I was on holiday last week when the Ronnie O’Sullivan disciplinary hearing was held so I apologise for not posting my thoughts at the time.
I think the WPBSA have got it about right with their punishment. £20,800 is a great deal of money to most people. It isn’t to Ronnie but he still won’t enjoy paying it.
The 900 ranking points he loses doesn’t effect his position in the list but the important thing is that he has actually been punished for what was an aberration on his part that I’m sure he regrets. The sport has been seen to take such an incident seriously.
There are two interesting aspects of this to me:
Firstly, the disciplinary committee completely disregarded the opinion of the WPBSA chairman, Sir Rodney Walker, who submitted a plea on Ronnie’s behalf not to punish him. This at least proves they are independent of the main WPBSA board – which also includes Ronnie’s manager, Lee Doyle.
Secondly, why on earth did this take nearly six months to sort out? Last Saturday, the Denmark v Sweden Euro 2008 qualifier was abandoned late on after a Danish fan ran onto the pitch with the intention to assault the match referee.
FIFA’s disciplinary committee are meeting on Friday to decide what to do about it.
How could it take so long for snooker’s authorities to reach a decision on what happened in York? As far as I know, Ronnie’s management submitted medical evidence as to his specific condition pretty soon after the incident.
I don’t see what good it did snooker by dragging out the process like this. The lawyers involved might disagree, though – Ronnie had to pay legal costs of £5,000 towards the hearing, which strikes me as far too high.