'Bombastic' Kochie must go
PORT Adelaide chairman David Koch has failed to secure coach Port Hinkley to a long-term future at his club in a development which has seen calls for his immediate resignation.
The Australian reported on Monday morning Hinkley has requested a release from the final season of his contract with the Power in a bid to make an immediate move to the Gold Coast Suns.
The report claims tension between Hinkley and Koch is responsible for the senior coach's decision to walk out on the club.
It has led to calls for the Power to remove their high-profile chairman in a desperate move to stop Hinkley from moving on.
The Australian reports Koch and senior Port Adelaide figures have met with Hinkley away from the club's headquarters in a bid to convince the former Gold Coast assistant coach to stay.
The report claims Koch apologised to Hinkley for publicly criticising the club's playing group in a bid to bring him back to the negotiating table at the secret meeting.
It follows reports of a falling out between Hinkley and Koch over the Channel 7 star's outspoken criticism of star Power players in the aftermath of their extra-time loss to West Coast in the first week of the AFL Finals series.
Koch publicly scolded Power players after they were upset by the Eagles at the Adelaide Oval at the same time Hinkley was publicly supporting his playing group after their heartbreaking finals exit.
"We don't want players who are living their dream just by playing AFL footy," Koch said at a Port Adelaide function following their loss to West Coast.
"We want players who want to win a premiership. If they're not prepared, if they're just playing for us because they love to play AFL, they're not players that we want.
"If they're not prepared to win a premiership for this club, we basically don't want them. Let us know and we'll trade them."
Following Koch's public lashing of his players, Hinkley has been strongly linked with a move to the Suns, despite being contracted with Port Adelaide until the end of the 2018 season.
It prompted the Power on Friday to issue a warning to the Suns to back-off after Suns chief executive Mark Evans reportedly approached Hinkley about his team's senior coaching position.
"Port Adelaide has advised the Gold Coast Suns that Hinkley is under contract until the end of 2018 and is not on the market," the Power statement read.
"The club is still conducting its 2017 season review following Saturday night's elimination-final loss to West Coast.
"Port Adelaide will resume contract discussions with Hinkley and his manager on completion of the review."
'BOMBASTIC' KOCH MUST GO
The Australian's senior sports commentator Patrick Smith has declared the Port Adelaide board of directors must remove Koch for his handling of Hinkley's future.
"Hinkley, from all information gathered over the past 10 days, is finding Koch's bombastic, unpredictable and damaging football assessments an impediment to his coaching and the team's fortunes," the influential commentator wrote on Monday.
"It is hard not to see all this from Hinkley's point of view.
"Koch understands self-promotion much better than he does football. Reflect on this again. Port players are so devastated by the after-siren loss some are crying in the change-rooms. It is a time of grieving.
"Meanwhile, Koch cannot sense the mood, interpret the sad significance of the moment when players who have given everything must absorb that it has all come to nothing."
Smith went on to declare the Power must remove Koch to keep Hinkley.
"Koch is respected and liked as a successful businessman and popular television presenter," Smith writes.
"He can claim unchallenged that he dragged Port back on their feet. Port owe him much. He has energy and he has vision. But, on football, he mostly totters around in the dark.
"If Port are determined to keep Hinkley from taking over coaching the Gold Coast Suns - which we believe to be very much the case - then a sacrifice must be made. For Hinkley to stay then Koch must go. Immediately.
"As Gold Coast do their due diligence and seek the status of all the coaches that interest them there is no doubt they got a very warm and positive response from Hinkley's manager Peter Blucher. But apart from feeling chuffed the Suns can do no more than get on with other interviews and research. Hinkley has one year left on his Port contract and club and coach must find a mutually beneficial way out of it.
"Port, so far, are adamant that they will not release Hinkley prematurely. Normally, it is the chairman who sacks the coach but if Hinkley is to continue his successful run at Port then it might have to be the coach who sacks the president."
KOCH LOATHED BY SENIOR COACH
DISGRUNTLED power coach Ken Hinkley has been warned his loathing for club chairman David Koch is not a justifiable reason for abandoning his team with a year still to run on his contract.
Veteran football reported Damian Barrett has scolded Hinkley and the Gold Coast Suns for moving behind the scenes when the senior coach remains a Port Adelaide employee.
Barrett says the AFL must consider coming over the top and spoiling Hinkley's reported move to the Suns.
"Surely AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan ends this immediately, and tells the Suns to abort the Hinkley plot," Barrett wrote in a column for AFL.com.au.
"And if not him, Richard Goyder, the AFL Commission chairman, who is near-peerless in Australia when it comes to business class and smarts.
"Think about it. The AFL has lectured clubs for years about the financial waste in sacking contracted coaches, and now an AFL-run club is daring to coerce a rival coach out of a contract.
Hinkley, clearly, has issues with Port Adelaide president David Koch. He loathes Koch's regular public comments about his team."