(Reuters) - Everton's board of directors have been advised not to attend their Premier League home game against Southampton later on Saturday due to a "real and credible threat to their safety and security", the club said.
Everton said that 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.
"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 security and safety advisor said.
Everton said it was an "unprecedented decision" for the 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," the club added.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)