World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has accused some of the sport’s fans and even a number of players of having ‘short memories’.
Hearn took to social media to make the claim on Saturday following a week of off-the-table talk and debate about the way the World Snooker tour is structured.
This was fuelled after Ronnie O’Sullivan told the world’s media during this week’s UK Championship of his plans for a “breakaway tour” after being left frustrated with the amount of tournaments in a season and the travelling that comes with it.
O’Sullivan has also criticised the flat-128 draw system of ranking events which see top players having to play in the early rounds rather than being given a bye, for example, into the last 32 stages.
And he has also suggested the way the world rankings should be changed and “averaged out” – based on performance levels within a set time period.
The world rankings are currently judged based on a player’s prize money won at every ranking event – meaning should a player choose not to play their ranking position could be affected.
But Hearn insists top players should have to prove they are the best by winning the early round matches – in what he calls a “level playing field”.
And in a Twitter outburst, Hearn insisted no changes would be made to ranking event formats and accused some fans and players of having “short memories”.
He tweeted: “Some Snooker fans ( and players) have short memories.
“When the top 16 were protected by seeding it rarely changed and the sport was close to dying.
“Will they never learn? Top 16 have to prove they are really the elite and that involves playing an a level playing field. NO CHANGE.”
Earlier this week The Old Green Baize reported how snooker legend Steve Davis appeared to look confused when sat next to O’Sullivan during a BBC TV interview about the “breakaway tour” plan.
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