WORLD Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has confirmed he is taking a break away from snooker by not signing the 2012/13 Player’s Contract and has withdrawn from this season’s Premier League.
The four-times world champion announced the news earlier today on his official website and described the contract as ‘onerous’.
Not signing the contract means O’Sullivan is now ineligible to play in any World Snooker event but said in the statement he hoped to be playing again sometime in the future.
But this is expected news to all snooker followers after O’Sullivan announced he was taking a six month break from the game after beating Ali Carter in this year’s World Championship final.
“I have decided not to enter any tournaments for the time being including this year’s Premier League and forthcoming WPBSA ranking events,” he said.
“I have not signed the player’s contract as I feel the contract is too onerous and am in a stage of my career where I don’t wish to make this commitment.
“I still want to play snooker and visit those places around the world such as China where snooker is enthusiastically received and adored. I hope to remain involved in the sport in some way in the future.”
Reacting to O’Sullivan’s decision, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn revealed the current world champion was the only player not to sign the prestigious contract for the new season and said he will be eligible to play again as soon as he agrees to and signs the contract.
“As much as we will miss Ronnie O’Sullivan in World Snooker events, we simply can’t make exceptions for one player’s individual requirements. Our duty is to treat all of the players equally.
“Ronnie is at liberty to enter our events and play on the circuit at any time, once he agrees to abide by the rules of the players’ contract.”
Whether O’Sullivan signs the contract again only time will tell. You just wonder if this is the beginning of the end to Ronnie’s brilliant career in the game.