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Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Barry Hearn confirmed as chairman of world snooker body

Barry Hearn
Hearn is looking to bring the smile back to snooker

Promoter Barry Hearn has become the new chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.

Hearn and six-time world champion Steve Davis were co-opted onto the WPBSA board after former chairman Sir Rodney Walker was voted out on 2 December.

A board meeting on Wednesday, 16 December, officially ratified Hearn as the new man at the head of the sport.

Hearn, who also chairs the Professional Darts Corporation, has promised a "fresh approach" to the sport.

World champion John Higgins, a regular critic of the governing body, said: "The game has been slowly dying for years but I am sure Barry is the man to breathe life back into it."

A number of snooker players have become increasingly disgruntled over a lack of playing opportunities with just six ranking events currently available on the circuit.


Walker announced plans recently that the tour would be boosted to 15 tournaments to revive interest in the sport.

But after putting himself up for re-election a year earlier than was mandatory - effectively calling for a vote of confidence in his leadership - he lost out in the WPBSA's annual general meeting.

Board members Jim McMahon and Mike Dunn were also voted off the board with Lee Doyle and Dr Hamish McInnes remaining.

Snooker must go worldwide - Davis

Essex-born Hearn, who already runs snooker's Premier and Champions Leagues and has helped to revive darts, said it was "the beginning of a new era in snooker".

The owner of Leyton Orient football club has managed Davis since his early days and commended the player's reputation within the sport.

"Steve is a world ambassador for snooker," said Hearn. "His integrity is beyond reproach."

Having transformed the fortunes of darts in recent years, Hearn expressed his desire for doing the same with snooker.

"There'll be more formats," Hearn told BBC Sport this week. "I'll try to be innovative and creative. The patient is not dead - it just needs waking up."

Hearn's other promotional exploits have also involved poker, fishing and pool.

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see also
Hearn plans quick fix for snooker
02 Dec 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan delight at Hearn role
08 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Snooker must go worldwide - Davis
03 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Walker voted out as snooker chief
02 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Snooker world tour plan unveiled
26 Nov 09 |  Snooker
UK Championship gets Pukka deal
12 Nov 09 |  Snooker
Is the future of snooker secure?
21 Oct 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan wants X Factor glitz
12 Jan 09 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker

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