by Rupert Insider
(Duncan Oldham mocking the blog on video-cam – May 2007. Click to enlarge).
UPDATED 11th June 2007
Welcome to the blog! This is a summary of its main issues. It cannot do full justice to its 700 articles and almost 10,000 comments. But it’s a good introduction. If you want to know more, visit the other pages on the tool bar at the top of the page. They deal with single issues in more depth. And if you want even more than that, scroll back through some of the articles and comments or use the search feature with key words that most interest you.
The Blog started in its original experimental form in March, 2006. It was a one-man operation by Insider Insider (II). It has never taken in any form of revenue. All the contributors are volunteers.
Its readership grew spontaneously without advertising. But a critical-mass did not develop until the beginning of June 2006. Effectively, the Blog started then.
I discovered the Blog when Oldham made several contemptuous references on his free forums to the “numpties” who were writing about him. He claimed it did not bother him: on the contrary, it brought him valuable publicity and helped make him what he calls a “Category ‘A’ internet personality”.
He would not name the blog on KT and banned anyone who did. He disabled Private Messages and Profiles and Email features to prevent the blog being discussed behind his back and blocked links to the blog’s server “Word Press” and “@” – eventually blocking all links – but he made frequent, indirect references to it. It was always on his mind.
For example, whenever he let slip an oafish remark – and then realised it might be controversial – he took to saying – “Blog that!”.
So we did!
(Photo: Duncan Oldham May 2007, taken from his own video of himself drinking while driving around Wallsend muttering about the blog. Be sure to click to enlarge and look at his eyes!).
Different contributors to the blog object to different aspects of Oldham and KT.
A common objection is to his central claim- the backbone of his business plan – that he has privileged and exclusive access to LFC and is a trusted confidant of directors, senior executives, managers, players. It was encapsulated in the red banner he placed on the front page of his site and on every page of his “news section”.
EXCLUSIVE NEWS AND WHISPERS FROM INSIDE ANFIELD, MELWOOD AND THE ACADEMY.
LFC have stated his claims are false and he has never had a significant exchange with anyone at the club and never been allowed entrance to any of its facilities or private events.
Others object to his “Insider” fraud that began in 1998 and continues to the present. He pretends that “insiders” at LFC adopt a variety of pseudonyms in order to conceal that it is they who are providing him privileged information to sell. His principal pseudonyms are “Informer”, “Anfield Mole”, “Guru”, “Wallet” and “Horse”. _________________________________________________________
Others objected mainly to his flippant remarks and disrespect for the Hillsborough 96, his attempts to undermine the boycott of the S** and his advertising the S** on his site.
Most object to his selling of fake LFC memorabilia – shirts and balls with forged signatures of LFC players and fake certificates of authenticity signed by himself or his partner, the then 16 year old Steve MacNeish. He offered the fake merchandise from his online store and also as special promotions from his Home Page and on E-bay auctions under the guise of raising money for charity.
To boost his unlicensed sales from his online store he promised to make a donation of 5% of revenues to the Hillsborough 96 and a donation to the same cause for every copy of his proposed book “Anfield Exposed”, but he has never provided an accounting of any money going to that cause or any other.
(Photo: Steve MacNeish in 2006 when 17 at a “children’s charity” event on behalf of KopTalk sitting next to “RichT” from York one of KT’s prolific posters and moderators. A that time MacNeish was signing his name “Steve Oldham” . In June 2007, Oldham claimed that he “treats him like a brother because that’s how he sees him”. But he’s not. He is someone who Oldham co-opted to work on KopTalk when he was nine years of age. Oldham now says he is his “gofer” . In extravagant emotional terms he claims he could not continue without him, even though he is “dense”. MacNeish is Community Director and a Moderator and Administrator at KopTalk).
Oldham frequently describes himself as an organizer of children’s charities, but this is no more than a cynical form of self-promotion. None of the charities are registered and he mixes donations with his personal and business revenues, and in general fails all the normal standards of transparency and accountabilty required by law.
The most notorious case involved a charity for Lauren Forsyth, a teenager whom Oldham describes as a cousin and a LFC supporter. He exploited the generosity of LFC supporters by labelling it a “YNWA appeal”. He begged for money for her health care and the remodelling of part of her home. But both those items were already being paid for by public authorities. As the money started to come in he then begged for money for other items and to pay off her parents’ mortgage. He used the charity as justification for selling and raffling LFC tickets and LFC memorabilia (some of it fake) for exorbitant profits.
