The footy and the fate of Australia’s economy

You might not think it’s possible. I mean, how could the fate of Australia’s economic future for the next two years lie in the hands of the AFL footy final winner? Well, according to an amusing little anecdote circulated by the NAB, whether the Saints or Magpies take the out the premiership decider match this coming Saturday could make all the difference to the country’s bottom line!

Now whoever was entrusted with the highly important assignment of compiling the following statistics had an interesting task on their hands and one which they seemingly attacked with almost as much gusto as the coach’s of both St Kilda and Collingwood at half time last Saturday.

Anyway, here’s a rundown of what they came up with…

Only one month after Collingwood won the AFL Premiership in October 1990 (I always thought it was one day in September???), Paul Keating declared that we were in ‘the recession Australia had to have’. But wait, it gets more spooky and alarming…prior to this victory, Collingwood took out their previous premiership in 1958 and by 1960, yep you guessed it – Australia’s economy was back in the recessionary gutter!

Oh, and then there was the 1953 Premiership and the resulting decline of the economy (okay, maybe not directly but come on – it’s pretty compelling evidence even if Collingwood’s win did coincide with the end of the Korean War boom). And finally, have a stab at the significant economic event that Australia suffered when Collingwood won an unprecedented four footy finals in succession; congratulations to those of you who answered the Great Depression!

Coincidence you say? Well, Collingwood’s reign as AFL victors and economic detractors wasn’t limited to these dates. They claimed the Grand Final Flag a further five times in the 1910’s and 1930’s, which just happen to be the two decades that recorded Australia’s lowest GDP growth in the 20th Century.

Now I don’t know about you, but I think this gives that legion of footy fans who find the Magpies insufferable a bit more validation, does it not?

Now let’s look at the Saints’ tack record – in terms of both the footy and our nation’s fiscal stability. Poor St Kilda has only racked up one Premiership win in 1966. And as eerie as it might seem, they won by a point against, um, who was that again? Oh, yes Collingwood! Now I don’t want to spark any favouritism here (or do I?), but when Collingwood went down in 1966, Australia’s GDP went up! In fact it rose by 7.4% in 1967, which as the NAB’s genius research team points out, is a pace of annual growth that hasn’t been matched since!

I’m not biased at all, but I can tell you now that on Saturday night, I hope I’m singing “Oh when the Saints go marching in…and support Australia’s economy…” That’s if I’m not too hoarse from all the barracking for St Kilda I’ll be doing beforehand! GO SAINTS!


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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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