Steve Davis appeared on BBC radio this morning to express his support for a vote of no confidence in World Snooker chairman Sir Rodney Walker.

Davis said proposals to expand the tour should be explored - but with Barry Hearn as chairman instead.

Rather than selectively quoting Davis, I run his quotes from this morning's interview verbatim below:

"This announcement is off the back of the fact that in six days there’s an AGM and a lot of the players are very frustrated that there are only six ranking events for them to play in during the year – only six – and all of a sudden the board are looking for a way to get votes because there’s a very real possibility there will be a no confidence vote.

"Interestingly, Barry Hearn has said that if enough players vote for no confidence in the board he will be happy, should the players want him to, to try and resurrect snooker like he’s effectively done to darts.

"So we’re in a situation with only a week to go where there’s a bit of political manoeuvring going on. However, it’s not the board’s idea, this tour, it’s an outside operation who have decided that perhaps it could work so it is worth exploring.

"So the bottom line for the players is who you want to do the negotiating for you: do you want the board who have got us down to six ranking events for the season or do you want Barry Hearn to negotiate on your behalf as somebody who has turned darts into a multi-million pound sport?

"There has been disquiet, it must be said, about the current set up of the board. Nothing personal, just whether they are competent enough.

"The actual (tour) idea is not of the board’s making so there is the possibility that there could be something on the horizon but the trouble is if the board are trying to make it sound like it’s their idea then they’re wrong.

"But it needs to be explored because if there was the possibility that there could be 15 or 20 events around the world of different standing then the players would obviously jump at it. Effectively it’s a case of in the end, if there was a proposal on the table, do you want the board who have not exactly been fantastically viewed by the players in the last few years or is there another avenue?

"Of course this also comes off the back of the financial report that’s just come out and it appears, going from what Clive Everton’s told us recently through his Snooker Scene magazine, that they’ve done a bit of a banking industry, that while the money for the players has gone down that the board have been paid more.

"For that reason alone when we come to the AGM next week I’ll be voting no.

"Morale amongst the players has been so low recently, so desperate, even players ranked in the 20s and 30s really thinking about getting jobs because they’re not getting any prize money out of only six events a year. They’ve really lost confidence and that’s what the AGM will really be about.

"The problem is, something comes on the table that sounds great, the players are in such a weak situation that they may jump at any chance, and it is a credible sort of idea that may come alive but you need somebody who actually has some nous in the business world to try and negotiate on your behalf and I’m not absolutely sure whether we’ve got the right people in.

"We’ve been down this road before, getting rid of boards, getting in another board, hoping that the next board comes along but snooker, morale wise among the players, has never been worse."


Samivel said...

Thanks for sharing this, Dave! I had been surprised by Steve's reaction as quoted by the WSA (and partly by the BBC). They really must have distorted what he'd actually said by just picking those comments that were to their liking. This sounds much more like him!

John McBride said...

For me, the most important people in this are the players. Its nice to see a player, all be it a very influential one, coming forward & sharing their opinion on this....

NewsBrain said...

great comments from super steve but the players are responsible too. they have made terrible decisions in the past and when you look at the sport's viewing figures, it is surreal that snooker is in such a state.

one thing should be reiterated: darts has done well largely by selling its entire operation to Sky.

i think there are lots of people who do not want Sky because it is a major rip off. you can the say the EPL is great or you can say it is soulless, predictable, has stupid kick off times and is wildly over priced. lets not start on the atmosphere at some grounds.

all i say is that the darts route is overrated and I hope IMG's plans don't involve sacking off the beeb.

Witz78 said...

Glad to see the real views of Davis. People were fooled yesterday into thinking that Davis had pledged support to Walker and that Hearn had given up interest in reviving snookers fortunes of the back of Davis happening to say he was in favour of the new tour (if it happened)

As Davis says here tho, he is still voting no next week, this last gasp desperate attempt to save Walkers skin wont fool the players thankfully. Davis, Higgins and the other influencial players should be out there cavasssing to the other players who perhaps are a bit more naive that Walker is all talk and no action, and a vote for him is simply a vote to line Walkers pockets for a few more years at the expense of the future of the game.

mathsisfun said...

Who writes the WSA articles? They've made in sound like Steve Davis is happy with the current running of WSA, whereas the radio interview shows otherwise.

Anonymous said...

who manages Steve Davis?

John McBride said...

Dave. I'm sure your mentioned previously that only a certain % of players have cast a vote at previous AGM's. Do you have that figure to hand for us to view again?

I'd certainly like to think with the current issue at hand, a very high % of players will be turning out to vote on this occasion.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Steve might get involved in running snooker at some point in the future Dave?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Davis who in his commentary at this year's Masters was decrying the newspaper reports that snooker was dying? How times have changed in less than a year! If the players have such a hypocrite as Davis standing up for them they have no credibility left whatsoever.

Dave H said...

I believe the electorate is madeup of 72 - the top 64 for the last two years plus the board

Anonymous said...

World Snooker are being beaten to the punch(line) time and again here. They need some help - and need someone a bit more street-wise and ruthless in charge of their press and media.

Who knows, one of their own may even be able to help them on that one.

Anonymous said...

selby has commented on this situation on his blog, he's one of the few players to have voiced an opinion so far

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