It’s a momentous day today as we all know.
Yes, today is the day that we finally get to see what fines and punishments have been dished out over the last three seasons to those naughty potters. Some of the offences are a lot more serious than others but all have one thing in common – they are all seen as serious enough to haul in a player to explain himself, here they are in full.
2014 was a pretty quiet year on the disciplinary front although there were three pretty hefty additions to the World Snooker Xmas Party Fund as they decided to fine Ronnie a total of £7000 for his erratic behaviour on Twitter which included him posting a photo of a friend of his performing an act of acrobatic self pleasurement, for want of a better phrase. Liang Wenbo’s temper got the better of him in a match in Germany and he was particularly unpleasant to a referee and rightly fined heavily because of it. Ding didn’t turn up for the World Snooker Awards bash and found himself on the wrong end of an £11,000 fine following previous warnings. It also looks like our old mate Padgey and Jamie O’Neill were getting a bit fresh in a hotel while Gerry Greene said something on social media which I must have missed.
The rebels were really out in force in 2015 with Ronnie again featuring heavily on the naughty step, it was beginning to look like he might as well just set up a direct debit. This time he was done for loose talk on TV and in press conferences, the heinous crime of not answering a letter, failing to report an approach to fix a match, which to be fair he probably only said to sell his book and also breach of a suspended sentence, whatever that was. Matt Selt breached the dress code and made an inappropriate comment on Facebook, which is very unlike him. The Chinese lot were hauled in en masse for something they did on TV, which might have been something to do with sponsors perhaps, John Higgins decided he didn’t want to talk to the media and got a very severe punishment for it while John Sutton was of course banned for match fixing. The interesting one here is Michael Holt being fined for ‘not playing to the best of ability’, a very subjective judgement and not clear what match it refers to. I’ve backed a few that haven’t played to the best of ability more times than I’d care to mention, perhaps I’ll make a list for the WPBSA, anyway, Holty was singled out and fined £500 for it.
Things have been a little quieter this year but there is plenty of time for that to change, for example Ronnie will no doubt be there again for not speaking to the press following his first round match at The Crucible. But for now, the new bad boy of the baize is undoubtedly Matt Selt, who has been done for swearing and twatting the table. Pottymouth Ding Junhui also said something he shouldn’t and his loose talk got him a suspended £1000 fine which presumably has now been written off. Anthony Hamilton’s dress sense cost him £500, which would probably have been better used on some new clobber at a Pottingham Tailor and Liang continued his poor conduct with referees and also decided to throw in a profanity at a press conference, he’s obviously looking to overtake Selty at the top of the naughty ladder. Oh and Charlie Walters ran off from a hotel without paying, we’ve all done it….haven’t we?