June 22, 2010

Higgins Conclusion 'By the End of July'

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:42 am


The Long Wait is Nearly Over

Barry Hearn has confirmed to the Scottish Herald that the investigation being carried out by David Douglas into the John Higgins affair is now close to completion and will be passed on to an independent tribunal which he says should reach a conclusion ‘within a month’.

Since promising swift action on this when the story broke at the beginning of May, Bazza has been busy securing the confidence of the players to take forward his big plans for the sport. Meanwhile, his best man, Douglas of the Yard who is a former Metropolitan Police Chief has had his ear to the ground and his nose to the wall in an attempt to sniff out the facts.

The latest article from Sportingintelligence recently revealed that those naughty reporters at the News of the World had edited the tape to suit their story and yesterday Roy Greenslade revealed in the Guardian that they might have also got our John pissed up against his will. Newspapers misbehaving and acting disrepectfully? Whatever next?

But while both articles make good points, particularly the Nick Harris one, they do little to refute or alter the basic premise of the investigation. Namely, why did John/Pat not inform the Board of the meeting before the expose and, if there are doubts about the authenticity of the tape why has John not issued a statement to say this?

Barry said “We have to be painstaking in the way we carry this out, and both John and Pat Mooney, will get the chance to put their side of the story, because everybody is innocent until proven guilty.”

“We have done all we can to make sure this investigation is done independently of the WPBSA, because I’ve known John for nearly 20 years and this matter has to be left to other people. I hope, as much for John’s sake as anybody else’s, that the tribunal will be able to arrive at a judgment within a month of receiving the submission from David” he added.

Let’s hope that this is the case as it’s doing nobody any good it going on too long. One would assume that once the conclusions are drawn it will be up to Bazza to administer a suitable punishment. If found guilty, Higgins can surely expect a ban, the length of which will be open to speculation. There will also need to be some clarification on how things will work with regard to his ranking. Is he simply ignored and players promoted or is he still officially the World Number 1 until overtaken? If the latter we may get to a situation where anything less than a season long ban will see John back at the Crucible next April, perhaps even as a seeded player, would that be good for the game?

Douglas of the Yard: '"He's a Geordie, he's down to earth, and it's all about facts with him, not emotions. Don't mess with this geezer, he ain't got a sense of humour" Barry Hearn.

Barry also found time to have a go at a few players when asked about the Players Tour Championship which starts the first of twelve events across the UK and Europe on Friday.

“One or two of the older guard have told me, ‘This is an awful lot of hard work’, but, if that’s their attitude, I’m happy to see the back of them.”

So that’s telling them then. Stephen Hendry has obviously upset him.

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