Is the average snooker players salary worth all the dedication and hard work?
The prize money for snooker tournaments may seem attractive to most people looking in from the outside. The reality is though, that the money given is far below par when compared to other sports.
Snooker players in the top 16 of the world can expect to earn about £250,000 a year on average. A consultant surgeon in a hospital earns about the same and does not have the same amount of expenses such as travel and accommodation to deal with.
If you look at the premiership league soccer for example, the average weekly earning is £44,000. If your Lionel Messi or Christiano Ronaldo you earn £35m per year excluding sponsorship funding.
The highest earner of all time in snooker is Stephen Hendry. His total prize money over three decades has been just over £10m. As you can see this is significantly less than soccer players, and this only counts if you reach the pinocle of snooker.
There are some difficult sports where athletes earn less than snooker players though. Professional track athletes on average will earn £65000.
The difference between snooker and soccer is quite simple. Soccer has a huge amount of fans around the world. Additionally soccer stadiums will fill in excess of fifty thousand people, whereas a snooker venue can only fit a few hundred fans.
For me, as someone who plays snooker and soccer, i would suggest that snooker is a much harder game to play than soccer. The level of skill and concentration required for snooker players is huge compared to some other sports. That not to say that soccer or rugby etc is easy!!
Young snooker players who are only starting out in their professional career are really struggling. It’s very difficult for these players to obtain sponsorship. Additionally they have to juggle travel, finance and focus on progressing their game while earning little to nothing. The snooker players salary for lower ranked players can be below industrial wage.
So how can the governing body of snooker inject more prize money?
From organising events in the past, I have a bit of experience when it comes to fund management, so let me break down how the moneys are organised in events.
Most of the prize money is generated through sponsorship programmes. In snooker these would normally be large betting firms. Other means of prize money come from television broadcasters who pay for the rights to show snooker on their channels.
Ticket sales in most sports are used to fund the operational aspect of events. For example paying for the rent of the venue, staff and logistics etc, although with larger events, ticket sales can be included in some of the prize funds.
To get an injection of prize money, the organisers would therefore have to secure larger deals with sponsorship and television companies which for snooker, is easier said than done with a dispersed fan base.
For players aspiring to be millionaires, the chances of you earning a salary that’s better than the average industrial wage is minimal. Lower ranked players earn little or nothing as they try to juggle acquisitions of sponsorships, travel and accommodation expenses etc. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t try!
Would you dedicate your entire life for a snooker players salary?