By Keith Hackett

14th Jun, 2022 | 1:02pm

Ex-Fifa official: Everton have a 'problem' as 'huge' claim issued after police development

Everton have a “problem” with pitch invasions and it will not magically disappear in the 2022-23 season, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed the issues with smoke bombs are also here the stay for a “few more months”.

Sky Sports reported last week (6 June) that Merseyside Police had dropped their investigation into the pitch invasion after the win over Crystal Palace last month.

However, they are working with the club to combat the use of smoke bombs, flares and fireworks at Goodison Park.

“I was interested after all those events, Wales played an international game and the commentator said the stewards and the police were around the perimeter of the pitch,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“They issued a very public warning before the game and during it, that if you went on the pitch you would be arrested.

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“That strong pro-active approach is so important in preventing the escalation. The duty of care that the authorities have, including the clubs, is towards the players and the match officials.

“A spectator coming on the field on his own is something that can be managed. When you get a huge crowd and you’ve got players being assaulted and someone like Patrick Viera, who is not a small guy, has to defend himself, then you’ve got a problem.

“As far as smoke bombs are concerned, we’re going to see those for a few more months.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has issued a £183million Everton reveal after a ‘PR stunt’.