He did not register the charity, as required by law, or observe any of the required accounting or reporting procedures. He never gave the name of the bank handling it. He appeared to mingle the money with his personal and business revenues and expenditures.
(Page from the special web site he set up for the appeal asking for donations to be sent to him, preferably by PayPal. But the appeal was conducted mainly from Koptalk.com. On Koptalk he initially directed donations be made to him but then directed that they be made payable to his mother, Jeannette Oldham. He set monthly appeal targets on KopTalk and once published a list of all members who had not donated. Some who donated have reported they did not receive receipts).
He launched the appeal early in 2005 and kept it going until the middle of 2006 when this blog arrived on the scene and began to ask questions.
The Charity Commissioners confirmed to the blog that the charity was not registered and recommended that the police be informed. Oldham closed the special appeal site suddenly without explanation when an occasional contributor to the blog reported on the blog that he had made a complaint by telephone to the police in Staffordshire (Oldham did not live in Staffordshire). He made some secondary reference to the Wallsend police.
On the day he launched the appeal Oldham said he could not make a donation because he was unwaged and had no money. After the launch he bought a later model of his Mercedes Sports Convertible, bought other vehicles and an array of high tech equipment, went on several foreign trips and claimed to be in the market for and the actual owner of several properties in the UK and abroad.
In October 2005, for example, he paid £93,000 for No 1 St Oswald’s Road, Wallsend and in February 2006 built a 27 ft KopTalk HQ alongside the new house.
To deceive enquirers, he claimed he built the HQ in the garden of his official address at 5 Swan Avenue, Wallsend which he bought in 2002. He also claimed to have paid for his mother’s house in 2002 at No 1 Swan Avenue.
He took over Koptalk in 1998 claiming to be unwaged and poor. He has continued to say right up until 2007 that he is unwaged that Koptalk is a hobby or selfless service for others and that any revenues are ploughed back into the site.
He also claims that Steve MacNeish – a close friend – works 17 hours a day 7 days a week on Koptalk is also unwaged.
(KT HQ at 1 St. Oswald’s Road).
(KT and Lauren appeal office in Jeannette Oldham’s house 1 Swan Avenue)
(Oldham’s Mercedes outside his official address at No 5 Swan Avenue)
Others objected to his calculated practice of double-dipping into the PayPal accounts of members by fooling them into paying twice. He does this by causing an automatic renewal mechanism to be placed on their account and, at the same time, sending them a separate invoice. He also overcharges and charges for memberships they don’t want. He will sometimes double dip and overcharge for years. If they don’t notice he doesn’t tell them.
Many former and current members of KopTalk object to KopTalk’s crude censorship including his instant deletion of any post that he considers to be an awkward question or that contains references to LFC sites and they object to his banning of the member who made the post and refusal to refund the membership fee. He says it is his own personal website and anyone who does not like his behaviour can “fuck off”.
Others object to his shady business practices, such as using competitions to promote his website and then failing to announce the winners or to deliver the prizes, or awarding the prizes to his own aliases.
Many objected to his unfair methods of undermining sites set-up by genuine LFC supporters including his squatting on their domain names and re-directing traffic meant for them to his owns sites and leaving a picture of his “pie man” trade mark, his ridicule of them as “jealous rivals” and his nonsense claims that KT is award-winning and that it has been voted the World’s No. 1 Sports Site and the No.1 LFC site.
Some objected to his dominance of the Football-Liverpool section of the national news aggregator News Now first by paying a fee so that his links would be given high priority and the links of his “rivals” low priority, then by his manipulation of the hit-counter on News Now to propel his stories to the top where they got extra long and more prominent exposure, and his flooding News Now with articles stolen from his “rivals”, the LFC Official Site, the Liverpool Echo, the S*n and elsewhere and, in general, his use of sensationalist and misleading headlines to generate hits and promote his false claim that he has “Insider” information.
(News Now banned KopTalk on 5th January 2007 as a result of the blog’s exposé and KopTalk lost an estimated cumulative 2.5 million hits a month from that source. KT dropped in the ALEXA traffic rankings among LFC sites from about 4th or 6th in March 2006 to about 12th or 15th in June 2007).
