Everton released a statement two hours before kick-off confirming that the club’s board would not be attending the game because of a “real and credible threat to their safety and security”.
A short while afterwards certain journalists were briefed by a club source that chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale was “put in a headlock” as she left the director’s box following the Brighton game 11 days previously on January 3.
In a statement Merseyside Police say no incidents were reported before the game but that they are working with Everton to establish if any offences took place.
The Police are also aware of the footage showing some of the Everton players’ cars being chased after the game, but that no offences have been reported as yet.
The statement read:
We can confirm that Merseyside Police is liaising with Everton Football Club following alleged threats towards directors ahead of the Premier League fixture against Southampton on Saturday, 14 January.
No threats or incidents were reported to police prior to the game, but we are in communication with the club to establish if any offences have taken place, and to ensure that any future reports are received through existing channels.
Any threats reported to Merseyside Police would be assessed and investigated as a matter of course, and any appropriate safety measures implemented.
We are also aware of videos in circulation of fans approaching players’ cars as they made their way from Goodison Park after the match.
At this stage no offences have been reported.