David Koch and Eddie McGuire are going head-to-head.
David Koch and Eddie McGuire are going head-to-head.

Kochie hits back at Eddie in fiery spat

PORT Adelaide chairman David Koch has hit back at Collingwood president Eddie McGuire over a jumper spat between the two AFL clubs.

On Wednesday, the Power launched a petition to win approval to wear its historic "Prison Bar" guernsey, which features vertical black and white stripes, similar to the Magpies' strip.

Port Adelaide wore the famous guernsey in its thumping 75-point win over the Crows in Saturday night's Showdown and is campaigning to wear it in future local derbies.

This push has upset McGuire. He said Collingwood gave Port approval to wear the traditional jumper on one final special occasion last weekend, but any efforts to use the prison-bar look more often were unacceptable because it clashed with Collingwood's iconic look.

Speaking on Channel 9's Footy Classified on Wednesday, McGuire said Port Adelaide had already signed an agreement not to wear the prison-bar strip again, and he had referred the conflict to the AFL's legal department.

"Port Adelaide signed a petition - it was called a contract. They signed it twice, coming into the competition and another one that's got my signature and (AFL CEO) Gill McLachlan's signature on it and the president of Port Adelaide," McGuire said.

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"Earlier this year, we sat down in good faith, we shook hands, we wished them all the best and said, 'OK, one more go … for your home Showdown and that's it'.

"Now their president, David Koch, didn't come to that meeting. Their CEO (Keith Thomas) and one of their directors did, Cos Cardone, and we worked it out and we said, 'Yep, that's fine'.

"Now this is starting to become - I don't know if Kochie's decided this is going to be his big go to get his members on side, I don't care. The AFL own the copyright.

"I've referred it now to the AFL chairman and to the CEO and to the legal department of the AFL."

But Koch hit back at McGuire's claims in an open letter to members in which he denied any such deal had been signed with the AFL.

The Sunrise co-host also denied the prison-bar guernsey would feature its usual magpie - the Collingwood symbol - should it be worn in future Showdowns.

Port Adelaide’s Prison Bar guernsey is too close to Collingwood’s look for Eddie McGuire’s liking.
Port Adelaide’s Prison Bar guernsey is too close to Collingwood’s look for Eddie McGuire’s liking.

"At no stage did the current board of the Port Adelaide Football Club sign a 'once and done' agreement with the AFL to enable us to wear our black-and-white Prison Bar guernsey in our 150th year. FACT," Koch wrote.

"In fact, the Collingwood Football Club were prepared for Port Adelaide to wear this guernsey in both 2020 Showdowns, on the condition that we would sign off on it being the last time and no more. FACT.

"Subsequently, we refused to sign off on anything preventing us from wearing this guernsey beyond 2020 with 'the parties agreeing to defer further consideration of that issue to a later point in time.' FACT.

"Therefore, we are doing exactly what was agreed, picking up the conversation to be able to wear the black-and-white prison-bar guernsey in Showdowns ongoing.

"This guernsey is more than just a uniform to our football club and our people. It is so much deeper than that. A football guernsey is about identity, it's about meaning, it's about purpose. And this is why the traditional black-and-white prison-bar guernsey is so important to you, our members and supporters.

"We would like to think that the history and tradition of the Port Adelaide Football Club, a club that has proudly represented its community since 1870, would be respected by all parties."

McGuire and Kochie are locking horns.
McGuire and Kochie are locking horns.

Earlier this month, McGuire was adamant there was no way Port Adelaide would be allowed to wear its prison-bar guernsey again, saying Koch "doesn't have the guts" to tell Port fans the truth.

"My point is this - there are major things when you have an identity and it's your trademark. Collingwood's is the magpie and black and white," McGuire said.

"David doesn't have the guts to tell his supporters that it's finished.

"David, to his credit, has always been a strong supporter of the magpie. You're not, and you can't, wear it again.

"We have handshake agreements, we have contracts, we have trademark agreements, the AFL own the trademark.

"What annoys me, and I think David is being so disingenuous to his own supporters, is he goes on South Australian radio or TV and he fizzes them up.

"The magpie is (the) Collingwood Magpie, and that's that."


Originally published as Kochie hits back at Eddie in fiery spat