Port Adelaide great Warren Tredrea has torched the AFL over the clash jumpers “debacle” playing out this finals series.
The issue of clashing strips has divided fans all season with Port Adelaide’s iconic prison bars jumper creating spot fires between Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and Power chairman David Koch all year.
Watch the 2020 Toyota AFL Finals Series on Kayo with every game before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Port were the Magpies before they entered the national competition and Koch has campaigned for the right to wear the traditional black-and-white striped jumper – which he says became the highest-selling guernsey in the AFL in 2020 after the Power wore it against the Crows in round two.
After getting permission from the league to wear it while celebrating its 150th year as a club, Port then launched a petition for the right to don it every season.
McGuire threatened to take the AFL to court if it agreed to the move, claiming Port Adelaide had signed a contract when it entered the competition in 1997 never to wear black and white or a magpie on its uniform.
The issue of clash jumpers continues to play on in the finals series with Geelong and the Magpies also butting heads ahead of Saturday’s semi-final.
The Cats’ dark navy and white hoops strip has repeatedly clashed with the Pies’ black and white columns.
Tredrea has now pointed out the issue keeps playing out because of the AFL’s failure to intervene.
He said league officials have been exposed as being too scared to stand up to powerful clubs like McGuire’s Collingwood, taking a policy of allowing the clubs to fight out jumper disputes among themselves.
It has been a disaster.
“I find this an absolute debacle from the AFL. This has happened for how many years?” Tredrea told WWOS.com.au.
“Why doesn’t the AFL step up? The AFL’s attitude on this is to let the club sort it out. Well, that’s when you open the door for Eddie McGuire and Frank Costa and David Koch or Jeff Kennett.
“It only seems one club has great issue. Essendon is a proud club, and they have a clash strip that changes significantly. Collingwood’s clash strip is not enough. Maybe go all black or all white, we’re talking for one week.”
He said the AFL must step in to restore order and a establish clash-strip rules — like FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League have all done across the football world.
“The problem here, the AFL don’t have the you-know-what’s to make a tough call and demand everyone has a clash strip,” Tredrea said.
“You might have to wear it maybe once a year – well, that’s part of the deal. Here we are in a COVID year, where we can get a season underway in hubs and we still can’t sort out guernseys. What a disgrace.”
AFL reporter Sam McClure responded to Tredrea’s comments by suggesting it has become “farcical” and “a joke” for the AFL.
McGuire earlier this week said it would be a debacle if Geelong wears anything other than the white shorts they have traditionally used.
“There is (a possible strip clash), but I thought we sorted this out in about 2000 when there was a massive jumper clash and we said, ‘We’ll wear the dark outfit, you wear the white shorts’,” McGuire told SEN SA Breakfast.
“Then last year I couldn’t believe it, in the final they (Geelong) ran out in blue shorts for about the first time in 15 years.
“I’ll leave it to the AFL to sort out, it’s up to them but if they make us wear white shorts it will be a debacle.
“What people can’t get through their thick heads is the white shorts — it’s the white in the various jumpers that causes the clash.
McGuire earlier this year took aim at Koch, declaring the Magpies and Power had contractual and trademark agreements around when Port is able to wear the prison bar strip.
Speaking on Footy Classified, McGuire accused Koch of being “disingenuous” with his demands and claimed the Sunrise co-host “doesn’t have the guts” to tell Port fans the days of the prison bar guernsey are over.
“My point is this — there are major things when you have an identity and it’s your trademark. Collingwood’s is the magpie and black and white,” McGuire said.
“David doesn’t have the guts to tell his supporters that it’s finished.
“David, to his credit, has always been a strong supporter of the magpie. You’re not, and you can’t, wear it again.
“We have handshake agreements, we have contracts, we have trademark agreements, the AFL own the trademark.
“What annoys me, and I think David is being so disingenuous to his own supporters, is he goes on South Australian radio or TV and he fizzes them up.
“The magpie is (the) Collingwood Magpie, and that’s that.”