( someone here mentioned the red and yellow flag of China months ago, can't remember who it was, but take a bow )
GOLD Coast is leaving Port Adelaide president David Koch red-faced on the jumper row not even the AFL will touch before their historic clash in China.
The Suns are disputing Koch’s claim there is a contractual demand for Gold Coast to abandon its red-and-yellow home jumper — which resembles the Chinese national flag — to wear white in Shanghai on May 14.
And the Suns have rebuffed Koch’s threat to have Gold Coast never again invited to China saying it is the AFL — and not the Power boss — who will decide who plays when and where on the premiership calendar.
Gold Coast put, in its reckoning, a full stop to the guernsey drama by presenting its red jumper as its official uniform for the China at an AFL-managed media presentation in Shanghai today.
The AFL is refusing to enter the stoush, with league executive Travis Auld repeating the game program has Gold Coast listed as the home team — and league rules allow the Suns to stay in red while Port Adelaide will wear black.
This is the same arrangement the AFL allows for all Suns v Power games whether they are on the Gold Coast or at Adelaide Oval because of the distinct contrast between the two clubs’ home jumpers.
Gold Coast chairman Tony Cochrane today told The Advertiser he would not “get into a public stoush” with Koch, a longstanding friend, out of respect for his work in financially refloating the once-ailing Port Adelaide Football Club.
But Cochrane invited The Advertiser to run past the AFL the explosive remarks Koch made on radio station FIVEaa during the Power’s internal trial at Alberton Oval last Friday.
Koch said: “It is in our contract that they will play their away strip.”
Gold Coast responds: “There is no written agreement.”
Koch said: “I’ve said this quite clearly from the start — if you want this to be only a one-year project for you, then you wear your home strip.
“If you want to be our partner for a number of years ... well then you’ll wear your away strip.
“It’s not an ultimatum, it’s just very clear where we’re coming from. We’re paying you half-a-million dollars to buy your home game.”
Gold Coast responds: “The AFL — not Koch — has full responsibility for the league calendar.”
The Suns also dismissed the notion it has brought nothing to the commercial table for the game that will mark the first AFL premiership match played outside Australia and New Zealand.
This was backed up today with Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo announcing in Shanghai that Toruism Australia will financially back the May 14 match. Ciobo is the Federal MP in Gold Coast’s south Queensland district.
The Tourism Australia logo will appear on the back of both the Suns and Power jumpers.
Cochrane told The Advertiser the Suns will continue to add to the commercial return in Shanghai by delivering Queensland Tourism and Gold Coast Tourism to the game sponsors’ list.
“We’ve played a role too,” Cochrane said. “We’ve used our marketing power too, particularly when China ranks at No. 1 in the Queensland tourism market.”
Gold Coast this week in Shanghai was named China’s most popular western destination at the annual Destination of the Year awards.