'Like dealing with Trump': David Koch's fresh shot at Eddie McGuire

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, AFL identities David Koch and Eddie McGuire speak on TV.
David Koch and Eddie McGuire are are odds over Port Adelaide's prison bars AFL guernsey. Pic: Ch7/Ch9

The fiery war of words between David Koch and Eddie McGuire has intensified after the Port Adelaide president likened the ex-Collingwood supremo to Donald Trump.

The AFL identities have been at loggerheads over Port's request to wear their historical 'prison bars' guernseys in the upcoming Showdown clash against city rivals, the Adelaide Crows.

Port requested to wear the jumper, which the club predominantly wore in the SANFL, in the two AFL games against their home-town rivals this season.

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The AFL and Collingwood agreed to let Port play in the 'prison bars' strip that is synonymous with the Magpies, during the club's 150th anniversary last year.

That was deemed to be a one-off exception, with subsequent requests from Port to don the prison bars strip knocked back by the AFL.

"That agreement, signed by all parties, stipulated the guernsey was specifically approved for Port Adelaide's use only for that single match in 2020," the AFL said in a statement.

"And Collingwood's approval did not bind it with respect to any other future proposals ... in respect of the guernsey.

"Collingwood ... has made it clear that, at this time, it does not agree to further use of the guernsey by PAFC."

Seen here, the Port Adelaide strip at the centre of the debate.
Port Adelaide have been barred from wearing the black and white strip synonymous with Collingwood. Pic: AAP

Port chairman Koch says the issue won't go away despite the AFL's "disappointing" ruling and said on Thursday that their issue was with the league, not Collingwood for wanting to protect their image.

"Our frustration sits squarely with the AFL, not Collingwood," Koch said on Thursday.

"We believe our request is reasonable. This issue isn't just about Port Adelaide, it is about the passion and connection that all fans have for their clubs.

"This issue isn't going away. It is too important to our people and our club."

Part of Koch's argument goes back to a 2007 document that Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes discussed on Channel Nine's Footy Classified this week.

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Cornes said the document, signed by McGuire during his time as Magpies president, showed Collingwood agreed to let Port wear the black and white strip every year for Heritage Round - a concept that no longer exists.

Koch has unsuccessfully tried to convince the AFL that the Showdown clashes represents the rich heritage of South Australian footy, hence Port should be able to wear the prison bar strips for those matches. 

The debate led to a fiery response and the threat of legal action from McGuire on Footy Classified.

“I’m sick of it. I think it needs to go to court and be arbitrated on,” McGuire said on Wednesday evening.

“Beyond the AFL. Get it stamped one way or the other. It is quite dangerous what they’re doing.

“I’ve said yes every time when Port Adelaide have asked to wear the jumper when there was a half-decent reason, but to play it twice (per year), you’ve got to be kidding.

“Fair dinkum. It is ridiculous.”

Koch laughed off the legal threat from McGuire on Thursday morning, with the Sunrise co-host reiterating his disappointment live on air.

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“We’re disappointed with the results,” Koch said on Friday morning. “The AFL is a governing body. We accept the decision, as we always have to.

“Eddie regularly threatens to take people to court to try and intimidate you. He’s full of hot air, it’s like dealing with Donald Trump. He just makes stuff up, it’s ridiculous.

“We’re focused on getting the four points this weekend up at the Gabba against Brisbane, which will be a cracking game on Saturday night.”

with AAP

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