by Rupert Insider
When Duncan Oldham was huffing and puffing in Montreal, I was talking to George Gillett jr. Our conversation(s) are private and I do not intend to quote him. However, the blog’s contributors and supporters are entitled to know that he is fully aware of the blog and is complimentary.
I think I speak for most of you when I say that we want to protect him from being tainted or distracted by Oldham and Koptalk.
So nothing I say should be construed as a direct quote from him. The words are mine. Indeed, I’ve already said most of it before. After all, Oldham’s tricks are pretty easy to read. At the same time, I would not saying anything now that contradicts anything I learned from our conversations.
So with one or two adjustments to details and emphasis, here is my summary of the now infamous Koptalk Konman’s Montreal Kaper.
Duncan Oldham worked hard to convince the more gullible members of his site that George Gillett invited him to Montreal, paid for his travel expenses, put him up in the same hotel he uses, begged him to stay-on for as long as he liked and did all of this as an expression of his especial support for Koptalk and friendship with Oldham.
That entire proposition is a lie in all its constituent parts and in its totality.
Oldham also claimed that George Gillett caused two complimentary tickets to the Montreal v Toronto game be reserved for his party.
That claim is true.
There is an apparent conflict between these two facts. It is explained by the time-line.
The offer of tickets came first. It came before the two new owners of LFC had an offer of 75% of the shares. Rick Parry explained publicly that Tom Hicks and George Gillett did not want to appear as though they presumed they were already the owners, because they were not. One of the consequences of this was that they could not pick up the phone to LFC’s executive or staff or the Official Site to check on minor matters such as the series of pestering emails they were getting from a certain Duncan Oldham.
Essentially, he claimed that he represented thousands of members of the No. 1 LFC website which he described as a major UK media organisation. In his emails to George Gillett’s office he claimed that, on behalf of all these LFC supporters, he intended to visit Montreal in about a month.
I don’t know if Oldham realizes, but George Gillett’s office is not in Montreal, its thousands of miles to the south west, in Denver, Colorado. But Oldham said he was going to Montreal – the home of the Habs hockey team. He focussed on the Montreal v Toronto clash.
Its one of the hottest competitions on the calendar. It was sold-out a long time ago. Not wishing to disappoint Liverpool supporters who would be arriving in the cold Montreal winter from such a long distance and at such great cost to themselves, and not realizing that Oldham’s claims about who he represented were false, George Gillett reached into the entitlement of tickets that are always held in reserve and arranged for two of them to be picked up at the front office. This was a typically generous act he has performed many times before. It was a public relations gesture by the owner of the Montreal Canadiens – not by the owner of LFC.
When Oldham got the confirmation of the tickets he made his big announcement. That’s when the blog opened up its line of communications with George Gillett’s office in Denver. I telephoned and wrote to inform him about Oldham and sent copies to Rick Parry and Ian Cotton and others. As a result of my representations and those from elsewhere, the Denver office told Oldham several times in no uncertain terms to cease and desist from his exaggerated claims and to stop trying to involve them in his publicity stunt (my words).
At that point Oldham began making noises on his site about how the blog had ruined it for all LFC supporter sites.
When Oldham set-off from Newcastle for Montreal last week he never announced where he was going – which was a strange omission from someone who had allegedly pulled off such a public relations coup. In fact he was worried that the cold shoulder he was getting from Denver would mean that when he arrived in Montreal the door would be slammed in his face. It was then he started fashioning Plan B in his Koptalk writings.
Plan B was both a threat and a defence. He began to say that George Gillett would get no special treatment from him on Koptalk. He would check him out in Montreal. If he did not measure up to Oldham’s high standards then he would let everyone know. That was the threat – such as it was. The defence was that if the door was slammed in his face it would be because he insisted on being an independent critic who could not be bought.
We don’t know what Oldham would have actually done if the tickets were not waiting. I think its likely that he would have paid over-the-odds for tickets which are easily available from scalpers in the street outside the Bell Center and then brazened it out. He would claim that the tickets were the original ones offered by George Gillett.
As it happens, he did not have to. The tickets, once committed, were not withdrawn. That would not have been George’s style. But Oldham was not given an opportunity to video them being presented. Instead he set up a scene on the street in which he instructed his manservant to open the envelope.
Oldham asked for and was given a brief tour of the arena. The hospitality department did not know about the cold shoulder correspondence from the Denver office. Why should they? The Montreal Canadiens organisation has nothing to do with LFC. The man from media relations – not George Gillett’s “headman in Montreal” as Oldham had previously claimed but someone who had worked there five years before George Gillett bought the franchise – was assigned the job because Oldham claimed he was the owner of a major media organisation in the UK come to report on the game. That’s why he was shown the press gallery. When Oldham claimed on the video that he had been invited over by George Gillett, his French-Canadian guide could only listen in polite disbelief not aware that he was being set up for a publicity stunt.
When he got the tickets, Oldhams’ relief was palpable. He dropped all pretence of being on an independent fact-finding mission and gushed about what a great friend George was.
Photo: Duncan Oldham, Gushing in Montreal
But how much did those free tickets actually cost Oldham? He has claimed on his site that his mother was in the party of three. Even if we count it as a party of two, the cost of the airline tickets, hotels and incidentals – is probably in excess of £3,000.
But the true cost is higher than that. The entire con ruined any chance he had of changing his pariah status at LFC. His taking unfair advantage of the generosity of one of the new owners will never be forgotten. His and his site’s reputation at LFC is now lower than it ever was before – and that’s saying something.
And all this for tickets to a hockey game he didn’t think worth videoing!
There is not a single frame of the action in the 6 videos he published. In the Koptalk Shout Box, he explains it away by claiming his readers would not be interested. And the editor of a so-called major media outlet in the UK did not report to his readers the name of a single player, a single move in the match or even the score.
So it’s true he managed to blag himself a ticket to a Montreal Canadiens game by lying about who he represented but in ten years of trying he has never managed to cross the threshold of Anfield, Melwood or the Academy, and never will.
Regular readers will know how the blog and its contributors put a stop to similar false claims involving LFC.
Last summer he claimed that Rick Parry had invited him to Anfield for a meeting because Oldham had something Parry wanted. Oldham told us that he would keep Rick waiting until he was good and ready and, in any case, would use the situation to extract something from Parry that Oldham wanted. He also claimed that Rick Parry’ was one of Koptalk’s main sources of information, as was Parry’s son.
It was the kind of Big Lie on which he had thrived for years. Everyone would discuss the pros and cons but nobody would check it out. Meanwhile he would pick up the ad revenues from the hits. Before the blog came along, he would run with lies like that for months or years.
But we quickly established that Rick Parry has never had contact of any kind with Oldham and had no intention ever to do so. We established the same with respect to Ian Cotton, Head of Press and others at Anfield. Needless to say, there was no meeting at Anfield and Oldham moved unto other lies.
We did this by going straight to the top. That’s how the blog operates. Time has proven our claims to be true and Oldham’s to be false.