The Times Football Editor, Tony Evans, has spoken to Anfield Road this evening and made it absolutely clear that he was both “disgusted” and “furious” to see his name used by the notorious so-called Liverpool fansite KopTalk in their latest ‘exclusive’.
The KopTalk website is well-known amongst Liverpool supporters for its financial exploitation of the Hillsborough disaster, for selling badly-faked and extortionately-priced signed Liverpool memorabilia and even for ticket touting. It is also notorious for making up stories about the club and its players – often potentially damaging – and in many cases demanding payment before allowing access to the stories.
For these reasons the site was ‘banned’ from the NewsNow network some years ago and is not considered a reliable source by any stretch of the imagination.
With so much speculation surrounding the club of late, relating to both the manager’s position and the ownership situation, KopTalk has been able to feed on the uncertainty in an attempt to increase its hits and in turn the number of people enticed by links to subscription-only stories that never deliver on their promise.
On very rare occasions KopTalk – run from an ex-pat former resident of Scarborough from a flat in Spain – will make contact with an unwitting but genuine source, for example an agent of a player who may or may not be a target of the club. But even if the source tells the truth there’s no guarantee that what KopTalk reports is what KopTalk was told.
On the whole the site’s stories are renowned as being either works of fiction or simply lifted (without credit) from mainstream news sources. That even includes The Sun, the newspaper that has been boycotted by Liverpool supporters for 21 years.
It’s no secret – and certainly no exclusive to KopTalk – that Kenny Dalglish was left extremely disappointed by recent events at the club surrounding the search for and appointment of a new manager, as could be read by anyone who picked up a copy of, or browsed the websites of, quality newspapers including The Times and The Telegraph. KopTalk’s exclusive seems to have been built from a mixture of stories in the press and suggestions seen on Twitter and across various Liverpool FC forums.
The holes in the KopTalk story include the implication that Christian Purslow didn’t attend the Roy Hodgson press conference – in fact Purslow was in attendance but it was decided that he wouldn’t be answering questions. Unhappy as he may be, the insinuation on KopTalk that Kenny has gone AWOL and won’t be back for three weeks is at best an exaggeration, but that would be nothing new to those familiar with KopTalk. Kenny has not left the club.
KopTalk are saying today that the “Independence Day rally in Liverpool was great to see,” just a few days after dismissing it by claiming that, “a BBQ in Liverpool singing songs about Rafa Benitez isn’t going to leave those in the city or those over the pond losing any sleep”. In reality the turnout exceeded expectations today, and the event has drawn renewed attention across the world to the plight the club is in. (For one report on the events, see the ITV website at: http://www.itv.com/granada/).
In addition to his full-time job as Football Editor of The Times, Tony Evans appears from time-to-time on the TalkSport radio station. He does not speak to Kop Talk, and made it extremely clear that he is aware of the reasons why KopTalk, and its owner Duncan Oldham, are so reviled by Liverpool supporters.
For more information on KopTalk from those unaware of its past actions, we suggest spending some time reading the following website: http://koptalkinsider.wordpress.com. It would probably be better to look on that site for the ‘original’ article than going direct to to the KopTalk website and giving it the extra hits it relies on.
This week Liverpool supporters have had much to contend with and with that in mind the actions of one website are more than a little trivial. Fans’ energies are better focussed, for example, on the latest actions of Christian Purslow in what seems to be his priority to assert himself as leader of the Club at all costs, with few if any signs that his actions have been carried out with the best interests of the club in mind. Martin Broughton claimed the club was close to being sold but fans will be forgiven for thinking “again?” Also this week, supporters heard the Sports Minister cause deep distress by implying that the Hillsborough disaster was caused by hooligans. Then the following day a previously unheard-of councillor in Wiltshire jumped onto the Sports Minister’s bandwagon in a more calculated way in what seemed to be the latest in a long line of publicity stunts, seeking attention with the claim that “unruly” supporters were to blame.
Liverpool fans have much to fight for, many wrongs to right, and although mosquitoes like KopTalk and Russell Hawker have to be swatted from time-to-time the true focus will never shift from those who hurt and have hurt the club the most.