Sir Rodney Walker has been re-elected chairman of the WPBSA.

Of course he has. Nobody stood against him or the other directors – Sir David Richards, Hamish McInnes, Peter Ebdon and Lee Doyle – up for re-election at today’s AGM in Sheffield.

The official press release stated that Walker had received the backing of 91.3% of the players.

This sounds impressive but is deliberately misleading.

From an electorate of around 75, only 23 could be bothered to vote. Walker, Richards, McInnes and Doyle each received 21 votes for with two against. Ebdon received 17 votes for with six against.

The board themselves can vote and it is safe to assume Doyle, the chief executive of 110sport, brought in votes from his own players, 11 of whom are eligible to vote.

Therefore, apathy has clearly reigned among the ordinary membership.

Walker has deduced from this that the players are happy with how he is running snooker.

“As a sport we have moved on to a strong and secure footing within the past five years. There are now new challenges which lie ahead, but I am glad that the players have shown today that they would like me to continue to lead snooker as we face these challenges,” he said.

Actually, he received fewer than 30% support from those eligible to vote, although there is even less enthusiasm in removing him.


Anonymous said...

This is so frustrating. Players these days do nothing but whine about the state of their game but at the first opportunity to do something about it they sit back and do nothing. Maybe they deserve all they get.

Anonymous said...

Yep the players blew it yet again.
They deserve to be part of the joke snooker is fast becoming.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely typical of the communist regime at World Snooker.

Sems to me as they're now employing spin doctors!

S.T. said...

I'm sorry, but I have to say that the players have only themselves to blame for this.

A week or two ago, we get John Higgins and the like bemoaning the state of the game and the powers that be, yet when he and his colleagues do get an opportunity to change things, they do absolutely nothing.

It's no wonder why sympathy is in short supply for the players and snooker as a whole. They deserve what they get from now on in.

Anonymous said...

What do you think Dave - can you possibly think of an excuse for the players? If I were you I don't know if I could be bothered to speak up for them anymore.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to hear what options were actually available to the players should they have decided to vote anyone of, firstly what would they have replaced them with and what powers do you think they would have had.

Until the authority genbuinely sits with the players apathy will prevail, for one very simple reason, if they vote will it make a difference, in my opinion of course not.

Dave H said...

I think basically snooker players are not interested in politics. They are interested mainly in playing, quite understandably.

It may be that most of them feel Walker is doing a good job or that nobody could do a better job.

Or it may be that they don't see the AGM as a constructive use of their time. Let's not forget that it was held at a time when eight voting members were actually playing in matches.

Ruthie said...

I'm looking forward to the turkeys making their decision on Christmas this year. Or maybe they just can't be bothered either.

Monique said...

It's not enough to vote against the board and to criticise WPBSA. You have to have some ideas about what to put in place instead. As Dave says the players are not interested in politics, at least the vast majority of them. It's only recently John Higgins is interested in the administration of snooker and he is an exception. Managing an organisation like W¨PBSA requires skills in various domains: management, finance, economics, public relations to name a few. Don't you forget that most player turn pro at a very young age and have only a rather basic education. The game is their life from the age of 10 or about for most of them. How do you expect them to be "competent" for this?
Yes their managers should be. But who are they? Except for a few "big" names who are on the battlefield for years and have their own agendas. It's no wonder the guys have little interest. They probably feel hopeless about the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

The key is not about who controls the WPBSA or World Snooker its about what WPBSA or World Snooker controls. If the players have an agenda that makes sense to them and can be fully understood by them then their interest should be greater, Both Dave and Monique are correct in what they have posted. But what would happen if they were voting on clear issues that had a direct impact on their earning and competition potential, it would make a difference and apathy would be less is my guess. A vote is precious when it can be counted and it will make a difference.

Monique said...

An. You are right but...
those who hold power are rarely ready to share it. Obfuscating the processes, retaining information and keeping people ignorant and clueless has always been the tactics to achieve that...
So I'm afraid you can dream on a clear agenda and well identified, concrete objectives.

Anonymous said...

I think some excellent points have been made here.
Few players ever stand up and be counted at AGM's unless forced to vote by block vote proxy managers/agents.
Thats proxy and not poxy btw....!!
The players should not feel "hopeless" though, as they can play apart in what happens by giving something back to the game.
Very few actually contribute anything though and, as mentioned here, seem to complain about anything and everything while taking things for granted.
Are things really that desperate for the sport of snooker?
A number of people in the game believe that has always been the case as old magazines and literature will bear out.
There are currently 8 ranking events to take into 2009 (but admittedly less sponsors) and there is a BBC contract still in place.
The best players will make a tidy living and lower ranked players will not as the halcyon days for the sport are no longer with us.
And I will say this while hiding behind anonymity, perhaps the current board are not doing that bad a job after all.......

