by Rupert Insider
Over-the-hill Stanley Matthews (32) rumoured to be on his way from Stoke City to Blackpool for massive fee said to be ₤11,500.
Billy Liddell, Stanley Matthew’s Great Britain Xl teamate and Scottish International, now reported to be on a whopping ₤1,000 per annum at LFC, is said to have refused lucrative transfer offers in order to stay with “Liddlepool” despite its relegation to the Second Divison.
The January 2007 transfer window is six weeks a way. Already the rumours have begun.
Traffic on football websites usually increases in the “silly season”. Even the more outlandish rumours can be fun. As long as they’ve not been cynically planted to make money for a site owner.
THE WORST “SAUCE” OF RUMOR
So let’s start with that as a criteria. Which site charges for rumours about LFC?
There’s only one – Koptalk.
It’s the only site that claims to have “insider” information “direct from Anfield”. Smell a rat?
I’m not going to belabour the point. Go straight to the “Koptalk -Lies” or “Koptalk – Made Up Stuff” in the Categories column to the right of this page.
The scary thing about Koptalk is that its sole owner, Duncan Oldham (photo), depends on transfer rumour to pay for his Mercedes, high-tech toys, foreign holidays and property. If there was no news he would have to invent it – and he does.
Most of his traffic comes from News Now. He got his stuff unto that site years ago by paying a fee for his RSS feeds to be given preferential treatment ahead of other LFC sites.
That’s not that case now. So he has to use every other trick in the book to get his stories on the Top Stories list. Some of us suspect he is using a software programme to manipulate the News Now click counter.
There are a number of reasons why an LFC supporter might want to avoid clicking on Koptalk’s stories on News Now or anywhere else:
- His misleading headlines can be a pain in the arse. Like his recent “LFC player arrested…” which turns out to be Diouf who, in case you don’t know, plays for Bolton. He will say “midfield player has accident” instead of “Gonzales” to increase the mystery and get you to click. And, as in that story, he will claim that the news came from his sources at Melwood – rather than the news wires from where he stole it.
- If you click one one of his headlines you may also unwittingly help him break the boycott of the S*n. He is the only LFC-related site that uses their rubbish. But he doesn’t tell you where he got it. He’ll change a headline to disguise his source.
- He gets his genuine stories where you get them – from News Now – or from rival sites. You could get them from there quicker yourself if you cut out the middle-man. Oldham watches certain online sites like a hawk – the Liverpool Echo and Daily Post and LFC’s Official Site. He sometimes copies their stuff within minutes of it appearing online and has it on News Now as a Koptalk story five minutes later. Its money for old rope.
- Then there are his “editorials”. They’re what you might expect from a guy who rarely leaves the shed behind his Wallsend semi-detached. He doesn’t care if you think they’re rubbish. They’re just an excuse to make a misleading headline. Its the headline that attracts the News Now clicks, sucker!
- Koptalk’s “Insider” information used to be a mixture of posts from the users of his site and Oldham’s made-up stuff. Now its 99.99% made-up. That’s because 99.99% of his disillusioned users have left since this blog started in the summer. Some have admitted on this blog and on other sites that they meant no harm by their fake “insider” stories. In the hall-of-mirrors atmosphere of Koptalk it was a crazy game of make-believe.
- Almost all the remaining “insiders” on Koptalk are Oldham’s own psuedonyms. The most prominent are “Informer”, “Wallet” “Horse”. Even one of his most loyal followers, the poster “Disco 1999”, admitted on this blog that he believes that 90% of the “Informer” items are made-up by Oldham. But his con of pretending he had “insider” information has lost its impact since LFC stated in July 2006 that he has no contact with LFC and never has had.
As much as he needs clicks for cash – Oldham’s main prize are gullible newcomers – especially from overseas. When they follow a transfer rumour to his site he subjects them to a barrage of false and misleading claims to persuade them to pay him ₤30 membership for a year’s supply of the same.
He’s been employing these tricks for years. He knows how to push your buttons with an intriguing but false headline.
Just remember that evertime you click on one you are another of his “suckers” who just put another penny in his pocklet.
THE BEST “SAUCE” OF NEWS AND RUMOUR
The only other site that charges LFC fans is LFC’s Official Site. Its huge – one of the biggest in the world. It has more users than all the other sites put together. Much of the authentic LFC news appears first on the official site because it has privileged access to players and officials. But it also has an extensive news portal which is free. One “weakeness” of the Official Site is that it avoids some of the rumours.
As for the other unofficial sites – none them charge. None of them claim to have “insider” information even though some of them do have well-connected editors, writers and posters who have contacts with LFC players and officials .
Some have an editorial policy to suppress even true gossip about the private lives of LFC players and officials out of a “family” respect for their club. But links to the gossip usually get unto their forums, anyhow, posted by participants.
Which sites are the best for news, rumour and “inside” information? Please use Comments to make the case for your favourite.
I’ll set the ball rolling.
In terms of the mainstream media – I find the Liverpool Echo and Post the most up-to-date and trustworthy – with a bias towards Chris Bascombe in the Liverpool Echo. In terms of unofficial sites, I like Talk LFC and The Liverpool Way because they both make an effort to deal directly with players – even with reserve team players – as is the case with TLW. They won’t always quote them, but the background, off-the-record information they develop shows in the quality of their editorial comments.
Red and White Kop or “RAWK” is the largest of the unofficial sites. I trust its in-depth knowledge, closeness to the club and large number of LFC supporters – many of whom are based in Liverpool. In fact many of them are genuine”koptalkers” with season tickets on the Kop.
I scan other sites, too, for specific types of information, for banter and match day threads. All of them are busier than Koptalk. It claims to be No.1. But that’s another of its false rumours. Its actually closer to being No. 14.
Specialist LFC News Services
You can skip News Now by using one of several news aggregators that concentrate on LFC and edit out the S*n and Koptalk crap.
I’ve just been notified by email of a new news site – LFCpost.com The designer tells me he is “an avid reader of the blog”. He says he developed his news aggregator for his personal use as a supporter of LFC. He goes on to say that he’s beefed up the design, functionality and hosting to offer a specialist LFC news aggregator that does not include the S*n or Koptalk.
He claims it runs constantly and updates without page-refreshing and is interactive. It also appears to offer links to YouTube videos as well as print stories. He tells me he has lots of other ideas to enrichen it.
A selection of LFC Sites. Please let us know any we have missed. News aggregators are especially welcomed to send in links to me: rupertinsider AT gmail DOT com
Sites – Liverpool Football Club
- Anfield Online
- Anfield Red
- Anfield Road
- LFC – the “Official Site”
- LFC for life
- LFC History
- LFC Land
- LFC Online
- LFC Post
- LFCWire – news aggregator concentrating on LFC news only.
- Liverpool Football Club – Official Site
- Liverpool Videos
- Red all over the Land
- Red and White Kop
- Red Chill
- Shankly Gates
- Six Crazy Minutes
- Talk LFC
- The bOOTroom
- The Liverpool Way
- This is Anfield
- Through the Wind and the Rain
- Canada – Ontario
- Canada – Toronto
- New Zealand
- Queensland Reds
- South Africa
- Sweden – ISC – Swedish Branch
- USA – New York
Spoof Sites about Koptalk
* UPDATED 25/11/06 by Insider Insider – added a link to LFCWire, the new news aggregation service set up specifically to provide a news service to Liverpool supporters. LFCWire is planning a major update in the new year. Other news aggregation services are planned from other individuals for later this year or the new year.