Milligan’s calculated risk for the World Cup

Mark Milligan’s move to the Saudi Pro League may have much to do with money, but it also represents a calculated risk for the sometime Socceroos captain with the World Cup looming.
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Under previous boss Ange Postecoglou, it is unlikely there would have been any doubt about Milligan’s selection. The ex-Socceroos boss coached him at Melbourne Victory and made him a crucial part of the national set-up, so it is unthinkable that he might miss out.

New Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk will look at everything through fresh eyes, but it is unlikely – given his status within the squad, his experience and his track record – Milligan will miss out. That said, new coaches do not always make choices that are expected.

Milligan has been to three world cups, but only played briefly in one, in Brazil in 2014.

The first time he was selected was as an A-League player in 2006, when he was taken as a 20-year-old for the experience. In 2010 he was a squad player too, playing in China and Japan in the lead-up.

In 2014, Milligan was one of a handful of A-League players to get a call-up for Brazil. By then he was an established player, although his contribution in Brazil was limited by injury.

The strength of the Saudi Arabian Pro-League, home of Milligan’s new employers, Al Ahli, is hard to judge, although few coaches will have a better understanding of it than van Marwijk, who watched plenty of it when he was coaching the Saudi national team.

Al Ahli is one of the biggest clubs in the country, and finished runners-up in the league in the 2016-17 season, when they were also runners-up in the Kings Cup. After 17 games this season the club is second on the ladder, with 34 points from 17 games, two behind leaders Al Hilal.

Milligan and his advisers will have come to the conclusion that whatever happens, his move back to the Middle East was in his best interests.

Whether it was in Victory’s remains to be seen.

It provides Victory with a major headache with just a couple of days remaining in the transfer window but it is unclear whether they will try and move quickly to plug the gap or try to make do with what they have got.

The club is understood to have received $US600,000 for a player who would have been able to leave for nothing in a couple of months, so from a financial point of view Milligan’s departure is good business.

But it does leave Victory short in midfield. The signing of Terry Antonis earlier in the transfer window now looks like a shrewd move, as he can slot into the central midfield role that Milligan held, with Argentinian Matias Sanchez available as a reserve. Leigh Broxham, if not required as a full-back, is also an option in the middle.

At 32, Milligan’s best days are behind him, and he had not been asserting himself in A-League games as much this season. But Victory coach Kevin Muscat will undoubtedly find it difficult to replace him.

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Ruby Rose attends G’Day USA after back surgery

n actress Ruby Rose has left her sick bed after back surgery to attend the annual G’Day USA event in Los Angeles.
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Rose, wearing a sleek silver dress, appeared to walk without the aid of a cane or frame, which she had been pictured with on social media in recent days after having surgery to correct a “spinal issue”.

Ruby Rose attending the G’Day USA event in Los Angeles. Photo: Richard Shotwell

About 10 days ago, Rose, 31, tweeted about the surgery to her 1.3 million followers.

“So… for the past few years (decade) I’ve been dealing with a spine issue,” she tweeted. “I am now recovering from a back procedure, but I do need to stay active, so before I get seen with my cane and wheelchair in public, I’d rather put it out there that I’m fine and going to be fine.”

However, some social media users interpreted her comments, which implied she had to “warn” people about her condition, as offensive to people with disabilities.

Rose later tweeted: “I am very deeply sorry if it wasn’t worded correctly. For that I am sorry. I did have a fear as to what was going to happen if I didn’t say something first and I put thought into what I said but I didn’t consider that angle.”

On Sunday night, Rose paid tribute to her friend, actor Heath Ledger, who died 10 years ago and was honoured at the G’Day USA event.

“Celebrating amazing Achievements with @RebelWilson by fellow ns like @MargotRobbie followed by eating chocolate in bed past midnight with my dogs – Thinking about the times I’d drink Beers with Heath at the local pub. This is a great Saturday,” she tweeted.

Other celebrities at the event included Olivia Newton John, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, musician Delta Goodrem, actor John Travolta and actress Isla Fisher.

Daily Life

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Seven’s tennis aces competition on massive TV ratings night

If Bernard Tomic’s I’m a Celebrity jaunt is an emphatic bid to re-jig his public image among Aussie viewers, he should’ve stuck to the tennis court for maximum exposure.
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Seven cleaned up eyeballs with its n Open final coverage, on a massive television night that also included Nine’s one-day cricket, the premiere of Ten’s I’m a Celebrity and Lisa Wilkinson’s ballyhooed debut on The Project.

Roger Federer’s five-set win over Marin Cilic topped the ratings, earning Seven 1.73 million viewers across the five main capital cities.

