110sport have issued the following statement:

RONNIE O’Sullivan has half-a-million reasons for putting the disappointment of last week’s Grand Prix final defeat behind him.

For the twice-world snooker champion is about to become the game’s highest-earning player off-table by entering in to a series of endorsement contracts in China.

The 31-year-old, who lost to stablemate Marco Fu in Aberdeen, is in Guangzhou this week to film a series of TV commercials and complete contracts that will boost the world No.5’s income by £500,000 over the next two years.

O’Sullivan will put his name to a series of products including watches, clothing and snooker tables.

A spokesman for Stirling-based 110sport, O’Sullivan’s management company said; “Ronnie is such a massive attraction in snooker, especially in China where the game has taken off.

“As the most spectacular player in the game it’s not a surprise that companies want to align themselves with the biggest character in snooker.”

Good luck to Ronnie. This certainly confirms his and snooker's popularity. I just hope it means he actually plays in tournaments in China in the future because his participation in the Far East will help grow the game even further.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I've been playing catch-up with the blog, so I hope you don't mind a plethora of comments on issues you have brought up.

Do Bond, Thorne and White all share the same agent? Celebrity football, dancing and, if the rumours are true, Jimmy in the jungle. It will be the end of his professional career if he takes to the challenge. I presume the ITV show will be when Jimmy should be in qualifying action. Of course, if he was a top 16 player he could take such liberty. Any further news?

Also, on the masters wildcard. Is it 2 or 3 including the qualifying winner? Fu, presumbly gets the nod over Dale, due to the on-going deals with the Far-East, which is understandable, considering the state snooker has become. So, White will not be at Wembley? Not even if he changes his name to Brown as happened 2 years previously.

As for the Irish tournaments, did the Irish championship have a good attendance, Dave? It seems to be a success. If the World body cannot help local businessman with the Galway or Kilkenny tournaments, why don't they think about turning the Irish championship into a tournament, as you pointed out, with regards the Welsh Open. I would like to see Nation Cups, but until World Snooker have a secure amount of world ranking tournaments, this will not happen. I can remember the Nations Cup, which worked, but then the money run out. Is there anymore news on the Irish Masters et al? Also, is Malta still happening this season, as I didn't see it on the calendar?

As regards Johan Oomen leaving the referring profession, such a shame. BBC done a piece at the recent Grand Prix which suggests talent is there, but more to the point, more female referees gracing the green baize. Do you much about the German women referee they featured. She could be a great addition.

Reanne Evans makes a good point about women snooker players. Snooker in general hasn't got its house in order yet which has a knock-on effect to the women's game. I remember Lynette Horsborough(?) writing a piece about sexism in snooker and certain body parts getting in the way. (Is she still around?) Evans has the chance to make an impact. Isn't she on the Pontins tour with the men? I wish her well. She may even play her husband in a final.

Glad to see Paul Hunter has a stature in Sheffield. Do you have any comment to make about the revelation of his will. Is it true? If so, I find it hard to believe.

So, Fu - not Hendry, or my pick, Swail - came through to give O'Sullivan his 2nd defeat in 3 Grand Prix years. It was probably the best Fu had played all week and in general, since he won the Premier Snooker League in 2003. Really great to see the Far-East players coming through. Song was excellent. His form carried on last week, with him winning 4 qualifiers to make it to the Northern Ireland Trophy. I only hope Fu can continue and, if he continues to practise with Griffiths, there isn't a reason why he shouldn't.

As for O'Sullivan, he is a character and I shall simply leave it at that. For every yes/no at a press conference, he will at another tournment give hacks plenty of quote gold. Him saying he would get told off if he were to elaborate on questioning, tells me that there is a lot of unfinished business from O'Sullivan. We shall have to wait and see. But he really is the only player who gives snooker more inches in the Nationals then any other player. Why? Because of said character. By the way, this £500,000 contract in the Far-East. Have you seen it? I wonder whether this means he will be contractually obliged to play the Far-East tournaments. Failing to turn up may mean a tear up of the contract?.

Finally, Dave. How comes the final qualifying for the NI Trophy is actually at the tournament and not Prestatyn? Have they changed the circumstances of this particular tournament?

Has Clive's book won any awards and how is it selling in the charts?

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...

Hi Joe

I'm told Jimmy won't be going on I'm A Celeb - I'd say a good decision.

There will only be one Masters wildcard. Jimmy won't get it. As I say, it's between Fu and Dale, with Fu a certainty unless something happens in Belfast.

The crowds at the Irish event weren't great, although there were reasons for that (the location, the ticketing policy). These events really need TV, which almost happened this year I understand. Yes, Malta is on but as an invitation event.

There are a lot of new refs around by neccessity. It's encouraging that so many are from outside the UK but they have to gain experience at the qualifiers before they are seen on TV.

Lynette now works for the BBC and doesn't play on the women's circuit now. Reanne Evans was on the PIOS tour last season but not this.

I don't wish to comment on the Paul Hunter story, which is a private matter.

They're taking 48 players to Belfast so had three qualifying rounds at Prestatyn but a round at the venue before the top 16 come in. Personally, I'm against this as I think you should start any tournament with your top players on day one.

Clive is pleased with how his book is selling. No awards - yet!

Anonymous said...

Hi dave

I have just discovered your blog.

Brilliant well done. Exactly the forum that the game requires.

The Arrdvark