Why there are doubts over an 18-team AFL competition

Gold Coast chairman Tony Cochrane did not disguise his contempt for the Gordon view on Nine this week. Drawing on his rich history as a marketing man, Cochrane pointed out that the ninth AFL game of every home-and-away round was worth an additional $50 million to the broadcast rights agreement. Not only was that an outrageously generous assessment in the context of pre-coronavirus but also wildly out of the ballpark in the view of the AFL’s media partners. Those broadcasters say the incremental value of the ninth game is not…

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Aussies’ $721 million payday

The decision will deliver a $721 million payday to welfare recipients who in some cases were hounded for years over the debts that were wrongly issued. The huge refund of cash will also involve paying interest to thousands of Australians who were forced to repay debts before joining a class action against the Commonwealth. In a statement, Human Services Minister Stuart Robert said the Morrison Government “takes its responsibility for upholding the integrity of Australia’s welfare system seriously”. “From July this year, Services Australia will refund all repayments made on…

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Matt Dufty forces Paul McGregor to retain him at fullback for St George Illawarra Dragons

Matt Dufty lit up a Dragons training session last Saturday. Credit:Getty “At training he’s been outstanding and he deserves a special mention. He’s earned that fullback position. We’re fortunate because we have Zac. Zac is a footballer, he’s a great centre, can play wing and fullback. “Duff will be the first to admit at times last year he didn’t put his best foot forward. A lot of us didn’t either. It was a forgettable year. “But the way ‘Duff’ has applied himself, he’s given the team plenty of confidence from…

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Seven, Foxtel withhold payment but new contract nears

Seven, Foxtel and the AFL did not wish to comment. Loading The withholding of the latest payment suggests the AFL is going to take at least a 25 per cent hit in the coronavirus-impacted season, highlighted by clubs recently taking a 37 per cent cut in football-department spend compared to the pre-COVID-19 cap. It also comes at a time when the broadcasters are still renegotiating a revised contract, taking into the account the lost income of this year. As revealed by The Age’s Caroline Wilson, the plan is to extend…

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Just two people left on ventilators

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth led the Government’s ventilator expansion program when there was about 2200 ventilated intensive care beds available in Australia, with targets to increase that to more than 7000. But today chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy said there were just two people on ventilators around the country. “A long way short of the 7000 potential that we catered for in the worse-case scenario,” he said. RELATED: Everything you can do from Monday RELATED: Nurse’s shock overseas trip revealed Monash Health’s Casey Hospital opened a…

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Bronson Xerri hasn’t contacted Cronulla Sharks coach John Morris since the doping scandal began

Xerri is facing the prospect of a four-year ban after he returned a positive A-sample for exogenous testosterone, androsterone, etiocholanolone and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol from a test on November 25. The Sharks coach said he was in his office on Tuesday with staff when he received a call from the club’s general manager of football, Phil Moss, about 12.30pm. “I was told to report to his office straight away for something urgent,” he said. “I clearly didn’t think it was going to be anything like that.” Embattled Cronulla star Bronson Xerri.Credit:NRL Photos…

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Queen’s Birthday: What’s open this long weekend?

Queenslanders will celebrate the Queen’s Birthday until later this year on October 5, while those in Western Australia will get their holiday on September 28 this year. So what will be open this long weekend? SUPERMARKETS On Monday June 8, it will be business as usual despite the Queen’s Birthday holiday for all Woolworths stores in NSW except 33 George Street, Sydney Metcentre, North Sydney, Castle Hill and York Street, which will be closed. All Woolies stores in Victoria will be open except Melbourne Central, Bourke St, Collins Square and…

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Inside the protocols that have allowed the NRL to return to play

“It starts first thing in the morning when you wake up,” Storm football director Frank Ponissi said. “Everyone in the 50 fills out questions on an NRL phone app, like, do you have these [COVID-19] symptoms? Where you went the previous 24 hours, and they all have an ear thermometer to make sure their temperature is below 37.2 degrees. “If they have symptoms or their temperature is high our club doctor is informed and they are told to stay at home and a COVID-19 tester is sent out to them.”…

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O’Meara waiting for all-clear from medical team

Loading But Clarkson joked he would love to see O’Meara wear the same helmet as club legend Dunstall did on returning from a fractured skull in 1990. Photos of Dunstall wearing the “crash hat” have continually surfaced in his media work during the last 20 years. “It’s an incident that’s probably happened so many times and most of the time you actually split a bit of skin, rather than have a little fracture,” Clarkson said of O’Meara’s injury. “If you saw him and watched him train, you’d think there was…

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