O’Sullivan’s 147 Tantrum

On the day that World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn launched snooker’s new integrity unit, how stupid was it of Ronnie O’Sullivan to try and leave the arena on 140 with only the black left to pot, as he thought it wasn’t fair that there was no prize money for completing a 147 maximum.

With just four thousand pounds on offer for the top break, O’Sullivan claimed that it wasn’t worth it after he had paid the tax. And then in response to getting asked if he needed the money, he responded with “Twenty-five (thousand) would have been nice so I could have gone on holiday.”

Pretty insulting to the people who had paid to watch his match.

With match-fixing allegations also rife in snooker, it would have been all that Barry Hearn needed, to see O’Sullivan exit the arena without properly completing the frame, and if it hadn’t been for referee Jan Verhaas’ intervention, then thats what would have happened.

I was though, impressed with what Hearn had to say on radio after the event. Pulling no punches he didn’t pander to O’Sullivan in a way previous others in Snooker’s governing body have done in the past.

Hearn said no man is bigger than the game and that snooker could survive without Ronnie, as there is plenty more where he has come from. He also said that O’Sullivan has made millions from snooker and owed the game plenty in return, and that he would have been up on a disripute charge had he not potted the black.

Last January, snooker turned a blind eye to him leaving the arena in the middle of the presentations and showing total disrespect after he lost 10-9 to Mark Selby in the final of The Masters, we heard all the usual excuses, like ‘Oh it’s the way Ronnie is, he has his problems’, etc.

For years now we have had to listen to O’Sullivan saying how he dosen’t love snooker, how he is going to quit, or go and play pool in America.

Barry Hearn said he wants him to be his flag-bearer for his new snooker era. He was probably hoping to have a similar relationship with O’Sullivan, to the one he has with Phil Taylor in the darts. A relationship that sees them both make plenty of money out of Taylor’s unique talent, and Hearn’s marketing ability.

Today’s comments sounded like a warning for O’Sullivan, that maybe Hearn isn’t prepared to stand for much more of his tantrums and disrespect for the game and it’s fans.

I think it’s high time he was taken to task for continually running down the game of snooker with his negativeness, if he dosen’t want to play snooker then he should clear off and let the others that do get on with it.

2 thoughts on “O’Sullivan’s 147 Tantrum

  1. Late commenting here Dean, but I was glad you covered this. Like most people ‘of a certain age’ I followed snooker very closely in the 80s (I even played a lot, quite poorly) but rarely watch it now.

    I always thought O’Sullivan was basically a good sort; a bit mixed-up but a decent bloke. This makes me think I misjudged him. The game would be better off without him if this is representative of his attitude.

    I didn’t hear Hearn’s comments, but they don’t surprise me. While not everyone’s cup of tea, he’s a man of integrity who’s been around snooker since before the boom years and genuinely wants the best for the sport. He fronted up really well in the media after the John Higgins story broke, and it sounds like he did the same here. I hope that he really would be prepared to show O’Sullivan the door if he felt it was necessary.

  2. Thanks Brian,

    I was a bit annoyed at what he said when I wrote this piece.

    I too was more of a fan in the 80’s and early 90’s, and over the last 5-6 years I have started to show an interest again.

    I’m not an O’Sullivan hater, (I get the impression that people either love him, or hate him) I actually usually think along the lines that you stated about him.

    I just get sick of his stupid outbursts, and wish he would keep his mouth shut and just let his cue do his talking. We don’t want to know about how hard he claims his life is, if it’s that bad then stop moaning about it and just walk away.

    The constant pandering too him annoys me as well, no one within the game seems to have the guts to ever speak out against him, they stupidly think that snooker needs him, more than he needs snooker.

    I don’t buy that though, and I don’t believe Barry Hearn does either. Would he really have got involved if he thought that the only chance snooker had of prospering was having to rely on a loose cannon like O’Sullivan?

    I heard O’Sullivan later in the week claiming that it was all a big joke to give the media something to write about. Who does he think he is kidding?

    Only himself, I imagine.

    When he plays and he is on form, he is unbelievable to watch, and I love watching him. But he should stop bad mouthing snooker and talking crap, and just get on with it.

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