The increasingly bitter feud between TV heavyweights and rival AFL club presidents Eddie McGuire and David ‘Kochie’ Koch shows no sign of slowing down.
The rivalry between the media and sports identities escalated this weekend over a childish comment McGuire made about Koch’s physical appearance – after years of trading barbs over their respective AFL clubs’ similar jumper designs.
Port Adelaide president Koch called out the former Collingwood boss’ ‘nasty streak’ on FiveAA radio on Monday morning, in response to McGuire making fun of his ‘big nose’ on Fox Footy.
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‘It is uncalled for’: The increasingly bitter feud between TV heavyweights and rival AFL club presidents Eddie McGuire (left) and David ‘Kochie’ Koch (right) shows no sign of slowing down
McGuire and Koch have not seen see eye to eye on the ‘guernsey issue’ for years, as both Port Adelaide and Collingwood have similar jumper designs.
Koch has been advocating for Port Adelaide to be able to wear its traditional black-and-white striped jumper when it plays ‘showdown’ games against the local rival.
Port’s state league team had worn the ‘prison bar’ jumper – thin black and white stripes with a white bar across the chest – for almost all its long history, but was forced to abandon the stripes, the Magpie emblem, and add teal to its colours upon entering the AFL in 1997.
‘Guernsey issue’: The rivalry between the media and sports identities escalated this weekend over a childish comment McGuire made about Koch’s physical appearance – after years of trading barbs over their respective AFL clubs’ similar jumper designs. Pictured in August 2014
On Sunday, Port Adelaide chose to defiantly don the historic jersey in the locker room and posted a photo of the team to social media.
McGuire said on Fox Footy that the move was a ‘direct poke in the eye to [AFL CEO] Gillon McLachlan and the AFL commission’, and threatened to take legal action.
‘They have signed an agreement that they would not manufacture any of those jumpers for merchandise and the crowd… It has moved out of Collingwood and Port Adelaide and moved onto City Hall,’ he said.
McGuire then added: ‘So there you go. David Koch is sticking his nose into the AFL territory. It’s a big nose. I hope he doesn’t get it broken.’
‘He has this enormous sense of self-importance’: Port Adelaide president Koch called out the former Collingwood boss’ ‘nasty streak’ on FiveAA radio on Monday morning, in response to McGuire making fun of his ‘big nose’ on Fox Footy
McGuire stood down as Collingwood president earlier this year, but is still an outspoken mouthpiece for the club.
Reacting to McGuire’s threat, Koch said on FiveAA the following day: ‘He has this nasty streak when he is under a bit of pressure he comments on people’s physical appearance.
‘I’m big enough and ugly enough and I know I have a decent size honker… [but] to make comments like that I think it is uncalled for.’
‘He believes he can speak on behalf of the AFL and the AFL should be following exactly what he says. He has this enormous sense of self-importance that he runs the game and he can tell the AFL what to do.’
‘It wasn’t about Eddie, it wasn’t about the AFL’: McGuire had been riled up after seeing Port Adelaide sporting their historical ‘prison bar’ jerseys in a post-match photo from the changerooms (pictured)
Koch also explained: ‘Basically it was a player decision to wear the guernsey in the song, it wasn’t about Eddie, it wasn’t about the AFL… You are allowed to wear anything in the changerooms.’
McGuire was insistent that wearing the jumper was in breach of a legal agreement that dated back to Port’s entry to the AFL in 1997, which he claimed restricted use of black-and-white colours to Collingwood only.
When Port joined the AFL in 1997, they changed their name from the Magpies and added teal to their black-and-white colours to distinguish themselves from Collingwood.
In 2007, then Collingwood president Mr McGuire and former Port Adelaide CEO John James signed a contract agreeing to let the Power wear the traditional top in Heritage Round, which ended in 2008.
With Heritage Round no longer celebrated, Port has sought AFL permission to wear the jumper each time it plays the city rival Crows instead.
Dispute: The Port Adelaide Powers want to wear a traditional black-and-white-striped top (pictured) at games, but an old agreement forbids it
Feud: Koch called a contract McGuire signed in 2007 ‘insider trading’ and accused him of being part of an AFL ‘Melbourne mafia’
Mr Koch was outraged when Mr McGuire previously admitted that when the Magpies signed the agreement, they knew the Heritage round was going to be axed.
‘This [agreement] was signed by a president of a club who had inside knowledge that the other parties were not aware of – it begs the question if the AFL was aware of it,’ he said, claiming it was a form of ‘insider trading’.
‘That’s a reflection of this VFL [Victorian Australian Football], Melbourne mafia that pat the interstate clubs on the head, pay them a bit of attention but say, “Get away, this is our game,”‘ he said in April.
History: The two clubs signed an agreement (pictured) in 2007 which let Port Adelaide wear the traditional jersey at Heritage games – a round which was axed a year later
Port had asked the AFL for permission to wear the traditional ‘prison bars’ guernsey it wore throughout its history before entering the AFL, and had even considered using it without league approval, but threats of premiership point deductions were made.
‘I said “I’m happy to pay a fine and just bloody wear the thing” and they said that “we’ll fine you and take points off you”,’ Koch said in an interview in April.
‘It would be four points for the game – we can’t afford that.’
‘We can’t afford that’: Port and Koch had considered wearing the traditional ‘prison bars’ guernsey oh the field without league approval, but threats of premiership points being deducted were too risky