World Snooker Championship 2012 - Hearn issues warning to players
Starting with lighter news, Barry Hearn announced that Luca Brecel (much to the relief of manager Chris in the back of the room) and Tony Drago would recieve the two European wildcard nominations for the main tour. Along with the other new players joining the tour for the 2012/2013 season it will guarentee them two years, which is fantastic news for them.
On the subject of broadcasters EuroSport he announced that they had reached a deal with them and secured a five-year extension on their contract. Hopefully we will see less interruptions on the coverage provided by them (more here.)
Next he went on to say that the PTC Grand Finals (up to 100k for the winner), German Masters & Welsh Open will have their prize money increased and that the latter two events would have a format change which sees players ranked from 33-96 playing one match before reaching the last 64 of the event to play a top 32 player. A format which could see a lot of lower rank players in the TV stages of the events.
The most amount of time in the press conference however was dedicated to the comments made by top 16 players Mark Williams and Mark Allen in recent days. Hearn confirmed that he was disgusted by their actions and that both have been referred to the disciplinary committee of the WPBSA, adding that further fines and even possible suspensions could happen to them.
The best line from Hearn came right near the end 'It's a great time to be a snooker player, it's not a great time to be an idiot.' The World Snooker chairman speaks the truth, the players especially the ones higher up in the rankings are all embassadors to the sport.
Negative comments like this bring the game in to disrepute and specificially in Allen's case he really needs to learn to control what he says otherwise it could even lead to a ban from the game.
Below is a WPBSA statement on the matter,
Mark Allen was recently fined £1,000 for comments made in China during the Haikou World Open last month, and now faces further action.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: "The WPBSA is responsible for the governance of snooker worldwide and takes very seriously comments made which could be perceived to be directed at a particular nation. The Chairman of the disciplinary committee Nigel Mawer is making further inquiries into this incident. Mark Allen will be given 14 days to respond to the letter."