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Vic clubs not keeping secrets, says Koch

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Presidents get together regularly to swap ideas ... we all relate to each other's situation
Port Adelaide chairman David Koch

PORT Adelaide chairman David Koch has been reassured that Victorian-based club presidents aren't plotting against their interstate counterparts.

All 18 club presidents will have the chance to voice their thoughts on the game when they meet with the AFL and the AFL Commission next Tuesday.

Koch will discuss the AFL's respect and responsibility policy in the wake of the Power being frustrated with the AFL's handling of the investigation into Sam Powell-Pepper's off-field incident last month.

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett hosted a meeting with six other Victorian club presidents – Eddie McGuire (Collingwood), Peter Gordon (Western Bulldogs), Peggy O'Neal (Richmond), Glen Bartlett (Melbourne), Mark LoGiudice (Carlton) and Colin Carter (Geelong) – earlier this month.

No interstate club presidents were invited, leading to speculation of an 'us against them' mentality.

"I think it was blown out of proportion," Koch told

"I know it seemed to be a secret meeting of Victorian presidents against the interstaters.

"The other presidents who were there, most of them rang me and just explained what was going on, and it wasn't that at all."

Earlier this week, Kennett said he wouldn't stop catching up with certain club presidents.

“I deliberately didn’t ask them (interstate presidents) because it wasn't a formal meeting," Kennett told Melbourne radio station SEN.

“It was just a gathering of people of like minds, and not all the Victorian presidents could be there because they had other obligations. 

“I just said, would you like to come and have a drink at my place, and some said yes, some said they can't make it."

Koch organised a lunch in March, before the start of the season, with Sydney-based presidents Tony Shepherd (Greater Western Sydney), Andrew Pridham (Sydney) and Ben Buckley (North Melbourne).

"Presidents get together regularly to swap ideas," Koch said.

"The camaraderie and the social side of it is quite important because we all relate to each other's situation.

"AFL clubs are unique beasts in terms of organisation, they all come with their own unique issues.

"We often just get together in little groups and particularly with presidents you get on with, to swap ideas and how you handle issues.

"I think it's pretty healthy."

Next Tuesday's president's meeting will cover a wide range of issues involved with the game.

"We talk about everything and it's a very informal atmosphere," Koch said.

"I've said it publicly, I want to discuss the respect and responsibility policy and how that works in practice.

"I am a massive supporter of the respect and responsibility policy, but I think how it works in practice and the relationship between the clubs and the AFL need to be fine-tuned to work a bit better.

"That will be a good discussion."