The editor of one of Liverpool’s foremost fansites KopTalk recently posted a dangerously incendiary article which overtly encourages irate supporters to ‘put the frightners’ on owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett by using violent means.
Last week Duncan Oldham published the piece on the site entitled ‘Get the baseball bats and ski-masks ready!’, in which he implored angry Liverpool fans to extol vigilante justice on the American pair – who are seen by many with a vested interest in the club as little more than a devastating debt-laden blight.
Oldham’s article begins in vitriolic fashion, with what can only be construed as a call-to-arms;
“If George Gillett and/or Tom Hicks remain in control of Liverpool Football Club come the end of the season, I will be calling for such action to take place.
I will be urging every passionate Red out there who has a ‘set’ and who is capable of donning a ski-mask and waving a baseball bat in a menacing manner, to step up to put the frightners on these two and everyone they associate with – including any companies that support them.
I am sick to the back teeth of hearing about petitions and email campaigns. While the efforts must be applauded and acknowledged, the only action that I believe will work is militant.
Disruption, especially to financial institutions, is what they are scared of. And on a personal level, there’s nobody in the world who’s arse wouldn’t collapse if someone peered over their bed in the middle of the night armed with a Texas Rangers baseball bat or two.”
Oldham then inserts a brief disclaimer, stating that he won’t condone inflicting actual bodily harm, before calling for ‘militant action’ designed to ‘scare the sh*t’ out of Hicks and Gillett. He also airs the age-old excuse of every meat-headed hooligan that has gone before him;
Our lives can be so miserable at times but for 90 minutes, at least once a week, we can leave our lives and get behind the team for a temporary escape.
However, so much misery is now associated to the club that those 90 minutes are no longer as satisfying as they were once were. I have no problem with Gillett and Hicks recouping any money they have invested but bleeding the club dry is not acceptable.
They are playing with the lives of so many people and it hurts me to see so many of my fellow Reds and fans so upset and destroyed. It has to stop and it will stop. I can’t sit back any more.
I won’t sign petitions, I won’t send emails to journalists who don’t care, but I will get stuck in via other methods best not written about.”
So a slump in form and a lack of investment in shiny new players are acceptable grounds for attempting to spark low-level terrorism? The persecution-complex riddled tribalism that surrounds Liverpool football club has been bordering on the ridiculous for years now but Oldham, from atop his soapbox, is plumbing new depths.
Since the article was published, a police investigation has been launched after a local paper ran with the story that KopTalk‘s inciting editorial may have been in breach of ‘any number of public order offences’.
Oldham has posted a retort on the site, but his defense is just as infantile as his original doctrine;
“Waving a baseball bat around is actually peaceful. It only makes a noise when it makes contact so I would say my suggestion was a peaceful one. And, with our pieces of card saying ‘Boo’, well we could use them and not even speak, you can’t get any more bloody peaceful!”
Wow, just…wow. Authorities have put some serious man hours into trying to eradicate the hooligan element from the game and, by and large, succeeded in doing so. What they don’t need is a hack with a worryingly futile chip on his shoulder and a significant position of influence undoing decades of work by taking to the internet with his childish fantasies of forceful supersession.
Whereas Oldham may have legally covered his back with his various disavowals, the fact that his words have the potential of providing the spark that ignites the powder keg. Most of the moronic hoodlums that are positively itching for a potentially bloody coup will need little more in the way of an excuse.