May 30, 2010

Ebdon has his say and Lines smashes Drago in Seniors

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:24 am

Ebbo claims that the decision is a no-brainer

Snooker players are not internationally renowned for their brains and business acumen.

It’s not that they are all thick as two short planks, it’s usually a direct result of a ‘misspent youth’ trawling around snooker halls at the expense of school lessons, though they are usually good at maths. John Higgins being a prime example, as in the recent All Star Mr and Mrs TV programme Denise revealed that if he hadn’t been a snooker player he would have been an accountant….

But this week calls for a bit of thought, do they sign away the commercial rights of the game to Barry Hearn in the hope that he can make snooker ‘the new darts’ or do they go with the arguably more level-headed bid of the unproven but successful John Davison?

Since yesterday’s post there has been a bit more from Barry’s nemesis Peter Ebdon, who is predictably firmly nailing his colours to the Davison bid.

Ebdon has told

“This proposal is fantastic news for all professional players and those who would aspire to join their ranks in the future”

“This is a hugely credible alternative to the changes advocated by Barry and from my perspective is a complete no-brainer. Any player who has an interest in the future of snooker has to see John Davison’s route as the way forward”

“Players want more prize money, which they will get, and want more tournaments, which they will also get. The entire crux of the matter for me is that we will still be in control. John Davison is in effect ‘leasing’ snooker from the players for the next 15 years – we are not being asked to sign away everything we have built up over the years and that we may never see again”.

“Even the most ardent supporter of the other option cannot be happy with that prospect.”

“The players need to see this for what it is; the chance for someone else to maximise the potential of the game, secure the commercial assets, take it forward, secure the future, and then hand back a healthy, vibrant sport at the end of it”

“It will be good for John Davison and his partners, and very good for snooker and the players who are making their career in this great sport”

“The players have to be behind this proposal, one hundred per cent. There is to my mind no debate; this latest offer is so far ahead of the other. We must back it”

Ebbo doesn't like Baz very much

Plenty of people have already pointed out that our Pete opposed Davison’s failed Altium bid in 2002, which in hindsight was probably a bad call, so why the reversal?

“There was a decision to be made then and I took the decision which I believed was right for me at that time. I was not opposed to John, or had anything against him. I did what was right for me then. This time around, I am choosing what he has outlined, again because I believe here and now it is best for me, best for my fellow professionals, and best for the entire game”

I’m glad that he qualified things with that last sentence as I believe part of the reason snooker is in such a mess financially is that there are too many top players who are only bothered about themselves, I think a less selfish attitude and a bit of respect for the game wouldn’t go amiss sometimes.

“I am just so pleased we have not been left in a position where the only course of action was to accept the unacceptable” Ebbo concluded.

This comes after Mark Selby yesterday did an about turn on his unequivocal backing of Baz, though as he’s on a flight to China tomorrow he will (I assume) have to rely on a representative to keep him informed of matters relating to the vote, as will Joe Perry (who has replaced Ali Carter), Mark Allen, Stephen Hendry and the handful of others competing in the Wuxi Classic at the end of the week.

Lines - On the right track

In the meantime, the old codgers are upping the ante in the World Seniors Event in Bradford. Peter Lines, who was a last minute stand in for Darren Morgan and has only just turned 40 (which surely isn’t that old?) gave Tony Drago a hiding and made a career best break of 144 to reach the final of the qualifiers where he will meet either Joe Swail or Nigel Bond.

Lines, from Beeston who had a good run in the UK last year, said afterwards “I only found out that I was playing last week when Darren Morgan pulled out and I always practice hard but to play like I did was fantastic”

Lines only missed two pottable balls and 44-year-old Drago said: “He played fantastic and he deserved to win”

“If he plays like that he will be tough to beat, and I mean in the whole event, not just in the qualifying”

The winner of the final will face Ebdon in the main event.

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