almost seven years since my arrival at the Club, I have significantly increased my investment and our new stadium has become reality. We regularly review our performance and initiate change where we feel that the Club falls short of standard. This has meant that we have seen turnover in managers, Directors of Football and several board members, but always as we have striven to achieve success. Whilst, in virtually every instance, change has been supported and encouraged by fans, stability must be the key to progression.

I have faith in the work being done not only by our manager, but our Director of Football and our board of directors. That faith is based on my knowledge of the depth and quality of work being done both at Finch Farm and the Royal Liver Building – and of the plan that is in place. I am confident that we have skilled, experienced and focused professionals at all levels of the Club. We are all agreed that our current league position must and will improve.

I welcome the plans for the Fan Advisory Board (FAB) to host a series of sessions with fans to gather feedback, thoughts and concerns – of which the Forum is a part. I can confirm representatives from the Club’s Board will engage with the FAB and meet with its designated representative to discuss the collated fan feedback as soon as possible following the completion of those scheduled sessions.

The focus of myself, the Club and the fans is aligned – a better Everton – and I am confident we can move forward in a constructive and positive manner.

Best wishes,

Farhad

Lampard insists he doesn’t need a public vote of confidence from the club’s owners to carry out his job.

He said: “I don’t need more. I said last week that I didn’t need reassurances and what I meant was public reassurances because I think they can be taken either way, if there is one or there isn’t one. As a football coach, I joined this club in a relegation battle, a lot of people were saying at the start of the season that I might be the manager that leaves first or favourite whatever these things are. I know in the Premier League you’re always one, two, three games away from the pressure.

“I think if you were to try and hang on words for reassurance, it’s the wrong way. All I need to do and all that’s expected of me it’s to keep focusing on the work and I understand our position.

“When we stayed up against Palace it was an amazing night for Everton Football Club but I went home and thought ‘well this is a start.’ The start was going to be tough and it’s going to be ‘ok, where do we build and keep building and keep building?’ and for us that probably meant staying around where we are in the league, I think that’s a reality, all I can focus on is working on to make sure we get better every day, every week if we can and get enough results to move us upwards.”

He added: “Myself and the players we have to be, me the first, that doesn’t get distracted by anything because this is a big game for us in terms of our league position, the points, what it would mean if can win the game. The fans have an absolute right to protest, that’s of course a very real right.

“I believe they’re coming early to welcome the players to the stadium, if they are then that’s great because we saw what a great help that was. Will they back the players on the pitch if they see passion, if they see Everton players that want to give everything for the shirt, which has happened a lot of times during my time at Goodison, in the last couple of games, no, but that’s our responsibility as well, will they be behind us if we show that, yes.

“From my point of view and the players’ point of view, our only thing right now at the moment is to have personal responsibility. Me and my job, the players and their job and we have to think about ourselves and performing and that’s my answer to it.

“If the fans see that in the game and they see that from Everton players and staff then I think they’ll react positively. The rest is their right.”

As mentioned, fans hit back hard over that ‘safety threat’ statement from the Everton board before the Southampton game…

@Getintothis: Everton’s Board are in an untenable situation now. Unsubstantiated claims against the fan base will only serve to increase division. Once again the Board have shot themselves in the foot. A very sad day for everyone connected with this great Club.

@Johncarroll_40: They’ve fucked it with that statement, they’ve turned it on the fans , it’s a PR spin gone wrong because fans now up in arms feeling they’ve been made scapegoats in Media, ive not seen one threat or violent act planned, it’s a sit in protest to get Moshiri to get rid of the board

@terrymcallister: They’ve actually tried to turn the media on the fanbase and portray them as a lynch mob. This is a PR blunder of incredible scale. Bill Kenwright’s position is now (finally) untenable at Everton Football Club.

@HowardParr3:
I want change at my club.
I don’t condone threats/violence… but the timing,tone and sentiment of this statement;
DEMONIZES Evertonians
DIVIDES the club
Further proves we need to #sacktheboard
UTFT 💙

@IAmStafford_: Shithouses. Lowest point in the clubs history for me this.

@MainManMina: Absolute disgrace, purely a PR stunt to portray the fans as villains

@manny_efc: It should have read “4 spare for today, boss views, can send pdf”

@Owens_EFC: Do you reckon any of them will have a “are we the baddies” moment at this point? I doubt competent club executives have “Real and credible threats to their safety and security” from their own fans.

@RoperCarl: Pathetic attempt to discredit a protest that all along has emphasised it being one that is peaceful. #AllTogetherNow.

@iphillips_efc: Fucking outrageous. The tide had unanimously turned against them, the protest today is of no threat to them whatsoever but they want to change the headlines. Lies.

@Andy_H_EFC: This is a new low. I don’t mean from the fans, I mean from the club. We all know what the narrative is they’re trying to peddle here. They’re trying to paint the fans who are going to protest as thugs. I don’t think we’ve ever sunk lower than this

@evertonspares:
They have decided they are not with us when the club needs us the most.
Nothing has changed at 3pm we need to be loud and proud behind the blues
#NSNO #AllTogetherNow 🔵🔵🔵

@pjturner81: Lot of friends are Everton fans the comparisons between the clubs a few years ago are too similar. Years of bad transfer & short term fixes. To see the Everton board blame the fans is disgusting.

@Darren1878nsno: This is complete and utter spin, turned the managerial decisions on the fans in mid week and now this. Bad bad day for Everton football club this

@RichLJones: Awful on all counts. Probably has been the odd arse who has threatened them and they should be punished severely but also a million miles from the sentiment of most fans & purpose/tone of today’s sit in. And will be used to castigate the 99.99% who are protesting in the right way

@Everton1878Ste: Bill using reverse psychology with the media to paint the fans out to be the bad guys is on another level of manipulation. They just need to go now.

@jmacca1878: Us vs Them. I’d put my last £ on there being no threats made to any board members. This is a peaceful protest from fans who are desperate for change! This stinks of a set up from a man desperate to cling on. Another script-written show. Don’t play into their hands!!

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