Everton CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale was put in a headlock by a fan

Everton’s chief executive officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale was put in a headlock by a fan after a recent home game.

The Everton board will not be present at their game against Southampton on Saturday due to a threat to their safety.

The decision comes, according to an Everton source who was asked not to be named for their safety, after Barrett-Baxendale also fell victim to sexually aggressive comments and emails saying they hoped she and her son would develop cancer. Her car was also surrounded after a recent game, with fans hammering on the side.

Chairman Bill Kenwright was also told in emails that he would not leave Liverpool alive.

A guardrail was also thrown through the glass at Goodison Park after a match.

This is the first time in the club’s history that the entire Everton board, who will watch the game together from a distance, have been told not to attend a game.

A statement from Everton read: “Chairman Bill Kenwright, CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale, chief finance and strategy officer Grant Ingles and non-executive director Graeme Sharp have reluctantly accepted the outcome of the security review conducted by security consultants.

“The board members were instructed following malicious and unacceptably threatening correspondence received by the club and increasing incidents of anti-social behavior – including targeted physical assault – during recent home games.”

An Everton security and safety adviser said: “Following a thorough risk assessment and in response to tangible threats received by the club and information we have gathered, the club’s board members have been told they are not allowed to attend today’s game to attend.”

A club spokesman added: “This is an unprecedented decision for Everton Football Club – never before has our entire board of directors been ordered not to attend a game for safety reasons. It is a deeply sad day for Everton and Evertonians.”

Fans have planned a post-match sit-in protest due to Everton’s situation. They are 18th in the Premier League and have not won a game since October 22.

The group behind the protest condemned the abuse directed at the board, writing: “Everyone involved in our campaign and indeed every reasonable Evertonian utterly and fully condemns any threats made against any Everton employee and/or officers and directors of the club.”

Video on social media showed fireworks being set off outside the hotel in Southampton early Saturday morning.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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