Some object to the very concept of the book he said he was writing in 2003 – “Anfield Exposed” – and to the fact that he has been taking deposits on advance orders for four years without writing a word of it. In 2007 he admitted that he would not publish because of pressure from this blog, but would refund the deposits only if the depositors sent in a claim for their money. The implication is he has no record of the deposits.
(Photo: Katrina Cushnahan (17) known as “Katie” on KopTalk- who is a niece of Oldham’s mother – which could mean anything in Oldham’s kinship system. She lives in Scarborough, Yorkshire. She is a Moderator of the Gold Club who deletes awkward questions, and links to the blog and other LFC sites , she also helps mislead members as to Oldham’s whereabouts. She spends much of her time in the chat box making coquettish remarks to strangers some of whom are twice her age. She is one of the group of KT family retainers who uses the six KT computers and their own to churn hits in order to artificially boost the KT ALEXA traffic stats).
In the past many objected to Oldham’s constant creation of new categories in the hierarchy of KopTalk membership, as an excuse for charging additional fees.
But on 5th September 2006 he closed the free forums and the “Insider” and the “VIP” and the “Silver Club” and the premium-rated telephone lines for “Transfer News Updates” and the paid SMS service and the reduced-price or free “Lifetime” and “Honorary” classes.
This decision was forced on him when about 70% of his paying or honorary members quit his site and thousands quit his free forums partly as a result of this blog’s exposé. He reduced his site to one “service” which was to be the Gold Club at £30 a year (£20 if paid in cash with no questions asked). He does not charge VAT even though he claims to make enough sales to trigger the threshold. All the other unofficial LFC sites (35 or more in the UK and 25 or more overseas) are free. The only other site that charges is the LFC Official Site – which is a genuine award winner and was voted a No.1 site in 2007. Its content is incomparably superior to KopTalk’s for about the same price but with the addition of VAT.
The content of KopTalk was always articles, photos, videos and news which Oldham lifted wholesale, without permission or attribution, from the LFC Official Site, the Liverpool Echo, the Press Association, various unofficial LFC sites or other media, usually disguising the original source and claiming it was KT material. Since the blog has brought these practices to their attention, some of the owners of the copyrighted material have sent Oldham cease and desist orders. As a result the volume of stolen material is currently less than it was a year ago but still represents the bulk of KopTalk’s content. Essentially KopTalk charges membership for stolen material that members could easily get legitimately from the original sources and it sells “services” provided free to KopTalk by its members such as links to streaming videos (some of them illegal) , rumours and gossip.
Some object to his recurring personal attacks on the owners of LFC, and on its senior officials because they have rejected his approaches and not allowed him near LFC.
Others are disgusted by his name-calling and malicious gossip about certain players especially his organised campaign of defamation against Robbie Fowler and his family. He justified it in a so-called editorial in 2002 by saying that by picking on one player at time he was able to create enough controversy to drive his hits on his forums to 2 million a month and 10 million for his site as a whole.
(Photo: Steve MacNeish (17) in Athens in 2007 with what he claimed was his ticket for the UEFA Final. The next day he appeared on national TV (ITN) claiming to be 19 and to be representative of genuine LFC fans who arrived without a ticket but with £600 to buy one. Under Oldham’s direction by mobile phone, he used his appearance to advertise KopTalk).
Some object to Oldham’s schemes to rip-off major LFC events such as the UEFA Cup Final in Athens when he urged LFC fans to show up without tickets “to get drunk and soak up the atmosphere”, then sold them over-priced charter seats for a commission, then sent his “gofers” to tout tickets in Athens for profit.
Some object to his year-round ticket touting including the two LFC and two Newcastle United season tickets under his control.
Some objected in 2007 to his squatting on eight domain names of Kop Football Ltd., which is the UK company of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, his starting a website on one of them, Kopfootball.com, and his false claims that it is patronised by the owners.
They object to his false claims that the two owners had invited him and hosted him in Montreal and Dallas and took him into their confidence about their plans for the club and asked him to find them a new CEO, and to his false claims that George Gillett is a member of his site.
(The owners informed the blog that his claims were false. George Gillett ordered him to cease and desist as early as February 2007 and in May cancelled any dormant membership in KT he may have unwittingly accepted when Oldham first forced his attentions on him before he was owner. Tom Hicks is also taking steps to stop Oldham’s many false claims about his brief meeting with him. Oldham was a stranger who showed up uninvited asking for a photo and falsely claiming to represent thousands fans and the No1 LFC site.
