March 20, 2015

Referees and Grand Prix

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:56 am
Tabby - Gone but not forgotten.

Tabby – Gone but not forgotten.

As the World Grand Prix continues today in Llandudno and the moon and sun pass each other many light minutes and miles (not light years, I’ve been corrected) from here, talk off the table in snookerland is centring around the fate and fortunes of two referees, namely Michaela Tabb and Marcel Eckardt.

The constant questions surrounding the whereabouts of Michaela directed at anyone who people thought might possibly know something, myself included, came to a head yesterday with a very brief, some might say rather disrespectfully short, statement from World Snooker stating that she has finally resigned, though when she did this and the circumstances under which this was done were not mentioned.

That’s probably because this is a huge embarrassment for the governing body, as Inside Snooker have revealed that the root of the issue lay in an unpaid ‘discretionary’ bonus which led to a falling out between Michaela and World Snooker which has ultimately led to the announcement yesterday, the governing body having previously hinted that Michaela was simply feeling under the weather.

If the sport has lost one of it’s nicest, most professional people because of a row about what is believed to be a rather small sum of money then it really beggers belief. Michaela is a huge loss to the sport and is universally popular with fans and players alike and if the governing body can’t see that they are either blind, stupid or both.

I’d like to express my own personal thanks to Tabby, in a way the official statement did not. Like most people I have had the pleasure of meeting since starting to write this tripe over five years ago our paths first crossed on social media, but on meeting Michaela for the first time, backstage at The Crucible I was greeted with a huge smile and big hug, this tells you everything you need to know about her.

Since then and to my everlasting shame I have stood her up at breakfast because it was raining, tweeted her across a crowded restaurant with a cheeky wink, enjoyed another cuddle in Berlin and been the recipient of her generosity at the Legends. She is a wonderful person and even sent me a nice message yesterday to wish me and Mrs SB well.

What a diamond. Thanks Tabby x

As for Marcel, well he’s only gone and upset an already miserable Rocket who accused him of all sorts of carelessness the other night after his win against Milkins. Poor Marcel couldn’t move out of the way fast enough for Ronald who let off a tirade after the match which I think was well below the belt and worthy of a disciplinary hearing. He’s got to learn that he can’t just shoot his mouth off at whoever he likes just because it’s his time of the month.

Anyway, he’s still in the running in Wales and is up against Graeme Dott later this afternoon, I’m not sure who’s reffing it, but the mischievous tournament directors wouldn’t give it to Marcel surely……..or would they?

World Grand Prix Quarter Finals Order of Play

Dark Mavis v Stuart Bingham

NB 2pm
Martin Gould v Peter Ebdon

Graeme Dott v Ronnie O’Sullivan

NB 8pm
Mark Williams v Judd Trump

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