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Monday, 23 September, 2002, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Ebdon calls for player power
Peter Ebdon is the current world champion
Peter Ebdon believes the future looks bright

Snooker is not enjoying the best of times at the moment.

The on-going struggle over who controls the game is some way from reaching an amicable conclusion.

Uncertainty over the future has resulted in cost-cutting exercises for this season, with the calendar reduced to just six ranking tournaments.

There will also be no events played outside the United Kingdom and Ireland - the first time that has happened since 1982.

For a sport that is steadily becoming more popular worldwide, that news is a major hammer-blow.

World champion Peter Ebdon is determined to ensure the overall control of snooker belongs to the players.

He told BBC Sport Online the sport was at an important junction and that it was vital overall power did not fall into the wrong hands.

Hendry is at the forefront of the latest proposals
Hendry is at the forefront of the latest proposals

"I think the game should be run by and for the players," Ebdon said.

"I'd be disappointed if a commercial body ever came in and took over snooker.

"They'd be more interested in making money for their shareholders than putting it back into the game for extra prize money and more ranking tournaments."

The Wellingborough player's comments follow the recent concern shown by two greats, Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry.

The former world champions have called an extraordinary general meeting next month to replace the board of directors of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, the sport's governing body.

Their concerns arise from the WPBSA's decision to bring World Snooker Enterprises (WSE) on board as new business partners, despite no plans for new financial input.

Although Ebdon supports the stance made by the players, he believes that the quicker the issue is resolved the sooner the focus will return to the action on the green baize.

The 32-year-old also added that the future of snooker was not as bleak as some people were making it out to be.

"The Association is in a strong position financially. There are certain people who have been telling the players a pack of lies," Ebdon added.

"The game is in a good state. We have good sponsors and are attracting more.

"I think snooker can go forward in the next five years."

See also:

18 Sep 02 | Snooker
22 Aug 02 | Snooker
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