(Photo: Charlotte Oldham who Oldham claimed turned 14 in the spring of 2007. He has featured her on his site since she was 8. He claims she is in charge of the Kop Kids feature, a Moderator and Administrator of the entire site and the Editor of the website, Kopfootball.com).
Some object to his using his two children of 14 and 8 years to promote his site, using their login names to put self-serving words in their mouths, and his practice of many years of hiding behind his children by claiming that critics who target his business practices are attacking his children.
Some object to his repeated out-of-context references to child sex on his KopTalk website, podcasts and internet broadcasts.
They object to a man who has a documented history of using the internet, and especially football groups, to advertise for male sex partners and paying sex clients and for participants in his home-made pornographic videos, and who is the creator and sole-owner in January 2007 of a new commercial pornographic site for football fans which he promoted and linked to from KopTalk, and who was investigated by Trading Standards as “Del Johnson” for selling illegal Sky TV satellite cards, taking the money but not delivering the cards and then disappearing – that such a man should be recruiting children to KopTalk selling them memberships and memorabilia, and communicating with them without the supervision of public or independent moderators.
They object to his many out-of-context references to his own opinions, moods and to his sexual needs, fantasies and practices, and to his numerous melodramatic references to events in his family or his family values.
They object to being fooled into being charged membership to a site that claims on its internet tags to offer “Official news” from LFC and to be “for serious and mature die-hard Reds” only to find that it is largely about its owner and is run by children and vulnerable – or “dense” – teenagers who, he claims, work long hours without a wage, seven days a week, and whom Oldham claims he watches closely and controls by rewards which he calls “treats”.
(Oldham claims that the character of Sgt. Bob Cryer of the ITV series “The Bill” was based on his father).
Some object to Oldham’s claims that members of a Yorkshire police force, former colleagues of his deceased father, are monitoring the blog, and they also object to his threats to turn his“underworld friends” and “a hired hitter” on the blog’s contributors.
There are other objections less easy to categorize such as the very idea of a man who has no genuine connection with LFC, who has started sites for Newcastle United and Spurs and Nottingham Forest, who declared in late October 2006 that he had been disenchanted with football for a number of years, was impartial about LFC, did not care if the team won or lost, and could care less if an ASDA supermarket was built on Anfield – that such a man should cynically employ the phraseology of genuine LFC fans in order to rip off the club’s international goodwill and trade for profit on the trust of fans and especially those from overseas who are at a disadvantage in understanding how far he is geographically (180 miles) and culturally from the club they support.
No other club has a parasite of the KopTalk kind. It is unique in the UK and Europe. It will take unique measures to deal with it. Hence this blog.
By June 2006, Oldham was preparing for what he expected to be his best-ever summer of transfer rumours. It would bring him new riches. He talked of moving the site to larger, faster servers to handle the anticipated increase in traffic.
He talked about his plans to extend ownership to similar or “sister” sites for supporters of Newcastle, Spurs and Forest and the shell-sites he was already constructing for them. He boasted of his new stand-alone KT headquarters in the back garden of his house in Wallsend (which is 180 miles from Anfield but only minutes from Newcastle’s St. James Park), his plans to buy new photographic, computer and television equipment and an ex-military Landrover, a van and other vehicles to go along with his Mercedes Sports Convertible.
And if anyone was still in doubt about the financial success of his business – which he valued at ₤5 million, according to a post on The Liverpool Way website by his then confidant and moderator, DJ_Sydney – he also spoke about plans to buy a house overlooking Melwood (one prospective property belonging to Chris Waddle had a ₤300,000 asking price) which he would equip with CCTV cameras to keep a constant watch on the comings and goings and training sessions at Melwood and also use as a free B&B for his overseas Gold Club members from where he would give them tours of Melwood and introduce them to the players and managerial staff. He enthused about his plan to buy a hotel in central Liverpool which he would endow with a Kop-theme bar and make it available free-of-charge to visiting Gold Club members and from where he would supply them with tickets to Anfield. In fact, he also spoke of his plan to reward the loyalty of some overseas members by paying for their air fare to Liverpool.
