“I thought Koptalk was closed down years ago” – Chris Bascombe, Liverpool Echo
by Rupert Insider
9th August 2006
If you are a supporter of Liverpool Football Club, you probably know Chris Bascombe. He writes for the Liverpool Echo. One of the most common phrases you read on net forums in periods of intense rumour and counter-rumour, is: “What does Chris Bascombe say?”For many he is the gold standard of journalism as far as LFC goes. He is known to be close to the club, by virtue of his job, but not so close as to be dependent. He has even been known to be critical. For example, he has written of his disgust at how he and many others were manipulated by Gerard Houllier over certain issues, especially about Robbie Fowler. But that’s another story.
He is of interest to this blog because Duncan Oldham used to claim – prior to October 2001 – that he provided “inside” information to Chris Bascombe and received information from him.
That all changed when Chris Bascombe wrote an article in the Pink Edition of the Football Echo in October 2001 dismissing KopTalk and its outrageous lie about Fowler.
” Robbie only has to breathe these days and someone, somewhere is writing about him. This week when Robbie wasn’t even playing we saw another example of how, more than any other player, he is the target of rumour.
I was sent an article in by a reader which appeared on an unofficial website, which I won’t name because it doesn’t deserve the free ad it probably wants (ok I will. Apparently it’s called Koptalk or Kopchat or something like that). They wrote an outrageous lie which dared to suggest that Robbie’s absence on Tuesday wasn’t because he was ill.
As Robbie explained, “I woke up on Tuesday and felt really lousy and light-headed. I was about to come into training in the afternoon and I called the doc. The doctor came around to my house examined me and told me to go back to bed.”
The story that Bascombe alluded to was a report by Oldham that Fowler had missed training because of a hangover. In fact, it turneddout that he had a very serious chest infection.
Oldham was furious, not so much because a respected journalist had called him a liar, but because he had been vague about the name of the site and the “look what the cat borught in” tone of his references to it.Oldham responded by establishing the domain “kopchat.com” to benefit from any enquiries that the Bascombe reference generated. He also responded on Koptalk several times. He claimed that Bascombe had been deliberately vague in order to deny him publicity. He proceeded to insult him in other ways that should be familiar to those of you who read my frequent updates of the long list of names Oldham calls those who disagree with him.
From that time on, Oldham pretended he did not know Bascombe’s name or who he was – and even today – five years later – when he steals Bascombe’s stories from the online version of the Liverpool Echo and Daily Post, he does not acknowledge the source or the author. Instead he claims that it is from his own exclusive sources “as confirmed by the local media”.
Given this stand-off, how would Oldham continue to profit from his pre-2001 pretence that he and Bascombe were “colleagues” and “confidants” swapping “inside” information?
Well you should know how. He would insinuate it. You’ve seen all his references as to how he picks up snippets from journalists in a pub, and how various journalists keep him posted about press conferences and events at Anfield and Melwood. He would also insinuate that Chris was a member of the Koptalk Gold Club. He would not correct the assumption of many in the Gold Club, that the poster “Lecter” was none other than Chris Bascombe.
In this blog we encourage people to puncture Oldham’s con by communicating directly with the club, with players and with journalists whom he says or implies or part of his shadowy world.
So yesterday I wrote to Chris Bascombe. I received a quick reply and an invitation to telephone and today we had a long chat.
Chris Bascombe’s first words to me speak volumes: “Koptalk? Is that still around? I thought it was closed down years ago”.
Need I say more?
Since I sent my letter, Chris has read the blog and wants to be kept informed. It was good to chat with him about the issues touched on in the blog especially those of which he has first-hand knowledge. I don’t want to detail all our discussions but can summarize them as being that he appreciated the opportunity the blog has given him to put the record straight and he will be following the blog actively.
In the meantime, he is aware that some of the contributors have been searching for his now famous “Kop Chat” reference and he will look it up and send it in. And by the way, it was deliberate!