Bernard Tomic on Ten’s I’m a Celebrity. The show had a strong premiere on Sunday. Photo: Ten

Despite the strong numbers, it was actually a dip on last year’s historic final between Federer and Rafael Nadal, which drew 2.8 million viewers for Seven; their biggest audience for the match in over a decade.

Although pipped by the tennis, it was a strong opening for Ten’s I’m a Celebrity, with 1.27 million viewers catching the premiere episode.

The show’s lacklustre cast may have failed to deliver on rumoured big-names including Fran Drescher and Jimmy Barnes, but Anthony Mundine’s controversial debut on Monday night should sustain interest.

Nine’s fifth one-day cricket game between and England earned 969,000 and 943,000 viewers respectively across its two sessions, just beating Ten’s new US action drama Seal Team, which got 763,000 viewers; bumped by I’m a Celebrity’s numbers.

Understandably, Lisa Wilkinson’s much-hyped debut on The Sunday Project was overshadowed by the busy competition (perhaps for the best), pulling in just 583,000 viewers during its second-half peak.

While the ratings surveys for 2018 don’t officially begin until early February, the commercial networks are already looking to get the jump on their rivals in a busy season.

Monday night’s viewing will prove a similar dogfight, with Seven and Nine reality shows My Kitchen Rules and Married at First Sight set to make their season premieres opposite Ten’s I’m a Celebrity.

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Nine tipped to beat Seven in closest TV revenue race in a decade

Free to air TV giants Seven West Media and Nine Entertainment are in the closest race for market share in over a decade, with an analyst tipping Nine will be on top at its half yearly results in February.
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After neck-and-neck results in the last financial year, Nine will edge past Seven in 2018 for market share of revenue, Deutsche Bank research analyst Entcho Raykovski predicted in a note to investors.

Using data from Free TV , Deutsche Bank’s figures showed the last time Nine was even close to coming first was a brief period in 2015, with Seven having a strong lead since 2007.

This time, Nine’s “ratings success” so far with The Ashes cricket is expected to put it in good stead, Mr Raykovski said, adding Married at First Sight would likely to drive audiences in the second half of the financial year.

This ratings strength would then drive up revenue for the network.

“We now expect Nine to have 39 per cent market share in fiscal 2018 (previously 38.5 per cent), with the gains coming at the expense of Seven,” he said.

Seven’s market share would then fall from 39.5 per cent to 38.2 per cent due to a “slow start” to the year in terms of ratings.

Seven came first for ratings in calendar year 2017 with 29.6 per cent network share across its suite of channels, just ahead of Nine at 28.1 per cent.

There was improvement across the metropolitan free to air market in the first half of the financial year, with growth likely in low single-digits.

The uptick in the sector was largely thanks to lobbying efforts from marketing group Think TV, the success of new formats such as Nine’s n Ninja Warrior, and advertisers returning to traditional broadcast options due to concerns about digital platforms, such as the possibility for brand damage, Mr Raykovski said.

Network Ten has been a distant third since December 2007, when it tied with Nine for revenue before falling significantly behind. Its market share is under 24 per cent. !function(e,t,s,i){var n=”InfogramEmbeds”,o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?”http:”:”https:”;if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=d+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement(“script”);r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”,”https://e.infogram苏州夜总会招聘/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”);

When the Deutsche Bank note was released to investors, Nine shares recorded an almost 8 per cent jump. Seven also recorded an increase.

It wasn’t enough growth to elicit a price inquiry from the n Stock Exchange, but it did push the Nine share price to its highest point in about 12 months, reaching $1.64 before the long weekend. This time last year shares were trading at about $1.02.

At the Nine annual general meeting in 2017, chief executive Hugh Marks said the first half of fiscal 2018 was on track to be “at the upper end” of its guidance, with the first quarter down about 1 per cent but the second quarter looking positive.

A Seven West Media spokesman said it was in its eleventh consecutive year of market leadership for audience, expecting to grow its audience and revenue share in 2018.

“We are leading total people audience in the financial year to date and expect that leadership to grow in the coming months,” he said.

He said the network had “huge and dominant audience numbers” in January with its airing of the n Open tennis.

“The positive outlook for the TV market, combined with near triple-digit digital revenue growth and prudent and pro-active cost controls, will all boost the bottom line”.

Seven chief executive Tim Worner told investors at the company’s annual general meeting that operating conditions in the first quarter were “soft” as a result of advertising market and ratings performance but said it had one of the strongest content line-ups in some time. The focus of the talk was on cost savings.

Last week Seven announced a new round of redundancies at its The West n newspaper in a “last resort” move by the publisher to cut costs.

Nine and Ten did not provide comment.

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