PORT Adelaide hopes the AFL will change the list concession rules announced last Friday to eliminate the prospect it will enter 2016 with one fewer player on its list than Essendon.
Port coach Ken Hinkley said he could not understand why his club would enter the season with 42 players on its list while Essendon could have up to 43, once it elevates rookies and adds up to 10 top-up players.
"How do you get penalised for not creating the problem and have to deal with it? It doesn't make sense to me," Hinkley told 5AA.
"You would think at worst we would not start the season below the numbers of the Essendon Football Club."
The Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to impose a season-long ban on 34 past and present Essendon players last Tuesday resulted in Port Adelaide losing two players for 2016 – Paddy Ryder and Angus Monfries – while the Bombers lost 12 listed players.
However, four other clubs affected - Port Adelaide, Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda - can only upgrade a rookie list player on a similar basis as if the relevant suspended players were on the long-term injury list.
It means Port Adelaide's senior list is reduced from 44 to 42.
Port has applied to the AFL to have that decision changed - so it can add at least one player to its list on a short-term contract - but it is yet to hear of the decision.
The club recruited Monfries at the end of 2012 before being aware an investigation into Essendon's 2012 supplements program would occur, but traded for Ryder while a possible suspension was still hanging over his head.
Hinkley said he would like to add another ruckman to the list to mitigate the risk young ruckman Billy Frampton would be overexposed too early in his career, if senior big man Matthew Lobbe went down with injury.
"Essendon should not start the season with 43 and us with 42 players," Hinkley said.
He also expressed frustration that a week after the ruling was made, the Power were no closer to knowing the fine detail of what their two suspended players can or can't do beyond not being able to play or train.
Hinkley said it was disappointing that contingency plans had not being made to ensure everyone at the affected clubs knew the exact conditions accompanying the suspensions.
"We still don't know what we can or can't do with the boys. You would have thought there would be some planning go into what that looked like [and] what the consequences might be to a guilty verdict," Hinkley said.
"And a week on from today you still can't quite be clear. Yes we know they can't compete. Yes we know they can't train, but we haven't got any further detail from that."
Depending on the conditions attached to the suspension Ryder might, for example, be involved in the club's indigenous programs.