'Ridiculous': David Koch savages 'totally disrespectful' AFL delay

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Port Adelaide chairman David Koch has labelled the AFL 'totally disrespectful' over the ongoing doubt surrounding the use of the club's heritage 'prison bar' design. Pictures: Getty Images
Port Adelaide chairman David Koch has labelled the AFL 'totally disrespectful' over the ongoing doubt surrounding the use of the club's heritage 'prison bar' design. Pictures: Getty Images

Port Adelaide chairman David Koch has demanded an explanation from the AFL as to why the club hasn't been approved to don its historic 'prison bar' jumper in the upcoming Showdown.

The Power made the request to wear their iconic black and white strip, which the club used during its SANFL days prior to their admittance into the AFL in 1997, back in 2019.

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The club marked its 150th anniversary in 2020, wearing the 'prison bar' jumpers against the Crows in last year's showdown, making the request in the hopes of using for every Showdown match.

In a fiery statement published on the club's website on Wednesday evening, Koch said the club had approached the AFL about using the design on an ongoing basis against the Crows in the Showdown each season - and only that game.

Earlier this year, Koch was involved in a war of words with former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, who dismissed out of hand the notion the club would be allowed to use then jumpers due to their similarity to the Magpies' own black and white design.

Koch said it was 'totally disrespectful' that the Power were yet to hear back from the AFL on the issue.

“Quite frankly it is ridiculous that we are still waiting for an answer," Koch said. 

"We first approached the AFL on this matter two years ago in the lead up to our 150th anniversary season. 

"To think we are 10 days away from the Showdown and still waiting for a response is totally disrespectful to our fans and our club."

In his statement, Koch pointed out that the intellectual property of all 18 teams in the competition was owned by the AFL - making it a matter for them alone as to whether Port Adelaide should be allowed to use the 'prison bar' design.

He also pointed to a 2007 agreement between Port Adelaide, the AFL, and Collingwood, which he argued 'clearly indicates that both parties endorsed Port Adelaide wearing this heritage guernsey on a limited basis every year'.

“We believe that our position is reasonable and in line with the agreement. This issue isn’t just about Port Adelaide. It is about the passion and connection that ALL fans have for their clubs.

“As I said a few weeks ago, this issue isn’t going away. It is too important to our people and our Club.”

Eddie McGuire clashes with David Koch over Port Adelaide jumpers

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.

Speaking on Footy Classified in March, McGuire suggested Port Adelaide should have to make a more substantial contribution to AFL finances before he would allow the design to be used.

“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.

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“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."

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'.

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