Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has hammered Port Adelaide chairman David Koch, labelling his criticism of Pies premiership coach Mick Malthouse as "200 steps too far".
Koch claimed on Saturday that "if it were up to him, (Malthouse) would bring back the White Australia policy of the 50s", in response to the coaching great insisting the AFL should stop playing games in China.
Collingwood heavyweights jumped to the defense of the former coach, with premiership captain Tony Shaw declaring Koch's comments a "gutless slur" on Sunday.
McGuire said on Triple M that while Koch is entitled to argue for the AFL's China experiment, his comments on Malthouse were unacceptable.
“I think to be slated back to White Australia was a step not too far, but about 200 steps too far from David and I hope that Kochie sort of 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.
“I hope that he does that in the next couple of days because that was way over the odds.
“David’s absolutely entitled to argue for the benefits that come from that.
“Yes, China is a major power that we have to deal with and that’s what our governments are trying to deal with, he’s looking at that, Mick’s looking at it from a football point of view.
“I think if everyone just had their time again, you’d be able to put your point of view on it and then count it, but we didn’t need to get so personal on that one.
“When you’re actually nationally aligned with promulgating the worst racist regime, I mean that’s apartheid what Australia was, that’s a big, big call and one that’s too far.”
Malthouse told The Herald Sun that the AFL must pull out from China or else risk the game losing its soul.
Koch doubled down on his attack on Malthouse on Monday morning but admitted he "probably took a step too far on the White Australia" remarks.
“I wanted to make a point,’’ he told FIVEaa.
“Yes, he (Malthouse) got under my skin because he just hasn’t sat down with us and said ‘what are you doing?’
“Rather than being informed and trying to understand he just takes potshots from the sidelines.’’
“Mick and Tony have always criticised us for going to China, right from the very start they haven’t really got what the whole thing was about.”
McGuire bemoaned the "pile on" that occurs every time someone like Malthouse expresses a difference of opinion, adding the coaching great doesn't have a "racist bone in his body".
“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.”
“All the sort of stuff that goes on now, if you’ve got a different point of view or even if you’ve got a slightly different point of view the pile on just comes straight up.
“I can tell you straight up that Mick Malthouse, there’s not a racist bone in Mick Malthouse’s body and he’s a broad-thinking man.
“He has done so much to look after indigenous Australians and indigenous footballers and players from all walks of life.
“He’s very generous man when it comes to people who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds from all sorts of areas who come into the club whether they could read or write or they were geniuses, all those types of things.