AFL 2020 | Finals or bust for coach Ken Hinkley, David Koch confirms


‘‘I never talk contracts. He has publicly, I think it was three-quarters of the way through last year, he said he’s got a trigger on his contract that he’s got to make the finals.

‘‘That’s not from me, that came from him,’’ said Koch, who was speaking after the announcement of a lucrative five-year sponsorship deal with MG Motor that Koch saw as shoring up the club’s financial position.

Asked if this meant that to be coaching in 2021, Hinkley would have to get Port into the finals, Koch said: ‘‘Yep, yep.

‘‘That’s nothing new because he said it … in most of our contracts, whether that’s players or coaching staff, I’m a great believer in performance triggers.’’

Koch said Hinkley had set a finals objective for this year ‘‘and I completely support him. He actually said finals and challenge for a grand final, I love him for it. That’s great, don’t be afraid to do it.’’

Asked if Hinkley had put pressure on himself, Koch said: ‘‘He’s put expectations on. He’s owning success, which I love. I don’t do Sunrise to be No.2.’’

The Sunrise host said the club was excited ‘‘and quietly confident’’ about their prospects for 2020.
He said he believed the club had the talent and maturity to make the finals. ‘‘Too right we do … in my eyes this is the best list we’ve had since I’ve been here.’’

Koch agreed that Hinkley’s contractual arrangement was similar to that of Alan Richardson entering last year at St Kilda.

The Port chairman revealed that the club had chosen to have a sole captain (Tom Jonas), rather than last year’s co-captains of Jonas and Ollie Wines, ‘‘because our supporter base and members were incredibly vocal, particularly going into the 150th year’’.

‘‘We make mistakes. We said it at the AGM. In retrospect, we shouldn’t have made that decision to start with.’’

He said it was a ‘‘non-negotiable’’ among supporters to have a single captain.

Koch also said the club’s finances were the strongest they had been at this stage of the year in his time as chairman, having signed the new deal with MG.

He did not anticipate major losses if the China game against St Kilda was relocated back to Australia (presumably to Marvel Stadium as a Saints home game), because he said Port did not make money out the China game itself, rather their earnings from the China involvement came from ‘‘non-game’’ revenues.

Koch said the club divided China into ‘‘game and non-game’’’ revenue.

‘‘We don’t make money on the game, ever. So we don’t lose money on the game either.’’

He said the club had made $600,000 from China last year, and would make ‘‘over a million this year’’ with or without the game.

If it did not go ahead, insurance could be an issue, he said. ‘‘Our exposure might be 100 or 200 grand.

‘‘We’re not spending any money until we get a definite position on whether we’re going ahead.

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‘‘We’re in touch with the government regularly because they have an interest in us going as well. In the next two or three weeks [we’ll know the decision], and the government will make that call too.’’

Koch said if there was travel advice from the government against visiting China and the Chinese government said there were no big events in May, ‘‘then that decision’s made for us’’.

‘‘We’re not BHP, we’re a little, working-class club.’’

Koch said the club had started a process of looking for a replacement for chief executive Keith Thomas, having identified candidates who ‘‘would be a good fit’’.

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