Dane Swan has described David Koch as a ‘poor man’s Eddie McGuire’ after the breakfast show host insinuated an AFL great was racist.
Koch called Mick Malthouse a ‘dinosaur’ and said ‘he’d bring back the White Australia policy’ after the former Collingwood and West Coast coach suggested the AFL should stop playing games in China.
Koch, who is the chairman for the Port Adelaide Football Club, later admitted his comments were out of line.
Swan on Sunday said Koch ‘clearly overstepped the line’.
‘Kochie must be bored and clearly overstepped the mark. He just wants to be Eddie [McGuire],’ Swan said on his Swanny and Friends podcast.
‘That’s just it, he is just a poor man’s Eddie.
‘He will never have the same power and influence over the game as Ed so he just needs to take a back seat.’
Swan’s comments came after McGuire, who hired Malthouse as coach in 2000, also took issue with Koch.
The club president said on his Triple M radio program that Koch’s comment ‘was not a step too far, but about 200 steps too far.’
‘I hope that Kochie looks back on that and says ”you know what, I might’ve just acted a little bit irrationally on that one and I retract”,’ McGuire said.
‘One of the things I deplore is as soon as anyone’s got a different point of view is to be called racist, misogynistic, boys’ club, anything like that.
‘I can tell you straight up that there’s not a racist bone in Mick Malthouse’s body and he’s a broad-thinking man.’
AFL Hall of Famer Dermott Brereton also publicly disagreed with the Sunrise host.
‘We saw light and shade. We saw the best and worst of Kochie on the weekend,’ Brereton told Fox Footy Live.
‘I was really disappointed in his comments on Mick and pressed him during his comments on Mick about the White Australia policy.
‘He can turn into a bully, that’s his worst side, he can turn into a verbal bully on TV.’
Brereton said the idea that Malthouse was racist was unfounded and pointed towards the coach’s long history of promoting the careers of footballers from all backgrounds.
‘Mick has been nothing short of brilliant to new Australians, to indigenous people,’ Brereton added.
Last week Malthouse called for the annual AFL game in China to be cancelled in a protest against the nation’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
‘The last thing we need to do is sell our soul, and I think most people are seeing that. I’m not anti-Chinese. Am I anti-Chinese government? Yes I am,’ Malthouse said.
‘I don’t think we should be seen to be selling our soul to a regimen that clearly has different values than we do.’
Koch, who helped pioneer the China matches as Port chairman, was furious at the comments and implied the coach was racist.
‘[China] are our biggest trading partner, our biggest customer… and using football to build a bridge with China through community and trade has become really important,’ Koch said.
‘So Mick Malthouse doesn’t know what he is talking about and with comments like that – if it was up to Mick Malthouse he’d bring back the White Australia policy of the 1950s.’
Malthouse hit back at Koch, saying the TV host’s comments were ‘very offline’ and said the Port president had financial motivations for wanting the China game to continue.
‘Money speaks, and we know it does, and that’s what I’m saying about the AFL at the moment,’ Malthouse told the ABC.
‘We’ve got to get our game in order. I don’t think taking the game out of Australia, particularly to a communist place that gives us absolutely no respect.
‘Kochie can say whatever he likes. But they are there for one reason only, and to deny it is ridiculous.’
After he was slammed for his comments, Koch backpedaled, but maintained his frustration at Malthouse.
‘I probably took it a step too far on the White Australia, but I wanted to make a point,’ Koch told FIVEaa.
‘And yes, he’s got under my skin because he just hasn’t sat down with us and said what are you doing.
‘So rather than being informed and trying to understand he just takes pot shots from the sideline and that’s what annoyed me.’