Black & White Tradition
Collingwood has called on the AFL to protect the most famous emblems of the club - the magpie, the black and white colours and its stripped guernsey - or it will seek to win back the trademarks from the league.
The simmering tension between Collingwood and Port Adelaide over clashing jumpers exploded yesterday, with the Power accusing its rival of "pinching"the guernsey design.
Port Adelaide chief executive Brian Cunningham claimed Collingwood had "pinched"its famous black-and-white colours and magpie emblem from South Australia's inter-colonial team in 1897.
But last night, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire countered by saying his club had introduced the colours and emblem in 1892.
Clearly frustrated by the debate, McGuire said the AFL must be prepared to protect the trademarks. If not, the Magpies would do so.
He said Collingwood supporters were hurt by suggestions the Magpies should change their jumper.
"We are not asking to take anything away (from other clubs) and they should not be asking it of us,"he said.
"They have changed to become more like ours. This team from South Australia - this Port Power - why would they pick black and white? Did the competition really need another club in navy or dark colours?"
The AFL want all teams to have three strips by next season: a home jumper, an away jumper and another jumper to avoid clashes.
But, McGuire believes Collingwood - and Essendon - should not be subject to the rule.
"I don't think either club needs one; it is the others who have changed to be like us."
McGuire said while other clubs believed they could make more from marketing more than one jumper, that was not the case at Collingwood or Essendon. "We think it's hard enough for families to be able to buy one guernsey for their kids."
Cunningham said yesterday that McGuire's reported threat of legal action against Port for copyright on the black and white colours was "irrelevant".
"It just won't happen,"he said. "Collingwood don't own the black and white colours. This club in its history has had black and white, and Collingwood weren't originally black and white and we weren't originally black and white. It's what teams changed to."
Brisbane Lions coach Leigh Matthews entered the debate yesterday when he praised St Kilda for being the trendsetter of the competition, after the Saints wore predominantly yellow guernseys against Collingwood last Saturday night.
"I think the courageous football club in the competition at the moment is St Kilda. They have done what all football clubs should do, have gone to a genuine different color when there's likely to be a clash and they should be proud of themselves that they are trendsetters in the AFL, St Kilda."
Matthews was a spectator at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night, and believes the AFL must move to ensure that all clubs follow suit and have an alternate strip, just as the umpires have been forced to wear bright colours.
"It was fantastic on Saturday night. You had one club in black and white stripes, St Kilda in the yellow jumper and the umpires in orange,"he said.
"All three distinctively different and that is what football should be, I reckon."
By Karen Lyon, Alan Shiell and Bill McDonald
Read Age Story
Dirty Pies change socks
COLLINGWOOD has made a minor concession in the jumper clash row by agreeing to wear a slightly modified sock in Adelaide on Friday night.
The Magpies will wear socks with a white hoop instead of the traditional all-black legs against Port Adelaide. "We're dirty enough with having to put a hoop on our socks,"a defiant president Eddie McGuire said last night.
Collingwood has refused to budge on the jumper after a suggestion by Power coach Mark Williams to avoid a colour clash.
AFL operations manager Andrew Demetriou said the AFL hoped Collingwood would fall into line with other clubs by preparing an away strip to avoid colour clashes with home teams from next season.
"All we can do is ask at this stage. We hope all clubs see the merit in alternate strips,"he said.
"I understand there are several already in the planning for next year. Our game is a great spectacle and anything we can do to enhance it, we will. We're relying on common sense."
But McGuire reiterated on 3AW last night that Collingwood would never relinquish it's hold on the black and white jumper.
"Do you want soccer to take over this game completely? Well, you really agitate the people who come to the games and fill it up every week and buy the jumpers and keep the AFL going around,"he said.
"You want to take away 110 years of history, take away the heart and soul of what our club is all about?
"The AFL should say all those clubs who would like to change or have changed over the years, that's all well and good. Those who believe their one jumper, and I think it comes back to probably just Collingwood and Essendon, they can keep theirs.
"It strikes at the very heart of Collingwood supporters, it's not something to gee up, Mark Williams to get going. Let's stop poking people in the eye. We make it hard enough for people to go to the footy to get into the ground for a start. Why would you take away something that really means something to them?
"Port Adelaide don't have black and white, they have teal. They're Port Power, we're the Collingwood Magpies."
By BRUCE MATTHEWS
Read HS Story
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