You might think this was all a bit far-fetched but it wasn’t meant for you, it was meant for overseas LFC fans and was meant to entice them to pay £30 memberships on the chance that some of it may be true.
And these properties and those he was planning and buying in New York state, Malta and elsewhere were supposed to be additional to the purchase of his own house in Wallsend and the mortgage he had removed from his mother’s house and his claim to own yet another house occupied by his wife in Scarborough, Yorkshire – all with cash received from his KT business.
At the same time he was promoting his new internet broadcast service, his podcasts, and a new paid SMS service, as well as advanced sales of his proposed book in which he would expose Anfield and tell the story of his struggle against “the suits” at LFC. And all these expansion plans were the justification for his urging readers to click on GoogleAds and the Adult Date Finder and to place bets with the firms who paid him generous commissions for referrals.
In his MySpace profile, he boasted of an annual income of ₤250,000 and elsewhere claimed £140,000 . He claimed repeatedly that his personal wealth justified his business model, his values and his opinions and anyone who questioned them were simply jealous of his success.
It appears that all this talk of financial success was intended to convey the impression of an unstoppable force, supported and approved by thousands of fans and all the interested institutions, including LFC.
Despite his alleged wealth he continued to beg for money for various causes, including some associated with his family. He directed that the money be sent to his or his mother’s bank account. He presented himself as an enlightened do gooder. He was pained that anyone could be so disrespectful as to ask for an accounting. If they did he complained that they were as good as “attacking” the children who were the alleged beneficiaries of his appeals.
Ever since Oldham gained control of the KT site from its original founder, he has tried to develop a cult based on his personality. This summer those cultic aspects intensified. He started several new forums on KopTalk devoted to his personal views as well as a new blog to detail the minutiae of his daily life. He deliberately set out to make his obesity, his appetite for pies and peas and his drinking of Woodpecker cider a recurring theme – in fact he came to call himself the Pie-eater in Command.
He also made constant written and photographic references to his family, including his young children, his wife, his 16 year close friend who he let everybody believe was his brother, his mother and deceased father.
He used his site and its “radio” arm to rehearse his views on the state of Britain, immigration, pornography and the rape of young girls. He canvassed his readers on their taste in pornography and discussed his dealings with the photographic model featured on his site as well as discussing his conquest of girls he allegedly met on the internet and his bar-room dating techniques.
He lectured his readers on why his site did not support or feature the Hillsborough 96 and the Michael Shields campaigns – because they were “political” and “difficult to deal with”. His site, he said, was about “entertainment”. He admitted to taking the S** daily and went to great lengths to argue that the Hillsborough/ LFC boycott of that rag was questionable.
He swaggered around the forums, frequently imposing his views on the deficiencies of the LFC “top brass”, the feasibility and timing of investment in the club, the merits or otherwise of this player or that. He intervened in the threads, eliminating some, suspending posters on a whim and often overruling the moderators. Any who questioned him were classified as “whingers” and reminded that it was his personal site and he need not justify his actions or his views. If they didn’t like it, they could “fuck off”.
He sacked moderators whose loyalties he suspected. And he never seemed to be short of applicants to fill the vacant positions. According to him, there were many who wanted to work for free in return for the privilege of access to his “boardroom”.
Indeed, he often suggested that his main problem was containing the unwashed, huddled masses trying to gain access to his site.
So at the beginning of this summer he seemed to be on top of the world – crowing like a cock. A few numpties scribbling on a blog would not disturb his sense of well-being.
It’s now less than three months since the Blog developed critical mass.
Is the cock still crowing?
Let’s have a look.
To be continued….Blog that! – Part 2 –
August 29th, 2006
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. (Morgan is not actually a director but a major shareholder – a distinction too fine for Oldham). 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 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 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 acknowledgement of the artwork above, go here:
September 15th, 2006
by Rupert Insider
“HumptyDumpty, what are you immediate reactions to your great fall?”
In Blog that! – Part 2, I suggested that the keystone to koptalk was cracked when senior officials at LFC informed contributors to this blog that Duncan Oldham has never had access to LFC. I suggested that in Part 3 we examine the damage to Koptalk to see if it is merely superficial or structural.
Oldham admitted last week that whether or not he has information from inside LFC is crucial to his business. He said, “no info = no point!”
