By Alan Hutton

30th Jun, 2021 | 7:00am

Pundit makes 'shocking' Everton claim after statement via Sky

Alan Hutton has slammed the “toxic” reaction to Rafael Benitez’s prospective appointment as Everton manager.

The former Premier League defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested a small minority of fans had overstepped the line with their behaviour. 

As confirmed in a statement relayed by Sky Sports on Monday (June 28th), Merseyside Police are investigating a threatening banner thought to be aimed at Benitez.

The homemade banner, which read ‘We know where you live, don’t sign’ was reportedly hung close to the Spaniard’s family home in Wirral.

As revealed by Football Insider on June 27th, there are only some formalities to be tied up before Benitez is appointed.

Supporters previously protested his impending arrival with expletive-laden banners at Goodison Park.

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Hutton admitted he had questioned the former Liverpool manager’s potential appointment due to his Anfield connections.

However, he claimed fans had crossed a line.

Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “You can have your own opinion and say how you feel but there’s a line.

“You can’t be saying what they’re saying with banners. Some of the stuff being reported is shocking.

“The minority gives a bad name to the rest of the support. Whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. If you like it, you don’t like it, whatever. There is a line and you can’t cross that. It’s too much.

“The thing is, these rivalries, people can underestimate them. Their memories are long. They remember a lot of things that have been said in the past and things that are coming back now.

“I did question the appointment. I think he’s a fantastic manager, I think he’d go in there and do a really good job.

“But when you’ve got that sort of baggage, it’s always going to be difficult. Your first bad defeat or you have a poor start to the league, it’s toxic. That’s what you have to deal with.”

In other news, Everton submit big-money offer to star who had bust-up last term.