Ronnie O’Sullivan has been making headlines all this week, not just for the brilliant snooker he’s been playing, but for the controversial slamming of the professional snooker tour.
Ronnie O’Sullivan has once again slammed World Snooker and the current format of 128 professional players saying; “They (fans) just don’t want 128 players. They want the cream of the cream, and that’s the top 32.
O’Sullivan made these comments live on BBC after thrashing Matthew Stevens 6-2 yesterday at the UK Championship in York.
He went on to say;
“I always believe in more quality over quantity. That is my philosophy in everything i do.
“I think we have a lot of quantity, but very few quality events, so maybe skim them down a bit and just make them all real proper set-ups.
“Maybe the tour is only strong enough to cater for 64 players to do that”.
With a lot of the earlier rounds in the UK Championship ending in 6-0, 6-1’s etc, it’s not hard to see where Ronnie is coming from. There seems to be a huge divide between the quality of the top snooker players and those ranked much lower.
But players are coming through from the lower ranks and some are beating the top players, such as Oliver Lines reaching the last 16 of the UK Championship and taking World No.3, Judd Trump out earlier in the week.
Earlier in the week Barry Hearn (chairman of World Snooker) hit back at O’Sullivans comments when he referred to snooker as a “car-boot sale” and “cheap TV” in comparison to other sports.
Hearn Said; “Ronnie is an entertainer, and he should know better than that”.
He said O’Sullivans comments were “total nonsense”.
Hearn went on to say; “Its self-destruct button time – the only good thing is that people don’t take it too seriously because it is just another one of Ronnies ramblings”.
Yes most people tune in to watch the big matches but there are lots of other fans who like to watch the up and coming snooker players.
Snooker is in a much better position than it was in 2010 when the tour was limited to 6 ranking events. Hearn Said; “The sport is in the strongest place it has been since 1927, with bigger audiences, than most other sports and ready to kick on again”.
Hearn also said; “We are still redressing 10-15 years of self-inflicted damage, that falls on the players who were in charge at the time.”