Anonymous said...

I agree that players should steer well clear of the politics and concentrate on their game but surely their managers should be putting their players interests first and judging by the turn out this does not seem to be entirely the case which is why I am in such admiration of John Higgins for being able to play to such a high standard at a time when he is also becoming involved in the admin side as well.

Anonymous said...

If it was just a yes/no vote why would anyone be voted out that is willing to try and improve the situation?

Anonymous said...

The last comment is a very fair one IMHO.
Does anyone doubt that the current board are doing anything but their utmost for the sport?
Isn't that what they are getting paid a minimum of 15k per annum for?
I truly hope the same can also be said of the press, gagged as they may bein future by the reasons that this blog has indicated of late.
We are all on the same side here are we not.....?
I'd say we are.

Anonymous said...

'Doing your best' isn't the same as doing a good job

CUPC said...

Not to nitpick but IMO '30% support from those eligible to vote' is at least as misleading as 'backing of 91.3%'. Obama just comfortably won an election with '30% support'.

Polls, votes, surveys etc always work by extrapolation up from the sample. In the absence of other information it would be biased to do anything else.

Anonymous said...

Ruthie wrote;
"I'm looking forward to the turkeys making their decision on Christmas this year. Or maybe they just can't be bothered either" ... and I laughed.

Claus Christensen said...

Make the players have a say when it comes to the number of tournaments: 9 or 15 for example. And please don't say that the sponsors aren't there because there is a gigantic untapped market in mainland Europe. People are so hungry for snooker over here that any given ranking tournament would draw huge crowds.
They ARE doing a poor job and if players got a chance to clearly indicate what they would like in terms of numbers of tournaments etc. then we would get somewhere. Why are they ignoring Europe? It's beyond belief.

andy said...

Hi Dave et al,

I think Sir Rodney Walker is correct to deduce from the vote that players are happy with how he is running snooker.

Within a democratic system, you get the rulers you deserve. The players have voted and the members up for re-election were re-elected. If snooker players want their game to be run with the existing board members then that's how it should be run, no arguments.

If players don't like this, then they have to form some kind of competitive environment that makes the board members work for their votes. This hasn't been done, so the players and the board are happy and snooker stays small fry for another year.

Could the eight voting members who were playing in matches have cast their vote before the AGM? If so, then, again, no problem.

There's no way in the world people can hold the WPBSA accountable for the way snooker is run today. After all, the decisions are ultimately made by the players themselves.


Anonymous said...

I think we should be aiming for at least 12 tournaments a year but why the break between the start of May and the summer?

If players have the chance to opt in and out of tournaments as they wish why not have one ranking tournament a month by bringing Malta, Germany and Belgium back into the fold?

And how about replacing the once-a-week Premier League with a Premier Tour of week-long tournaments coliding with qualifying for ranking tournaments and for those who DON'T have to quaify for the ranking tournaments like holders of the ranking tournaments and those in the top 15 or 16?

Anonymous said...

How about we launch a search party to see if there is a Roman Abramacuevich out there with $700 billion who is interested in snooker and we can have tournaments every week on our very own pay-to-view TV station with Clive, Phil and Dave commentating and then being elected as Chairman of WPBSA, UN General Secretary and Minister of Sport respectively.
That's really what we want.
If you are going to dream, forget "week-long tournaments 'coliding' with qualifying for ranking tournaments" - lets dream big!!!

Anonymous said...

Well if the sponsorship is out there for other sports like tennis, golf, cricket and football AND if snooker opens up opportunities for betting operations companies this surely is not a pipe dream at all.

All it needs is a few business brains to hammer out the deals.

Lets not forget that ten years ago tour prize money for snooker outweighed darts by ten to one and twenty years ago snooker was on a par with golf!

Snooker is now on parity with the darts tour and golf prize money outweighs snooker by over ten to one.

So, to those those who so anonymously argue that my thoughts are a pipe dream I say take a look at what Barry Hearn has done to darts over the passed few years then rest your case!

Claus Christensen said...

Wether or not the players deserve what they get is one thing but it seems fair to assume that the potential for more tournaments and sponsorships is there and that it remains unused for whatever reasons. It is a bit frustrating.