'Back off': Eddie McGuire fires fresh warning shot at Port Adelaide

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire expects Port Adelaide's requests to wear their iconic 'prison bar' jumpers will be given short shrift by the AFL and the Magpies. Picture: Channel 9/Footy Classified
Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire expects Port Adelaide's requests to wear their iconic 'prison bar' jumpers will be given short shrift by the AFL and the Magpies. Picture: Channel 9/Footy Classified

Eddie McGuire has told Port Adelaide to 'back off' from plans to bring back the club's iconic 'prison bar' jumpers for their annual Showdown matches against the Adelaide Crows.

The use of the 'prison bar' design, which was used by Port Adelaide in the SANFL prior to their promotion to the AFL in 1997, has long been a bone of contention for Collingwood and its supporters.

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In the past the Power have been required to get an exemption from the AFL, and by extension former Collingwood president McGuire, to use the iconic design.

The 'prison bar' design has been seen outside of the AFL's heritage round on a few occasions, memorably Port Adelaide's 2014 elimination final win over Richmond, but McGuire doesn't seem keen to give the Power more say over their historic design.

McGuire threatened to take the AFL to court after Port Adelaide started a petition to wear the design in Showdown matches last year, arguing there were a myriad of trademarks and contracts which ensured the Magpie and the colours black and white would always be associated with Collingwood.

Even though he's no longer president of Collingwood, McGuire told Footy Classified on Wednesday night he had no doubt the Magpies would knock back the request.

McGuire and Port Adelaide chairman David Koch have previously clashed over the issue, notably on several occasions during the 2020 season.

He argued that Collingwood were worse off under revenue sharing rules in the AFL, suggesting that once Port Adelaide made the same or similar financial contributions to the league then Collingwood would be more open to them using the 'prison bar' design.

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“I know what the answer will be — the answer is no,” McGuire said.

“They had it last year! So take me through this, they thought about it last year and knew they were going to play in front of an empty stadium and wore it anyway.

“The Collingwood Football Club jumper is one of the most sought-after, expensive jumpers. We’ve just done a massive deal with Nike, with CGU and Emirates on there.

“Collingwood receives $6 million a year less than Port Adelaide, so Collingwood is a net-giver every year and has been to the competition right the way through.

“If they want to celebrate something big, when they start becoming a net-giver instead of a net-receiver, then we’ll have a bit of a look at it. That jumper of Collingwood’s keeps them going because we make a lot of money off the back of that."

Eddie McGuire furious over Port Adelaide jumper request

McGuire continued to double down on the Magpies' likely refusal of the Port Adelaide request, claiming the club was 'sick of' having these arguments.

In a fiery tirade, McGuire suggested Port Adelaide should 'worry about making money and stop annoying us'.

“It is a trademark issue. The AFL, when they took over all our trademarks, they must protect the trademark," McGuire said.

“Everyone is sick of it. They’ve got great jumpers. They’ve got a thousand jumpers they’ve worn over the years. It’s not a small thing. If it’s such a small thing, why are they driving us mad every year?

Port Adelaide wore the 'prison bar' jumpers during the Showdown match against the Adelaide Crows last season. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Port Adelaide wore the 'prison bar' jumpers during the Showdown match against the Adelaide Crows last season. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

“They wore it last year, we’ve allowed them to wear it whenever they’ve asked to do it.

“They’ve got a thousand jumpers they can wear, they’ve got a really good jumper this year, they might want a premiership jumper.

“Worry about that, worry about making money and stop annoying us every year. Simple as that. Back off, no. You’ve got a great jumper, just get on with it. It’s just annoying now.

“I’m not the president anymore, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll come back if they give it up.”

However according to Port Adelaide, sales of the iconic jersey in 2020, when they were allowed to wear it to celebrate the club's 150th anniversary, were through the roof.

In a statement in September last year, Port Adelaide claimed to have made more than $2 million in sales of merchandise, largely driven by the 'prison bars' jumper.

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