Barry Hearn has struck back at comments made by Ronnie O’Sullivan earlier in the week when he described snooker as a “car boot sale” in comparison to other sports.
Barry Hearn, the chairman of World Snooker suggested that O’Sullivan should’ve known better than to be so critical of the sport he fronts.
O’Sullivan said; “Snooker is like a car boot sale compared to other sports.”
O’Sullivan has often been critical of how snooker is seen throughout the world. He once argued that snooker should be like other sports such as darts, tennis or golf, where superstars are created and much bigger prize money.
In the 1980’s, snooker was one of the biggest sports in the UK but it’s popularity has dwindled over the last couple of decades. Despite the game’s fall in popularity here in the UK, the game is in a fantastic place, most notably in China and now mainland Europe.
Hearn said; “The game of snooker has never been in a stronger position. Prize money has trebled in the past five years.”
Hearn also insisted that the UK television ratings are on the increase.
“Ronnie lives on another planet sometimes but he’s a massive draw and great asset to the game.
“Snooker is in the best place it’s ever been.”
Ronnies argument is that snooker needs to change it’s image. To some critics of the game, snooker is perceived as boring compared to other sports such as football, rugby, tennis, darts and golf.
O’Sullivan also suggest the game needs bigger prizes, such as million pound prizes for the winner of some tournaments.
Despite O’Sullivans comments, and although a lot of fans would agree with him, the game is on the rise. Maybe not here in the UK and Ireland, but certainly around the globe. Prior to 2010 and Barry Hearn taking charge of the game, snooker was a dead duck. Hearn has taken snooker to a totally new level where more events are taking place than at any other time in the game’s history.