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Saturday, 17 February, 2001, 12:22 GMT
Is snooker snookered?
The snooker war has escalated after the breakaway The Sportsmasters Network announced it will hold a rival World Championship.
Is this the prelude to the type of bloody civil war that ravaged professional darts?
The TSN's decision to hold a rival World Championship could spell the end of the World Snooker Association's world event at the Crucible.
TSN has announced it will hold its version of the event at the same time as the Embassy World Championships.
Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry, current world title holder Mark Williams, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Ken Doherty have already committed to the breakaway tour and others are expected to follow.
What do you think to two World Championships and what does it mean for the future of snooker?
Is snooker set to go the way of darts? Tell us what you think.
Snooker has been in the doldrums as a popular spectator sport for a number of years, and I felt that it was beginning to come out of that lull, but this news of the breakaway will tear up snooker for good, exactly as it has in darts. How could either supposed world champion claim to be just that when half the top pros are in split events?
I think that having two tours will damage snooker.The BBC will show the WSA tour, when most of the top players will be moving to the TSN tour. I for one will be distraught to see a tournament in Sheffield
not involving such players as Hendry, Higgins and Williams.
I don't blame World Snooker, I blame the players, who don't seem to think about their loyal fan base.
I am 15 and I am just getting into playing snooker. How can two tournaments help improve the up and coming youngsters of the future? I also feel it is ruining a great tradition.
Paul Willcocks, England
Maybe Steve Davis would be wise to stay away from the TSN tour; seeing as almost all the other top players are on the TSN tour, he could claim his 7th World Title with the WSA! I would love to see that!
Why can't there be a two-tiered system, where the WSA take charge of the world-rankings and schools of execllence etc. and let TSN control the sponsorship side of things, that is what the WSA are failing on, the UK championship had no sponsor at all a few seasons ago.
Micheál, Rep of Ireland
I think the TSN tour is a great idea. It will give the lower ranked players a better chance of progressing in tournaments plus there aren't enough tournaments in the WPBSA tour.
As usual in a break-away organisation, the less talented, and those who are trying to progress up to top level status will suffer, like when the break-away English Premiership and Scottish Premier were formed. It's a case of look after themselves, stuff the rest. TSN won't guarantee a future for the rest. Very shameful!
I am always amazed by the conceit of so called stars just like in darts they are breaking away because they cant get their own way. Even if the WSA is badly run, surely the way to resolve the issues is to stay and fight to change things. I suppose next they will be saying that money has nothing to do with it?
The top players need to look to the needs of the fans and the game which made them what they are, and stay together. Will the 2002 World champion gain real satisfaction from winning a tournament with half the players missing?
If TSN wants to set up a rival tour, fair enough, but is it strictly necessary to stage both world finals at the same time? And what will we do if we can no longer watch Jimmy and Ronnie on terrestrial TV? Not everyone has satellite!
Hannah B, Germany
The fans are the ones who are going to suffer with this. The Crucible tournament will no longer be shown on BBC2 (because the BBC sports coverage is getting less and less with each passing year). Instead we'll be expected to pay to watch the new world championship on satellite. Well some of us (believe it or not) don't have satellite or intend to waste money paying for it. I'm not afraid of change but this is not for the better of the ordinary viewer.
I really fear for the future of snooker, as the current situation is exactly the same scenario that hit darts in the early 90's, and that virtually killed that sport off as a world spectacle.
I think it is an absolute disgrace you only have to look at the way darts is now. Are the players thinking about their supporters? Snooker was a sport that everyone enjoyed at a local level now like everything else it too is being taken from the supporters.
I think it is disgracefull that Ian Doyle and co. have even considered breaking the current tour up. Surely a revamped current tour would have been sufficent? I hope Hendry, Williams and White all have to go cap in hand back to the original tour when the rebel tour goes belly up!
Ben Tobin, UK
Snooker is great game and ultimately will endure. When all is said and done snooker will still be a great game.
The 'open' WSA Tour will always be the official body of snooker because it gives all players the opportunity to succeed - what hope would potential players have with a 'closed' TSN tour?
WSA/World Snooker is the governing body of snooker the representatives for ALL professional snooker players.This is how it should stay!
I fear for the long-term future should a commercial (profit) company take over snooker.
So far all TSN have offered are promises. Where are the tour details? Where are the sponsors? Who's going to actually run these tournaments? What TV Coverage will we have? At least with World Snooker, the players know they'll get guarantees!
The fact that TSN don't have terrestrial TV coverage puts them at a major disadvantage, as sponsorship and TV coverage are closely related. Why would major sponsors come forward if they don't get the hi-profile exposure that terrestrial TV coverage brings?
The "sport" will go the way of darts. The coverage will diminish as the top players will only be seen on Sky. The only people to benefit will be the current top players who will gain in the short term from increased prize money until the lack of proper coverage kills the "sport" for good.
No doubt the already extremely wealthy top players won't shed too many tears as their short term, get rich quick, look after number one attitude prevails. Cheers Ronnie, Mark,Stephen et al.
It is yet another example of players using their power to make themselves richer. Would they be supporting the rebel tour if didn't offer greater financial awards? I don't think so.
For a true rebel tour, you need the original rebels: Hurricane Higgins, Jimmy White,Cliff Thorburn (only joking!) and Silvino Francisco.
The TSN tour is amazingly being supported by all of the top players because it is alleged that most of them have shares in it! As for people saying it will only suceed if Steve Davis stays away from it, the game of snooker would not be as popular today if he had not promoted it in the way that he has. He is a great asset to the world of snooker.
I think that it will be a sad day for
snooker if we have two tours. Fans
will miss out on seeing the best
players, like Mark Williams and John
Higgins, play each other and the sport
will lose money as the best
players won't be involved. I blame World
Snooker. They have been slow to try
to change the image of the sport and are now paying
All the major stars have signed, there's big bucks on offer and exotic places to play. The old tour looks dead and buried simply because there'll be nonone left to play on it.
The rebel tour will only succeed if Steve 'Interesting' Davis keeps away from it!
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