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.