He made that confession to justify why he published a lie about Bellamy last Saturday. In other words, if Koptalk is to have a point – to continue to be his “nice little earner” – he must be able to continue with the pretext that he has inside information, about LFC players – preferably negative information – because that’s the kind that has proven most profitable for him in the past.
The weekend lie about Bellamy reached No. 1 in News Now’s Top Stories and earned him enough money to pay for his pies, peas and gravy for a month. And when it was proven to be a lie, there was no apology to Bellamy, LFC, News Now or his readers, instead he sneered that if the story had been true “the feds would have objected to it”.
So does that little display of arrogance mean that he can continue as before – that the damage to Koptalk has only been superficial?
The answer is NO! The damage is not superficial – it’s structural. Oldham is no longer in control of Koptalk’s destiny.
A number of tall cranes have crawled into place around his site. Hands are already playing with the levers that could send the wrecking balls swinging and reduce Koptalk’s shaky structure to rubble.
The widening crack
Once the crack in the keystone appeared it opened quickly.
- Long-standing contributors to his site demanded reform laying down the conditions for their continued participation: other posters – pillars of Koptalk – removed the live-links to football matches and to post-match video downloads they had provided as a free-service to their friends there: others stopped supplying information: many cancelled their automatic renewal of subscriptions on their PayPal account: some demanded refunds because he had sold them memberships under false pretences, or failed to deliver the services he promised or because he had arbitrarily denied them access after they had paid their subscriptions: others demanded a refund of their deposits on the book he never wrote: many used his site to denounce his lies, his values, his attitudes and conduct.
- All of his volunteer moderators left.
- LFC ordered him to remove claims to be “official” and to remove references to his having inside access to Anfield, Melwood and the Academy and to stop stealing the content of the Official Site and unfairly competing with the club by jerrymandering the net price of LFC official regalia he sold through his site:
- Google News decided he was not a genuine source of news about LFC and permanently cut him from their feeds.
- The Charity Commissioner noted his activites and the police have been informed by a contributor to this blog about his appeals for money for someone he claims is his cousin. The enquiry is sparked by his unusual requirement that cheques be made out to him or his mother, and his failure to provide an accounting for the money received, his mixing the charity funds in the same account with his personal and business funds and his closing down the appeal site when legitimate and reasonable questions were asked about it.
- Wikepedia – the online dictionary – decided that none of his claims for Koptalk were supported by evidence and permanently eliminated the entries he had personally engineered into their LFC page.
- Owners and managers of media outlets ordered him to stop breaching their copyright. Others are monitoring him at this very moment as they review the evidence of how he has stolen their material in the past and sold it to unsuspecting LFC supporters.
- The managers of News Now, the greatest single source of his visitors for several years – representing an estimated cumulative 300,000 – 500,000 hits a week in this last year alone – permanently pulled the plug on feeds to his podcasts and temporarily suspended feeds to his site because of infractions of his agreement with them. They restored those feeds for a couple of months under much closer scrutiny but only after “balancing” them by featuring this blog’s feeds to News Now. But on the 2nd January 2007, in response to this blog’s campaign and public protest, they banned Koptalk permanently. At the same time they de-listed the blog on the grounds that its single topic – Koptalk – would no longer be featured.
- Fusion BB – called him to account for using their software without licence to set up Koptalk clones – supporter sites for Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur. The lights are now out on those sites until he pays for a software licence or finds another source of software to pirate.
- Photographers turned down his offer of money and refused to work with him.
- Perhaps 85% of the most active members of his Gold Club and Insider left – many of them to start up EST 1892.
- A large proportion of the the active posters on his free forums left, perhaps 85% – some to turn to the more established sites and some to start yet another new site – Six Crazy Minutes.
- The producers of tv and radio and newsprint programs which specialise in exposing scams are considering requests to give him a public going-over.
Koptalk’s New Wall-flowers
As his members broke-out to freedom from his overbearing site, he dismissed their past contributions claiming that he would replace them easily. He boasted that this was his best summer ever, with record numbers of new members signing-up and sending in their money. The extra cash, he said, would enable him to splash out on new vehicles, new properties, expensive new audio-visuals toys and more trips to Malta and New York and there would be new generous competitons for overseas members to bring them to Liverpool on an all-expenses paid trips.
