PORT ADELAIDE CEO Keith Thomas has quashed rumours permeating that the club has signed an agreement which will prevent it from wearing the Prison Bars guernsey beyond the 2020 season.
Speaking on Adelaide radio on Thursday evening, Thomas denied the club had signed away the right to wear its famous guernsey.
“Let me categorically say, there has been no agreement signed that prevents us from wearing the Prison Bars post 2020,” Thomas said.
“Never. That agreement does not exist, so whoever presented that as a possibility - that’s a furphy.
“We’ve chosen not to talk a lot about the Prison Bars because it forms part of our 150-year plans and we wanted to bring it out at the right time.
“No agreement exists to suggest we can’t wear it beyond 2020.
“The pre-existing agreement that we have been adhering to dates back to 2007 when the administration of the day successfully argued that Port Adelaide’s birth date should be officially recognised as 1870.
“To that point, the history of the club was separated into the pre-AFL entry, and post AFL entry eras. It was an important victory.”
To achieve this, Thomas said the club agreed that it would not seek to wear the Prison Bar guernsey as its primary jumper in the AFL competition.
“The agreement, not to seek to wear the Prison Bars on an ongoing basis in the AFL, was pretty straightforward because the club never intended to do so anyway - that decision had already been made 10 years earlier,” he said.
“But provision was made for the club to wear the Prison Bars on special occasions, such as Heritage Rounds. That was the context back in 2007.
“It was a really important battle to win. It enabled us to ensure that the entire history of the club would be officially recognised at the AFL level.
“And it enables us - in moments of historical significance - to go to the AFL and say we want to wear the Prison Bars, and have that conversation.
“We have been to the AFL on four previous occasions with such requests, and been successful each time. 2020 will be another one of those moments.”