Port Adelaide is still waiting for confirmation from the AFL as to whether it can wear its heritage black-and-white prison bar guernsey in the upcoming Round 8 Showdown.
Port Adelaide chairman David Koch is mystified as to why the AFL is yet to reach a decision.
“Quite frankly it is ridiculous that we are still waiting for an answer. 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,” Mr Koch said.
“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.”
Mr Koch maintains the club has not seen any agreement, undertaking or commitment that would preclude Port Adelaide from wearing its black-and-white prison bar guernsey as a special purpose guernsey in games of heritage significance.
“I again ask that if such agreements exist, the AFL present them. 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.”