As though to prove his claim of new members, a long list of mysterious “lurkers” appeared on the “now online” stats on his site. But they were wall-flowers, too shy to post. He was so short of posters he started many apple-pie-and-motherhood threads under his own name, often employing his stock of other user-names to have banal conversations with himself about who his favourite LFC player was and whether red was a better colour than blue.
Meanwhile, independent sources were suggesting that new signings had dropped by about 80% compared with the same period a year ago. And the Alexa stats suggested that traffic to his site had plummeted, sometimes falling below that of a new sites started two months earlier.
Tumbleweed rolled across his free forums, the wind howled eeriely in the emptiness. A harmonica wailed and an empty Woodpecker bottle clinked as it rolled in the gutter. Even the super-loyalist, Dj_Sydney, left town.
Attack is the best form of defence – or not?
When LFC said he had never had access and never would, Oldham blustered. He called us a liar and then he called the LFC officials liars. He hinted he had something nasty on them and that Rick Parry had asked for a meeting to get it from him.
When that failed he fell back on his well-worn diversionary routine of “they are attacking my kids”. He thinks it makes people uncomfortable. But he’s done it one time too many. This time people felt uncomfortable about what it revealed about his attitude to kids and angry at his repeated insults to their intelligence.
But he could not give up the tactic of hiding behind youngsters – after all that’s what they’re there for isn’t it – to be used!
He pushed his 17 year old stepbrother to the front, appointing him an unpaid editor-without-control – chief cook and bottlewasher. And he treated the youngster like a fool, using a mobile to tell him when to jump – literally.
And in the Punch and Judy show that is Koptalk, he shoved the Steve sock puppet above the parapet, put on a funny voice, and posted under Steve’s user name as though he were Steve talking to Dunk – not Dunk talking to himself.
On his podcast he made the youngster the straight man in his now infamous joke about his own paedophilia.
But all this off-colour geniality was forced. In reality he was seething.
He lashed out with the threat that he would bring forward the publication of his book “Anfield Exposed” to tell the world how he had been wronged by the “suits” at LFC and members of rival web sites. But there was calculation even in this outburst. He had to continue to pretend that he is writing a book otherwise he would have to return all the deposits he took for advanced sales, some from boys, as long as two years ago.
His calculated attack did not stop there. He told us several times of his “underworld friends” and their offer to see off his critics, and his visit to a “mad hitter” in Liverpool who, for ₤500 would see to it that the bloggers would “push up daisies”. (Its not nice to know that one’s life is worth the equivalent of 15 Koptalk memberships, especially as that price would cover at least two of us).
And to prove he meant business he used the information some of his members had provided to him in confidence to track down their place of employment and he had his “family” telephone them there to threaten them that Koptalk would be calling back to speak to their employer in a few days about the “abusive language” of their posts on Koptalk. These were members who had announced that they were quitting, or asked for refunds, or asked critical questions and now posted on other sites.
And Oldham laughed when he saw the concern this tactic was causing and vowed to do some more of it.
In a frenzy of activity he tried to demonstrate that he did still have inside access to information from LFC, after all, by trying to climb on a wheelie-bin outside Melwood to take long-distance shots of players training, before he gave up and told Steve to do it. Even at Melwood he hid behind kids – the autograph-hunters – who managed to catch the attention of manager and players as their cars emerged into the street after a hard day’s training, and shoved his microphone in their face to try unsuccessfuly to entrap them into mouthing the word “Koptalk”.
And then, almost as though he has been banned from hanging around Melwood after that stunt, he sent his young gofer back again to take more through-the fence videos, and to demonstrate Koptalk’s relevance by jumping up and down behind the Sky TV reporter before driving to John Lennon airport to speculate, over a full English breakfast, which plane out there on the tarmac might be the one that was carrying the players to Holland.
And all this catatonic activity succeeded in doing was demonstrate more eloquently even than the LFC’s disassociation from him, how much of an outsider Oldham really is.
After more than seven years of claiming to be the owner of the largest LFC supporter’s site, and the confidant of directors, executives, players and investors, we saw before our very own eyes on his own video that he ranked behind the child autograph hunters in the street outside Melwood. The players obviously had never heard of Koptalk. After all these years he still does not know what charter company the club uses for foreign trips.
Where’s my fig leaf?
And at some point in his frenzy Oldham heard a voice – the clear voice of the honest little boy in the crowd saying: “The Emperor has no clothes”. And suddenly he felt naked.
