MARK Milligan has been released by Southend United.

The Australian midfielder made 34 appearances for the Shrimpers last season.

But Milligan has confirmed Blues have now allowed him to leave.

“I got confirmation on Wednesday that I’m a free agent,” Milligan told The World Game website.

“I had a three-year deal with the club but at the end of first season there was an option there whether I keep playing or whether I go into a coaching role.

"So that’s been the problem during this period.

"I had to be informed whether I’d be playing or going into a coaching role by the beginning of May, which obviously didn’t happen.

“And over the last two weeks both my agent and the PFA have sought to try and get some clarification and unfortunately we haven’t heard anything back.

“My visa expires in a couple of weeks so it’s sort of been taken out of my hands.

“We’ve sort of just got to roll with the punches like the rest of the world at the moment.

“Not being able to play and finish the League One season is very disappointing, but I think it was probably the best decision in the end.”

Milligan – who won 80 caps for his country – joined the Shrimpers last summer and started the season as captain.

However, Sol Campbell opted to hand the armband to Timothee Dieng when he took charge in October.