by Rupert Insider
These are the Keystone Kops. Their job is to find kracked and krooked keystones.
As you know, a keystone is defined as the wedge-shaped piece at the summit of an arch, regarded as holding the other pieces in place.
If a kracked keystone gives-way, the whole she-bang collapses.
That claim has been central to the site’s structure for more than seven years.
Oldham understood better than anyone else the importance of the keystone. He reinforced it continuously. In all those years, barely a day went by when he did not insinuate that he was the recipient of a new juicy morsel of inside news.
In the beginning he hinted he got it from three ex-players to whom he paid a very small royalty for use of part of their syndicated columns, or from the 17 year-old Irish apprentice he attached himself to until the club put a stop to it.
But in time he realised that it wasn’t necessary to go to any expense or trouble. He stopped paying for information. Instead he started charging for it.
The Big Lie Technique
He had discovered that the Big Lie technique is very powerful when an audience wants to believe. So he just stayed in bed and made it up – first in Scarborough and then in Wallsend.
At first he relied entirely on hints. For example, one of his sources is supposed to be a member of the board of directors publicly known to be in conflict with other members and interested in buying control of the club – a pretty broad hint about Steve Morgan. He would cite this unamed director when publishing “inside” information about boardroom politics or potential investment in the club. Except it was never more than inaccurate speculation by someone who clearly does not understand even the basic terms associated with investment. And Oldham doesn’t know Steve Morgan and wouldn’t be able to contact him even if he tried.
He would also refer to Rick Parry, Executive Director, as “the wallet” and follow up with a report from a mysterious poster whose user-name was “wallet”.
But as the years rolled by and the money rolled in and he got away with it, he grew bolder. Why bother with the precaution of a hint – why not just name names? So his informants became explicitly Rick Parry, Executive Director and Ian Cotton, Head of Press.
As recently as July he claimed that the Executive Director wanted Oldham to come to a meeting at Anfield to discuss something that Oldham had that Parry badly wanted. Oldham said he would use the occasion to get from him something he wanted. But he would make Parry wait until he was good and ready.
Advertising the Keystone
To reinforce the keystone of his site, he plastered it with “Official News from Anfield” banners and his Google tags referrred to it as the “Official Koptalk Site” and every item of news or rumor and his so-called “editorials” (all of which were linked from News Now and other newsfeed services) were underlined in large, bold, red caps with EXCLUSIVE NEWS AND WHISPERS FROM INSIDE ANFIELD, MELWOOD AND THE ACADEMY
Until three weeks ago, that is.
So what happened three weeks ago?
Well, in June the keystone kops arrived in a Blog – which is what they called their jerky jalopy. They suspected that the koptalk keystone was krooked.
In the course of their enquiries they took statements from LFC. They were told in writing from the Executive Director that he had never met with or communicated with Oldham and never would – and were told the same by Ian Cotton, Head of Press. They were reassured in interviews by senior officials that Oldham had no access whatsoever to the club.
As for his claims, repeated again in July, that the LFC Official Site had several times tried to hire him but he would never move “to the other side” – the keystone kops referred those claims to senior officials at the club. Their response was emphatic. Oldham was not the sort of person the club would even consider hiring.
Oldham’s response makes for an interesting study on how not to act when you are discovered to have been telling whoppers for years.
First he ranted that the contributors to the blog were “loons” – well that was the mildest of the 25 affectionate epithets he called them.
Then he said that the loons had never communicated with the club, and if they had, and if the club had responded, it was because the loons had misled the club.
He would put the record straight by calling Ian Cotton right then and there. A few hours later, early in the morning when only Australians were surfing, he reported back triumphantly. It was just as he thought – Cotton had confirmed on the telephone that he had never made the statements attributed to him by the Blog!
Oh dear! The keystone kops may be kooky but they leave no stone unturned – especially keystones – and they followed up their enquiries at LFC to show the club the transcripts of his remarks. The official in question confirmed that Oldham had still never had a conversation with Ian Cotton – his claim on KT was yet another barefaced lie!
But Oldham was not done yet. He made a big announcement that following hours of meeting with “the suits” he had arranged for “official Koptalk representation” at all games in the 2006-2007 season, and at all training sessions, press-conferences and all events at the club such as the unveiling of kit and new players.
He tied this announcement to his alleged hiring of a well-known Liverpool sports photographer and he mentioned the costs of image rights to be 12,000 pounds annually.
The photographer and his agency would henceforward be known as the “Koptalk photographer”. And to prove it, Oldham published a photograph from his agency showing Parry and Rafa looking at a text message.