He pulled out his Fagin box to count the baubles he had pick-pocketed – which is what he always does when he needs to comfort himself – but there was nothing there. Receipts were at an all time low. He was naked without a fig leaf.
That’s when he decided to close down Koptalk’s free forums.
The End of Koptalk as we have known it.
This was the first time that the free forums were closed since Koptalk was founded by Colin Seaman more than seven years ago. Koptalk had been conceived as a free forum. It was to be a meeting place for LFC supporters, a virtual Kop in the new internet world. That was the very reason for its being. That was its essence.
And even when Oldham took control and started on the road to turning Koptalk into his own, personal profit-centre – he was always careful to stress that his begging and his money-making larks were necessary to enable him to keep the free forums going. Koptalk was the voice of the fans he said. It was a labour of love, his hobby. He was the servant of his people. They were his “family”.
On 5th September 2006, his family woke to find that Daddy had done a bunk. The free forums were closed down. There was no hint of it, no pre-announcement, no consultation. It was a done deal. Oldham was acting out his belief that “Dunk knows best”. It was his site, he could do whatever he liked with it, and if people didn’t agree they could “fuck off”.
And what was his excuse for this unprecedented act?
That he was lying – that all his claims about record numbers of new members and huge new revenues in the summer were a lie. Now he said he could not afford to maintain the free forums.
From now on, he said, if anyone wants access to Koptalk they will have to pay ₤30 a year to him personally. To avoid contractual obligations to them, and to confuse the tax inspectors, those mandatory ₤30 fees would be classifed as “donations”. Your ₤30 will be a gift – no questions asked!
The closing of the free forums represents a major structural change in Koptalk. He will never fully recover from it, whatever he does now. It was caused directly by the cracking of koptalk’s keystone – the seven-year long lie that Oldham had access to LFC and its directors, officials, players and employees.
It seems that when the implications of what was happening finally began to sink in, Humpty Dumpty became dizzy, lost his balance and fell. And now he is trying to put himself back together again.
But is it worth it Humpty? Do you really want to climb back on that shaky wall given the structural damage that has been done to it?
Its true that bridges and arches have continued to survive after their keystones cracked or became dislodged. But that is possible only because the strain on them was drastically reduced or removed altogether and engineering props were brought in to support the points of highest stress. And with all those adjustments – the structure was never he same. Users had to live with the risk that at any moment, when they least expect it, the entire structure might collapse.
It looks as though Oldham has decided he has no option. He has to continue using the damaged structure no matter how dangerous it is for him. He doesn’t want to clean windows or work at MacDonalds so he will just keep going until something else turns up.
The closing of the free forums was the main way he has reduced the strains, but there have been others. He is now in fugitive mode, dodging about to avoid confrontation with those who want to have a word and who want to see his business and personal records.
If Oldham wishes to proceed on Koptalk’s shaky structure it must be slowly with extreme caution. He will never again be able to claim that he has access to LFC, that he has contacts with its directors, executives or players, never able again to tell lies about LFC players without himself being subjected to immediate exposure and ridicule, and he won’t be able to use his Big Lie technique about children without bringing even more scrutiny of his use of children, never again be able to threaten blackmail with impunity, or have money for charities sent to his personal bank account or his mother’s, and he will never again be allowed to steal copyright in order to sell it to LFC supporters, or squeeze other LFC sites from news feeds and works of reference, and squat on their domain names and redirect traffic intended for them to his own site, or threaten his critics melodramatically with violence and murder – in fact Koptalk will never again be a source of easy money for him or his hangers-on.
He’s being relatively quiet lately. But there are indications that he thinks this is not a permanent change – that this is “chill out” time – a time for hiding out behind Steve, his Ma and his kids – a tactical retreat while the heat is on.
He is waiting for all the Queen’s men to put Humpty Dumpty together again.
But the Queen’s men may have different ideas – the tax inspectors, the customs inspectors, the benefits-claims investigators, the police and trading standards officers. They plod a bit and they may have taken their time to move their cranes into strategic positions around the Koptalk site. But their wrecking balls are now lined up.
The question is when do the wrecking balls start flying? Or to put it another way – is the structural damage to Koptalk sufficient to keep him under control or should Oldham be made to swing?
That will be the subject of the discussion in Blog that! – Part 4