Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has issued a public plea after his successor moved to end the painful “prison bars” feud.
McGuire and his Port Adelaide counterpart David Koch engaged in a long-running stoush over the Power’s desire to wear the club’s traditional striped guernsey, which bares a strong resemblance to the Magpies’ black and white strip.
Under McGuire’s watch, Collingwood only allowed Port Adelaide to wear the jumper twice since entering the AFL in 1997 – in 2003’s heritage round, and in 2020 for the Power’s 150th birthday celebrations.
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But with McGuire now gone, Magpies boss Jeff Browne has given the green light for Port Adelaide to wear the guernsey in the Adelaide Oval showdown on April 1 against the Crows.
When the announcement was made last week, Koch couldn’t help but take a sly dig at his old sparring partner McGuire.
“Collingwood president Jeff Browne and chief executive Craig Kelly have been outstanding to deal with during these discussions,” Koch said in a statement announcing the new truce.
McGuire had the chance to respond on Monday’s 3AW is Football podcast, and is clearly still passionate about the issue.
”In Adelaide the press are sycophants over there, they do whatever they like for the local sides, and in Melbourne anything that gees up Collingwood supporters is clickbait, and they go with it,” McGuire told his co-host Jimmy Bartel.
Eddie and Cornes face off on prison bars jersey
“No one ever had any concern for the Collingwood supporters who bought that jumper, who stayed with that jumper, who didn’t sell that jumper, and have worn it from the very first game, and I find that a bit sad.
“Good luck to them, I would have thought black and teal was a good compromise.
“One piece of advice for them – drop the ‘prison bars’ reference, I think it’s a really bad reference in the current lifestyle that we’re all in, I don’t think it’s good for the demographic we’re all involved in.
“Go back to what it originally was, and that was the piers of Port Adelaide, it had nothing to do with prison bars.”
McGuire also took aim at Port Adelaide CEO Matthew Richardson, who told media the desire to wear the “prison bars” has nothing to do with generating profit.
Richardson did, through, in the same sentence suggest he was hoping to sell a number of merchandise as a result of Collingwood’s decision, which made McGuire scoff.
“I won’t say he’s lying, but I wouldn’t say he is telling the truth,” he laughed.
Collingwood and Port Adelaide go head to head in round two. The AFL season begins this week.
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