The newly formed Snooker Players Association has written to its members to suggest calling an Extraordinary General Meeting of the WPBSA asking whether the players have confidence in the current board.
This move comes after the SPA’s request for a meeting with the governing body was denied by the WPBSA.
The SPA then asked the four members of the WPBSA Players Forum to press their case but this proved unproductive.
The WPBSA appear to see the SPA as a threat but if they’d thought this through properly they would have agreed to the meeting and then said that “we’ve met but can’t agree on any common ground.”
This would at least have made it look as if they were trying to find a way of working together.
As it is, as so often before, a fight is looming between the various sides. Such battles have seriously damaged the sport’s health and reputation in the past.
The usual smear is that anyone challenging the way snooker is run is “trying to take over the game,” as if the game belongs to one set of individuals to start with.
However, players have had sundry chances to reject the current board. At the AGM last year only 23 of the 70 or so voting members actually cast a vote.
This does not suggest a huge level of dissatisfaction – or even interest – in how snooker is being governed.
Maybe they need a body like the SPA to mobilise action but an EGM such as this would only make sense if there was a specific plan in place were the board to be defeated.
Who would replace them? What would happen after that?
The SPA is designed to be a players’ union. This was the original purpose of the WPBSA itself but it outgrew this function when it also became the game’s principal promoter and its disciplinary body.
In a disciplinary case, an employee looks to their union for support. This is difficult to achieve when it is also the union prosecuting them.
The SPA say their membership includes Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins plus around half of the current 96-man main tour.
The WPBSA say they represent the players already and so there is no need for an independent body.
But surely if players felt there was no need for the SPA, dozens of them wouldn’t have joined it?
My advice to both sides is to get round a table and agree a way forward as soon as possible.
Sadly, all my experience of the snooker world tells me this is very unlikely to happen and that an all out fight will soon be upon us.