Ronnie O’Sullivan has cast doubt on whether he will play in some of the snooker’s major events this season including the World Championship.
The five-times world champion took to Twitter on Sunday night and revealed, in a response to a question from a fan, that his participation at the Crucible next year was “not a given” as things stand. He also raised doubts over competing in The Masters in January.
The five-times world champion said “contractual points” surrounding his Players Contract were currently the reason for the doubts over his participation and that his agent would be dealing with any issues. Though he did not specifically reveal what those issues were.
But he then said in a further tweet in response to another fan “It’s not really mate.. we get asked to do other things other then playing and that’s where the problem lies.”
All players on snooker’s main tour must sign a Players Contract which is put in place to look after the promotion and commercial interests of the sport.
Despite signing it, O’Sullivan expressed his anger over the Players Contract during the World Championships last year and said in a heated press conference he would not be “bullied or intimidated” by those who run the game.
His claims stemmed from receiving a disciplinary warning from the body earlier this year which stated he could face future fines if he continued to misbehave during tournaments.
“I just want to play and have fun but I’m not going to get bullied or intimidated,” he said after his first round Crucible win over Gary Wilson.
“I’m not prepared to put myself in a position where I am in breach of the game or if I say something bad about the refs (referees), the players, the venue. There are so many things there.
“I’m tarnishing the sport, I’m doing this. Please just drop me out. I’ve done 25 years service to the game. I don’t need that at 41.”
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn responded less than 24 hours later saying O’Sullivan’s claims were unfounded and were damaging for the sport but hoped all parties could move on from the comments.