Barry Hearn has publicly criticised the Government’s decision to change the Bank Holiday Monday next year to a Friday – saying the move could affect hundreds of snooker fans watching the sport’s biggest event on the calendar.
Snooker’s World Championship final has traditionally finished on the early May Monday bank holiday. However, the Government announced that in 2020 the bank holiday would move from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May in order to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
The World Snooker chairman has hit out at the change and has offered a full refund to those with tickets who now may not be able to go because of working commitments.
Following discussions with host broadcaster the BBC, World Snooker will keep the dates of the tournament at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield the same, and the television coverage will not be affected.
Mr Hearn said: “It’s a very disappointing decision by the UK Government to change the date of the bank holiday at such short notice.
“To commemorate VE Day is an admirable principal, but why couldn’t this decision have been made years ago to give all affected parties enough time to plan?
“Tickets for the World Championship final are like gold dust, and no doubt we have many fans who have been lucky enough to get hold of them who now may have their plans scuppered because they have work commitments on the Monday. That’s why we will be offering them a full refund if they cannot be in Sheffield on that day.
“With more notice we could have planned for this change long before the tickets went on sale. It is a decision which will affect many businesses and individuals across the events industry.”
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