The man behind a secret twitter parody account has revealed how he cost Liverpool £300,000 during talks with Roma over the sale of striker Fabio Borini to the Merseyside club over the summer.
@duncanjenkinsfc - a high profile Twitter parody account of a man who is a ‘perspiring journalist’ - has garnered a cult status amongst football fans for his advertently inaccurate tweets as well as his messages about Liverpool’s transfer activity, procuring over 36,000 followers on the social network site along the way.
Thanks to his popularity on Twitter, Duncan Jenkins was given his own column for Goal.com during Euro 2012, and has also featured in the Football Ramble, the website of the well-known football podcast of the same name.
Jenkins appeared to have insider information at Liverpool, and along with correctly pre-empting the transfers of Fabio Borini and Nuri Sahin to Anfield, he also regularly tweeted team line-ups before they were made public.
According to the man – known only as ‘Sean’ - behind the account, Liverpool’s director of communications Jen Chang arranged a meeting with him in order to find out who his ‘mole’ was at the Anfield club, despite his insistence that it was all guesswork, before revealing the impact his tweets apparently had on the Borini negotiations.
“He told me Liverpool had been involved with difficult negotiations with Roma over the transfer of Borini.
“He claims Roma asked for absolute discretion from Liverpool, that if news of the proposed deal got out Roma's fans would be unhappy about the sale of a young Italian international. Talks were then concluded for the day, he said.”
"Later that very day, Chang claimed, Duncan Jenkins tweeted about Borini to Liverpool being a genuine possibility. Chang claimed Roma were furious about it, and that they then upped the transfer fee by around £0.3m (£300,000).
"Chang gave me an analogy - he said it was like promising to take your wife out for meal, only to have an argument before the meal, and by the time you'd made up with your wife you have to agree to take her to a more expensive restaurant."
In the article Sean also accuses Chang of using threatening behaviour in order to dissuade him from tweeting sensitive information about the Merseyside club, and details how the former journalist allegedly threatened to ban him from Anfield for life, and said it could ruin his father's business, of which he had discovered after hiring men to investigate the men behind the Twitter account.
“He said I would be banned from Anfield for life. I told him the season ticket - which I share - was not in my name. He said it didn't matter, and that both I and the lad who owns the season ticket would be reimbursed and then given lifetime bans from Anfield.
“He then started to talk about what a disaster this would be for me - how not only would I lose the season ticket and be banned for life, but I would upset a friend who would be banned for life through no fault of his own.
“I told him I'd known my friend since we were both 4 years old (my point being that our friendship would not be jeopardised by a ridiculous situation like this). He took it the wrong way and re-emphasised what a disaster it would be for me to lose a lifelong friend.
“He then told me that most journalists despised Duncan Jenkins, and some had been actively trying to find out who was behind it so they could run smear stories on me in the press.
“I asked why would any journo hate him, I asked was it because it was perceived that Duncan was making fools out of them - beating them to several exclusives, "outscooping" and out-performing them. He said that was exactly it.
He added: “He told me that if I didn't tweet as requested by Thursday night, and/or that further checks with their suspected mole revealed links to me, that he would hand over all of my info (from the dossier compiled by the people hired to find me) to the embittered journalists and ask them to do their worst, to run smear stories on me in the tabloid press.
“He said "they will make your life hell, and will turn all Liverpool supporters against you. The papers will say you cost the club you claim to love serious money, that you wilfully damaged the club".
"You know how crazy football fans are", he said, "You'll have dog shit coming through your letterbox, you'll have to take your Facebook page down, you might even have to move house".
The incident comes at a bad time for Liverpool, with press coverage heavily focused on Luis Sureaz’s dive against Stoke, for which Potters boss Tony Pulis said the Uruguayan deserved a three game ban. Chang is yet to respond to the blog or the allegations made against him.