Port Adelaide president David Koch says he feels “played” after Collingwood denied the Power’s request to wear their prison bar jumper in the Round 23 Showdown.
Reports surfaced late last week that Port Adelaide’s request from earlier in the year had been knocked back. The club hasn’t worn their Guernsey heritage since their 150th celebration in 2020, with Pies CEO Mark Anderson confirming on Saturday that Collingwood had bunkered down on their agreement with Port.
Koch labeled the objection “disappointing” and “disrespectful”, suggesting that new Pies president Jeff Browne had let down the Power with his previous updates.
“It is really disappointing. I think a bit disrespectful to our history and disrespectful to our members as well,” Koch said on FIVEaa Breakfastbut The SportingNews.
“Two weeks ago the Collingwood president Jeff Browne rang me out of the blue and said, ‘Mate Kochie, we’re taking your request really seriously, we understand how important it is to your members.’
“(He said), ‘I’ve been canvassing opinions in Melbourne and SA and I’m putting it to my board and I don’t want to get your hopes up but I’m quietly confident we could have good news for you .’
“I’m fuming because we have done the right thing, just quietly gone about it, and I can’t help feel that good nature has been played.
Koch also suggested former Pies president Eddie McGuire was pulling the strings behind the scenes. McGuire pledged to take the Power to court if they wore their prison bar jumper without permission during his tenure of him, while the AFL has also said Port could lose premiership points if they wear the guernsey.
“Eddie’s the one who said, ‘We own black and white’,” he added, per the Herald Sun.
“I don’t know if it’s a case of the big Victorian clubs once again going, ‘Hey, you just keep in your place’.
“On the weekend in the VFL, Collingwood played the Southport Sharks – who are black and white. So why can’t we play in our traditional prison bar Guernsey in showdowns in Adelaide?
“I think a bit disrespectful to our history and disrespectful to our members as well.
“You look at virtually every AFL club being able to play in a heritage Guernsey this year – a retro Guernsey – celebrating it. But we’re not allowed to do the same.”
Port Adelaide Chairman David Koch has expressed disappointment that Collingwood has again declined the club’s request to wear its iconic Prison Bar Guernsey in the Round 23 Showdown.
— Port Adelaide FC (@PAFC) August 1, 2022
Koch also reaffirmed to the club’s website a 2007 agreement exists where the Power, Collingwood and the AFL signed off on Port wearing the prison bar jumper in heritage round every year, except against Collingwood.
Former Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins on Friday urged Port to wear the jumper in Round 23 regardless of the Magpies’ objections, while Andy Maher labeled the decision “mean-spirited”.