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Locked out: AFL says No to Port's Prison Bar Guernsey wishes

The AFL told the Port Adelaide Football Club on Thursday it can not wear its heritage 'prison bar' guernsey in their May 8th Showdown match. David Koch has revealed wearing the traditional prison bars “will cost me (Port Adelaide) points”

Port Adelaide had written to the AFL seeking an exemption from a ban on the club wearing their black and white 'prison bar' striped guernsey for their Saturday night home fixture against crosstown arch-rivals, the Adelaide Crows.

In a Thursday morning interview on Adelaide radio (FiveAA), Port Adelaide chairman, David Koch, has revealed that he told the AFL:

“I’m happy to pay a fine, I’ll just bloody wear the thing (players wearing prison bar jumper), and they said we (AFL) will fine you and take points off you.
“It would be four points for the game, we can’t afford that.”

On the FlowSports podcast, Breaky Flow host Courtney McIntyre shared the developments on Thursday morning in the debate. The SA Premier's perspective and history of the debate can be read below the FlowNews24 podcast player:

South Australian Premier and Port Adelaide fan Steven Marshall weighed into the debate via Twitter on Thursday afternoon, saying:

"I stand with the Port Adelaide Football Club in calling for the AFL to reverse its Victorian-centric decision."

When Port Adelaide joined the AFL competition in 1994, the club agreed not to wear their traditional ‘black and white’, but to incorporate teal into their jumper.

The long-time successful former SANFL club also adopted the 'Power' name in alternative to their traditional state league mascot, the Magpies.

The moves were to placate AFL rivals Collingwood, who were already in the AFL continuing their VFL heritage as the Magpies, wearing black and white striped guernseys.

Collingwood and Port Adelaide struck an agreement in 2007, whereby then Collingwood President Eddie McGuire, consented to the Power wearing their traditional 'prison bars' in the AFL's “heritage round”.

Between 2003 and 2008, AFL clubs wore traditional styled guernseys in a hat tip to their club's history during what would turn out to a short-lived 'Heritage Round tradition'.

This week, Port Adelaide president Koch took aim at now former Collingwood President Eddie McGuire, claiming the same agreement was tainted because McGuire had 'insider' knowledge at the time the 2007 deal was struck, that the heritage round's days were numbered.

Koch said:

“He (McGuire) inside (knowledge), we (Port Adelaide) had no knowledge of that.
“That is a reflection of this VFL, Melbourne market that pat the interstate clubs on the head...and say get away this is our game.
“They’ve got to understand that there is no VFL anymore, and every club has got to be respected and treated the same.
“In my finance world, that would be called insider trading.”
“I am absolutely ropable that we could be hoodwinked like this.
“Showdowns are South Australia’s football heritage round, and if you’re happy for us to wear it in a round of heritage significance every year back in 2007, we are just complying with the agreement.”

The Power has worn the prison bars on their guernsey on other occasions since 2007, including in last year’s Showdown to commemorate the club’s 150th year, despite not being listed as a “heritage round” fixture.