Eddie McGuire's swipe at Port Adelaide CEO as infamous feud re-ignited

The Power's use of their heritage 'prison bar' jumper design has been a bone of contention for Eddie McGuire for decades.

Eddie McGuire.
Eddie McGuire has erupted over a deal reached between Collingwood and Port Adelaide regarding the use of the famous 'prison bars' jumper design. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Collingwood and Port Adelaide are finally on the same page regarding the Power's 'prison bar' jumpers after years of conflict - not that Eddie McGuire is on board. The former Collingwood president has teed off in the wake of the Magpies and Power coming to an agreement on the use of the jumpers in the AFL, labelling press in South Australia 'sycophants' for their coverage of the stoush.

In the 22 years that McGuire helmed the Magpies, on only two occasions did he relent and allow the Power to utilise the strip used during the club's dominant days in the SANFL. Once came in the 2003 heritage round, the other for Port Adelaide's 150th anniversary celebrations in 2020.

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McGuire has frequently sparred with Port Adelaide president and Channel 7 presenter David Koch over the issue, but it would seem the Sunrise host may have found McGuire's successors easier to see eye-to-eye with. "Collingwood president Jeff Browne and chief executive Craig Kelly have been outstanding to deal with during these discussions," Koch said after announcing the Power and Magpies had reached an agreement on the hotly debated design.

The issue clearly remains one that bugs McGuire, with the former club boss taking to 3AW's This is Footy podcast to make his feelings clear. He said the only reason a deal had gone ahead was thanks to compliant media in South Australia and a fondness from Victorian counterparts to sink the boot into the Magpies.

"In Adelaide the press are sycophants over there, they do whatever they like for the local sides, and in Melbourne anything that gees up Collingwood supporters is clickbait, and they go with it," McGuire said.

"No one ever had any concern for the Collingwood supporters who bought that jumper, who stayed with that jumper, who didn't sell that jumper, and have worn it from the very first game, and I find that a bit sad. Good luck to them, I would have thought black and teal was a good compromise."

Eddie McGuire fuming over Port Adelaide's 'prison bars' jumper deal

McGuire was far from finished however, taking aim at Port Adelaide CEO Matthew Richardson over his suggestion that the club had not been financially motivated to secure rights to the famous guernsey. Given the Power have plans in motion to sell merchandise using the design, McGuire said he wouldn't say Richardson was 'lying' - 'but I wouldn't say he is telling the truth.'

He also said Port Adelaide ought to consider moving away from the 'prison bars' reference to the design, saying it could be interpreted as insensitive.

"One piece of advice for them - drop the 'prison bars' reference, I think it's a really bad reference in the current lifestyle that we're all in, I don't think it's good for the demographic we're all involved in," McGuire said.

"Go back to what it originally was, and that was the piers of Port Adelaide, it had nothing to do with prison bars. "

Eddie McGuire.
Eddie McGuire has criticised the agreement between Collingwood and Port Adelaide permitting the use of the Power's heritage jumper design. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (via Getty Images)

McGuire memorably accused the Power of an 'embarrassing stunt' back in 2021, when the Power decided to don the contested guernseys to sing the team song after a Showdown victory over cross-town rivals Adelaide. The AFL had earlier barred the Power from using the design due to the similarity to Collingwood's black and white design.

Power coach Ken Hinkley said at the time that the move had not been designed to send a signal to the AFL. He said it was a simple acknowledgment of the club's extensive history before joining the AFL in 1997.

"No, it's a show of respect for our heritage for our past and for our great people that played in it, for our people who turn up .. and represent this footy club," Hinkley said. "We started as Port Adelaide and we still are.

"And part of that journey is this amazing jumper which the boys love, the club loves and everyone that supports this footy club loves. We had to wait until after the game but we will recognise it as often as we have to."

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