True to form, Oldham had doctored the photo to place a black bar over the eyes of a man standing behind to suggest his identity had to be protected because he was one of KT informers.
In BB years (Before Blog) he may have got away with it. But the keystone kops analysed his claims in the blog, discussed them directly with LFC and wrote to the photographer in question. The photographer did not reply. But suffice to say that he does not supply photos to KT and Oldham has stopped claiming he does.
And Oldham is still excluded from all events at LFC, except public matches – which he prefers to watch on TV in his Portakabin in Wallsend, despite his claims to have bought a season ticket.
By July, LFC had issued Oldham with a demolition order. He was to remove from around his keystone all the grouting he had nicked from their yard.
He was to stop pretending to be “official”, or to claim to have access to the club or contact with LFC directors and employees or to be in possession of “exclusive” news from inside the club, or to continue to rip-off the Official Site of the photographs, videos, articles, the Rick Parry column and the Rafa column and interviews with players. He had been stealing this stuff from the club for years and selling it to members of his Insider and Gold Club.
Now Oldham was really mad – or scared! He threatend to talk to the “top brass” at the club about the “officials” who were making it difficult for him. Furthermore, he would now bring forward the publication date of his book to expose them to the world.
Of course he won’t – it would be too much like hard work and it will cost him money.
Instead he started complying with the LFC warning – removing the “official” and “exclusive” banners, omitting the stolen content, or most of it, even admitting that “I do not have a direct line to Parry’s office” and anyone who had believed he had was stupid.
So take that all you who believed his keystone claims and paid for the inside information that never was!
Oldham has not mentioned on KT that if he does not comply with the LFC warning he might be looking at some very embarrassing public denunciations from the club, as well as heavy legal fees and damages.
The “Local Media”
An important part of the Koptalk keystone was his alleged relationship with the local media.
He could not deny that the likes of Chris Bascombe of the Liverpool Echo enjoy a good reputation among supporters. So he tried to profit from it. First he stole their stories and presented them as Insider “exclusives” which also happened to be “confirmed by the local media”. Then he hinted that the reporters were also part of his Gold Club – his informants.
The keystone kops kooled that one. They spoke directly with Chris Bascombe. His response was “Koptalk? Is that still around? I thought it was closed down years ago”. And he sent the Blog an excerpt from an article he wrote in October 2001 in which he accused KT of an outrageous lie about Robbie Fowler.
The Big Question
This is a a summary, so I’m not going to list all the lies Oldham has told and all the deceptions he has used to make money. If readers are familiar with KT they already know the golden oldies. If they are regular readers of this blog they have seen his lies patiently unpicked on an almost daily basis by Insider who wanted to show the pattern – to demonstrate the techniques. And through his analysis we have seen that there is virtually nothing Oldham won’t lie about – however important or however trivial. He even lies about his name and his address.
So the question for today is – why was he allowed to get away with it for over seven years? Why did people pay him money? Why did those who did not pay him money support his site, suck up to him and allow him to besmirch the reputation of the club and bully and rip-off its supporters?
One answer might be found in the posts in the Insider and Gold Club in July and August from those who objected to the Blog’s revelations.
After parroting Oldham’s line that the Blog was jealous of Oldham’s success, they then took to parroting his line that the keystone kops had never communicated with the club and the club had never disassociated from him. And when that was proven false they parroted his line that Parry and Cotton and Bascombe and all the others had to deny involvement for “political” reasons.
That explanation is revealing. Why would it be “politically” harmful for all these worthy gentleman to be associated with the “World’s No. 1 Sports Site” and the “No.1 Site for LFC supporters”?
And if it would be politically harmful why would they risk their jobs, their professional relationships, their sources of information and their very reputations in order to provide a spiv from Yorkshire with snippets of exclusive information so he could sell it for up to 30 pounds to a few hundred anonymous people logging in from all around the world?
Those who still participate in the KT Gold Club and Insider or on the Free Forums might do a reality check from time to time and ask themselves if they are floating in North Africa on “de Nile”.
There are many good sites – based on truth, not lies, where the posters can communicate with each other freely without the overbearing presence of a money-grubber. Some of them are listed on the right of this page.
The keystone kops did not need a sledgehammer to krack the Koptalk keystone – they just asked a few simple questions.
Others can check our results independently by asking the same questions.
Oldham has his work cut out to keep the keystone in place. There’s no doubt it is kracked. Pieces of grouting are falling and the entire Koptalk structure has become unstable.
Is the damage structural or superficial? Let’s have a look.
To be continued – Blog that! – Part 3
For a moving demonstration of how a keystone works and in acknowledgement of the artwork above, go here: