Fans of English soccer club Liverpool F.C. in both Ireland and Britain have rejected the call to violence issued by a Liverpool fan website called Koptalk, which suggested that fans should attack the club’s American owners, George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
Duncan Oldham, who edits Koptalk (a reference to Liverpool’s famous terrace, The Kop), wrote a column recently calling on fans to "get the baseball bats and ski masks ready" to "put the frightners [sic] on" the American owners. The article was published alongside a picture of a large man in a black balaclava and a crowbar.
Merseyside police announced that they are investigating the article.
Oldham is a controversial figure and has, in the past, posted racist and inflammatory comments on Koptalk.
Of Hicks and Gillett, Oldham said that "Disruption, especially to financial institutions, is what they are scared of. And on a personal level, there's nobody in the world who's [sic] 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."
"I won't sign petitions,” he continued, “I won't send emails to journalists who don't care, but I will get stuck in via other methods best not written about. I don't care if I get into trouble with my words… I mean it. I mean every single word."
Message boards maintained by other Liverpool fans have rejected Oldham’s comments and a website has already been set up – Koptalkinsider – to oppose Oldham’s views. On it, the site’s founders say that, “KopTalk is a scam. Duncan Oldham is a con man. This website was created by Liverpool fans to protect fellow supporters from his scams.”
Meanwhile, supporters groups in Ireland have also stated their opposition to the comments. Sarah Higgins of the Tallaght LFC supporters' club said that, “No one can condone violence of this sort at all,” while John Curtin of a Liverpool supporters’ group in Buttevant, Co Cork, said that “it is bringing a violent hooliganism aspect back into something that the English FA has been working to eradicate."
"I can't see how any Liverpool fan would like to see that carry-on."