The chairman of snooker’s governing body has said he believes Ronnie O’Sullivan should not be heavily punished for walking out of his Maplin UK Championship quarter-final against Stephen Hendry at York last Thursday.

O’Sullivan was trailing 4-1 in the best of 17 frames clash but leading 24-0 in the sixth frame when he conceded the match.

It was widely assumed the game’s most controversial star would face the full weight of disciplinary action for his behaviour but Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, told BBC Radio 5 Live that he prefers a lenient approach.

“I was at least pleased and relieved that within a very short period of time a statement was issued on Ronnie's behalf apologising to the spectators, the viewers and Stephen Hendry for his behaviour but it ought not to have happened in the first place,” walker said.

“Ronnie from time to time does suffer from depression and things of that nature. We owe it to the fellow to at least give him the chance to explain to us what state of mind he was in when he walked out.

“We will do whatever is appropriate. We’re not frightened of him but if there is a way to help to refocus I’d rather do that than hit him with a stick.

“At some stage I suppose you begin to run out of patience. I doubt whether we've reached that stage yet.”

Actually, it isn’t up to Walker to decide on the punishment but the WPBSA disciplinary committee.

The identities of those who sit on this committee are shrouded in unnecessary secrecy but the chairman is believed to be WPBSA board member Jim McMahon.

One question, though, for Walker: what does O’Sullivan have to do to make snooker bosses run out of patience?


Anonymous said...


I have posted a plethora of questions-and-answers with regards O'Sullivans previous transgressions.

Having got away with so much in the past, what could the WPBSA possibly do NOW, to cause O'Sullivan to possibly change his ways. This is a 31 year old man, not a 21 year old and, unfortunately he hasn't change his behaviour that much. It always flares up.

The WPBSA even get O'Sullivan a mid-season break for depression in 1998 - meaning he didn't defend his UK title that he won in '97 - which will not do them any favours at all.

O'Sullivan isn't a fan of overseas tournaments, and with the WPBSA a worse organisation than the FA in making decisions far too late, I can only see an expulsion from the tour for 2007/08.

A slap on the wrists is no good, as we know, but I have a sneeky suspicion that the WPBSA will be thinking about bums-on-seats, especially the O'Sullivan fan base at Wembley and just fine him!

Just imagine if the Rocket doesn't turn up to that....?

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...

I hope they don't ban Ronnie from tournaments but he has to be punished in some way - a ranking points deduction seems the best way to me

Anonymous said...

I agree!

Even though I've suggested a ban, a points deduction, may make O'Sulivan realise that he could end up qualifying for tournaments in the future.

It may also make him work harder to try and win tournaments to get back up the rankings.

Thanks, Joe

CJW said...

Yeah, right! Why not congratulate him?! Well done, Mr O'Sullivan! Great professional attitude! Great sportsmanship! Great respect for the game, for the audience and for the other players!