Connect with us


O’Sullivan in astonishing attack on snooker bosses who ‘aren’t the smartest’



RONNIE O’SULLIVAN has launched an explosive attack on the state of snooker, claiming it has reached rock bottom.

In an astonishing interview, the Rocket, 47, slammed the way the sport is being run.

Zhao Xintong is one of the many players facing match-fixing allegations
Ten players including Yan Bingtao face chargers from snooker's governing bodies

Less than a month before he arrives at the Crucible to defend his world title, O’Sullivan claims:

  • Snooker is “probably in the worst place it has ever been”
  • Total prize money on offer is not enough to support the 128-player tour
  • Those running the game “aren’t the smartest of people”
  •  Players are “frightened to speak out because they’ll get fined”
  • The only way to force through change is for stars to go on STRIKE

There is no doubt snooker is in a bad way. 

Next month there is a high-profile corruption hearing where ten Chinese players face a multitude of match-fixing allegations.

I was gifted a £250k Ferrari and Bentley for winning World Snooker Championship
Win a 2022 Range Rover plus £2,000 or £95k cash from 89p with our discount code

And in the two years since Barry Hearn stepped down as Matchroom Sport chairman, there have been several changes in personnel at the top of World Snooker.

Last week, there was a players’ meeting with snooker bosses in Leicester in the wake of the financial collapse of the Turkish Masters.


World No 1 O’Sullivan — who will try to win a record eighth world snooker championship — was not involved in those showdown talks.

However, the Essex potter said: “Snooker is in a bad place. It’s in trouble. It’s worse than a crisis. The game is struggling.

Most read in Other Sports


“This needs at least another £50million a year just to make it a proper Tour.

“When you look at £10m prize money for 25 events across the year for 128 players, it’s never going to be good. It needs at least to triple.

“Maybe you need some proper people like (F1 owners) Liberty that know how to inject something into the sport.

“It’s never going to change any time soon. You have to accept it and play the game because you love it.


“There’s only so much you can do. I’ve carried the sport pretty much for the last 20-30 years.

“You look at Wimbledon, probably £50m for the one event.

“Golf has a minimum first prize of $1.5m and the top players don’t even turn up for that.

“We’re playing for the winner to get £80,000 most weeks and the  runner-up £35,000. It’s bang in trouble.

Ronnie O'Sullivan has urged snooker bosses to be more productive in growing the sport

“Mark Allen has done well this year. Judd Trump did well a couple of years ago. A few other players will do all right. But for the rest there’s nothing there.

“What is a Tour Card worth now? It’s probably £25,000 in debt to most players.

“You look at the people managing the game — they aren’t the smartest of people. So you can’t see them  digging themselves out of it.


“It’s like a pub sport now. Look at some of the venues we play at . . .  It’s lost its charm, it’s cheap. The image doesn’t look as good.

“You have to get smarter people in to take it forward. 

“If they can be honest enough with themselves, the people that run the game need to say, ‘We’ve taken it as far as we can’.

“You don’t have to be Einstein to look at the numbers and  work out that something has to change  to push the sport forward.”

O’Sullivan, who has earned more than £10m in prize money, believes his peers refuse to speak truthfully because they fear it will hurt their bank balances.

Snooker has been rocked by match fixing claims over the last few months

The Rocket claims only a full-scale mutiny would encourage those running the sport to stop and listen.

He said: “A lot of players are scared to talk. They’re told, if they do, they’re going to get fined.   


“The only way to get change is for the players to sit down and say, ‘We aren’t playing until you listen to us’.”

A World Snooker Tour spokes- person said: “Last week we held a constructive meeting with the players — unfortunately Ronnie chose not to attend — and set out our vision for the future, addressing issues which are important to the players.

“The outcomes were positive and players were encouraged by the  progressive strategy set out.

“WST is working diligently across many of the areas Ronnie raises and is achieving considerable success.

“We have smashed records on ticket sales for the majority of our events  and our global TV and digital audience is bigger than ever.

“Prize money for our UK events has increased since the start of the pandemic.

“We are committed to returning to China in 2023, putting our tour in the strongest position it has ever been.

Major supermarket announces it's CLOSED over Easter
Unknown European island is 'new Mykonos' with cheap hotels & quiet beaches

“We are working with the leading sports agencies, whose clients include the Premier League, Fifa, Ryder Cup and The Masters. Our long-term strategy is based upon best-in-class analysis and driven by data.

“We would always welcome Ronnie sharing his ideas and discussing  our plans and strategy directly with WST.”

Source: The Sun

Follow us on Google News to get the latest Updates