Ronnie O’Sullivan does not have the right to tell referees how to do their jobs.

However, he does have the right to make a polite request as to how they officiate.

It’s a thin line and some will feel O’Sullivan crossed it today when he told Terry Camilleri: “I don’t mind seeing you but I don’t want to hear you.”

In my opinion, this was acceptable as it seemed to be a simple request rather than a direct criticism. However, Ronnie was unwise to tackle this in the arena at the end of the fourth frame.

It was, after all, the interval and he could have had a private word backstage away from TV cameras and microphones.

If there’s one thing guaranteed to put a referee under pressure it’s the feeling he’s been publicly rebuked.

It's also quite difficult for referees to get into position in time when O'Sullivan is playing due to his lightning fast speed of play around the table.

There’s very, very little aggro between players and referees.

It was different, though, when Alex Higgins was around. He once told John Williams he should move because he was “standing in my line of thought.”

He also once asked Williams to move during a match at the Crucible.

Williams responded: “I’m staying here. I’ve stood here all day. I’ll referee, you play.”

That is pretty much the maxim by which players and referees should relate to one another.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure the governing body will soon let Ronnie ref his own matches.
Great to see Ricky win his first ranking event.It would have been so different if Ronnie had potted the green after Walden's miss in frame 2.
Great break to close out the match.
I hope Ricky can maintain his good form.

Anonymous said...

Agree with this.

Anonymous said...

Why was the final not shown on Eurosport

stuartfanning said...

It was shown on British Eurosport from 7.00PM BST. A recording rather than live.

Anonymous said...


I was just reading this piece and I remembered something from last year's Malta Cup I believe.

Ronnie was playing and Terry was the ref. He'd spotted a black ball and had let Ronnie pass him just before spotting it to ensure Ronnie wasn't hampered. It was then that Ronnie also made some remark to Terry (again in front of the cameras) about his refereeing.

With regards to Ronnie's comment about "seen, not heard"...interesting observation as all referees are taught exactly the opposite...a good referee is heard but not seen ;)


Anonymous said...

Surely the final should have been shown live, Eurosport's 'no frills' approach is sometimes laughable, but it's better to have it on that than to be on nothing.

Dave H said...

Eurosport broadcast 120 sports a year

There are often clashes, particularly at the weekend when most sport happens

There are some events Eurosport are contractually obliged to broadcast live, which is why snooker occasionally has to miss out

By the way, four or five years ago not a ball of the China tournaments would have been available to anyone outside of China itself

Anonymous said...

It just seems strange, however, to show almost all of the tournament live only for the showpiece's final session to be recorded and shown later.

Anonymous said...

It's quite easy to access cctv via the net so anyone who wanted to see the final session live could have done.
It's obviously great to have Eurosport showing so much snooker but the production is less than first class.Perhaps we are expecting too much from Eurosport?

Anonymous said...

Ronnie's behaviour could well be just one or two old fashioned mind games.

It's not really that different to Alex Higgins attempts to influence the ref.

I can recall the John Williams incident - Higgins was playing Ken Doherty I think - and he also tried similar tricks on Alan Chamberlain during the 1990 British Open final.

Higgins also made some comments about John Street after he was knocked out of the UK Championship in 94, saying that he prefered "a man on the street than John Street"

Thankfully though we don't see the referee being challenged too often, and that can only be good.

Sam T