McGuire gets fiery over AFL jumpers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McGuire gets fiery over AFL jumpers

By Roger Vaughan 25/05/2008 06:30:01 PM Comments (0)

The always-emotive AFL issue of clash jumpers has prompted a heated on-air debate between Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and North Melbourne chief executive Eugene Arocca.

The obvious twist to their spat is that Arocca left his job as Collingwood chief operations officer in January to take a role with the Kangaroos.

At the heart of the dispute is North Melbourne's claim that the AFL have ordered them to wear their alternative strip for the round-16 home match against Collingwood.

North are fuming and have tried over the last few days to put the blame on the Magpies.

The Kangaroos' home guernsey is blue and white vertical stripes, which clashes with the Magpies' black and white stripes.

Collingwood's away strip is white stripes on black and the club vehemently refuse to design a different guernsey.

North are saying the league have ordered them to wear the alternative strip or risk a $100,000 fine.

"We just believe in trying to support the integrity of the traditional jumpers as much as possible and when clubs talk about having a real passion (in) what is their heritage, I can't understand why they'd want us to wear something that we've never worn in over 110 years of football," McGuire said on Fairfax Radio.

He also said the Magpies had frequently supported the struggling Kangaroos in gaining special funding from the league.

McGuire claimed there was a verbal agreement where North would wear their alternative strip and the two clubs would have a joint sponsorship for the round-16 game.

But McGuire really fired up Arocca by saying he had given permission "to the Kangaroos to approach Eugene Arocca and then to release him from his contract to be their CEO".

"As far as I'm concerned, there's no issue, I've spoken to the Kangaroos on Friday, to Eugene Arocca, who has a memory of the deal.

"I've asked the Kangaroos now to put that in contract form as well, or in agreement form, so we can go to the AFL and we don't have this nonsense."

Within minutes of McGuire's comments, Arocca was also on air.

"I'm staggered by that, I must say - I had an agreement in place that allowed me to resign at any time," Arocca said.

"So I don't know there was any permission granted for me to break my contract, because I made sure I had something in my agreement to protect my right to leave the club if I was offered a job elsewhere as a CEO.

"I'm staggered at the suggestion that even permission to interview me was taken to be a binding agreement, whereby North Melbourne gave up its right to wear the jumper.

Arocca said the conversation with McGuire on Friday, a day after the issue was raised on Channel Nine's The Footy Show, was "fairly heated".

Arocca added North would wear their alternative strip in round 16, "albeit reluctantly".

"We're not going to incur a $100,000 fine for this year, we're prepared to follow the AFL's edict.

"We've made it very clear to Jill Lindsay (AFL ground operations manager) that in 2009 on, we're going to wear our home jumper at our home games."

He said neither club had managed to secure a sponsorship yet for the match.

Arocca also added: "I respect Eddie enormously, but I think he's overstepped the mark here."

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