JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Port to lobby for SANFL flags to count in revised AFL tally

The Port Adelaide Magpies celebrate their 1996 SANFL premiership win

The Port Adelaide Magpies celebrate their 1996 SANFL premiership win Photo: Peter Mathew

Heavily in contention to double its AFL premiership tally this season, Port Adelaide will lobby the league to incorporate 34 of its SANFL flags into a revised premierships table.

Fairfax Media revealed last week that the AFL is strongly considering a series of recommendations which if accepted will backdate the competition's official history to 1870, the year in which Melbourne claimed the game's first recorded premiership.

Such a move would catapult Carlton to the top of the overall premiership tally with 22, and would see Geelong awarded an additional seven flags.

But Port Adelaide CEO Keith Thomas has argued that if such amendments are made, then his club's 34 state league premierships won prior to its 1997 entry into the AFL should also be included.

"From our point of view, the first thing we'd say is our history is our history and as a club, we were formed in 1870 and celebrate the fact that we won 36 SANFL and one AFL premiership," Thomas said.

"We believe that an SANFL premiership is the equivalent to any other state league premiership won, so if you're asking me whether it's worth as much as a WAFL or VFL premiership, we would say absolutely."

Port Adelaide is unique in the sense that it is the only non-Victorian club to have entered the AFL as a pre-existing state league entity. The Port Adelaide Power which arrived on the AFL scene in 1997 is officially the same organisation as the Port Adelaide Magpies which had competed in South Australia for 126 years. 

When the Power came into the AFL a separate legal entity - Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club - was formed and continued to compete under the Magpies name in the SANFL. The Magpies subsequently won two further premierships in 1998 and 1999. 

In 2010 the club was reunified under the brand of the Port Adelaide Football club in a deal which now allows all Port-listed players not in the AFL team to play with the Magpies in the SANFL.

The AFL proposal would see the implementation of premiership categories depending on whether the flag came during the VFA era between 1877 and 1896, the VFL era, or the AFL era.

For example, Essendon would be credited with four VFA titles, 14 VFL premierships and its two AFL flags - a total of 20.

Thomas suggested that the proposal was symptomatic of a Victorian-centric approach across the game.

"As hard as the executive and the commission try to adopt an even hand, the over-emphasis of Melbourne-based media in the game drives the commentary and the conversation and the opinion makers into a Victorian-centric commentary," he said.

"It fascinates me that we always refer to Collingwood, Hawthorn, Carlton and Essendon as the powerbrokers of the AFL. Why is that? I think as a non-Victorian that notwithstanding that we get a great deal of support from the AFL, I think the general tone is Victorian-centric."

He was also confident that early rumblings surround the surprisingly poor earnings derived from Adelaide Oval since the revamped venue began hosting all Power and Crows home games would soon be overcome.

"We're going into the review process in July and I think that all parties are going into that review with an open mind with a view to ensuring that we get a best-practice commercial model out of Adelaide Oval, and if we do it'll be one of the great sort of models in AFL footy. I'm optimistic that the outcomes from that review process will be positive for everyone."

Port Adelaide currently sits atop the AFL ladder with 11 wins from 13 games.

 

Featured advertisers