Port Adelaide chairman David Koch is fuming at the fact that the club doesn’t know if it can wear its traditional jersey.
Port Adelaide chairman David Koch has taken aim at the AFL over the indecision regarding the club’s right to wear it’s heritage black-and-white prison bar jersey.
Koch has been embroiled in a public war of words with ex-Collingwood president Eddie McGuire over the heritage jersey, with McGuire consistently arguing against Port’s right to wear the jersey on an annual basis.
Port Adelaide has lobbied to the AFL to be able to wear the jersey in the annual ‘Showdown’ against their cross-town rival, the Adelaide Crows, and Koch revealed that the club was yet to receive an answer from the league.
“Quite frankly it is ridiculous that we are still waiting for an answer, Koch said in a club statement on Wednesday.
“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.
“We are requesting to wear this guernsey in Showdowns only, to celebrate the heritage of our Club and our contribution to South Australian football. We aren’t asking to wear it as a regular home or away guernsey or even outside of South Australia. It’s a request for Showdowns only, in Adelaide.
“The AFL own the intellectual property rights to all AFL clubs, and therefore this is a decision the AFL can make independently in representing what is in the best interests of the game and all clubs.”
McGuire has repeatedly stressed that a contract signed between Collingwood, the AFL and Port Adelaide means that the Power cannot wear the jersey, and Koch urged the AFL to produce such documents, if they indeed exist.
“We’ve been through all of the license agreements, our original AFL license and tender documents, and we can find no such agreement. Port Adelaide is willing to meet to find a solution to this matter and has been for the last two years, but no-one is prepared to join us at the table,” he said.
“We have the 2007 agreement that clearly states Port Adelaide can wear its heritage prison bar guernsey once a year in all home AFL Heritage Rounds, except against Collingwood. This agreement was co-signed by the AFL and Collingwood, which 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.”