So Sir Rodney Walker has been deposed as WPBSA chairman but – and far be it from me to water down the widespread jubilation there appears to be in the game at this moment – the road ahead may be rocky.

Walker, Jim McMahon and Mike Dunn have indeed been voted off the board of the WPBSA. However, Walker and McMahon remain directors of World Snooker Limited, the commercial body that runs alongside the main board.

I think they should both resign from it because the players clearly don’t want them...but that doesn’t mean that they will.

The WPBSA board now has only two members: Lee Doyle and Hamish McInnes.

The constitution apparently decrees they co-opt a professional first. This should not be a player associated with either rival camp.

I would suggest an experienced, uncontroversial player who commands widespread respect, like Alan McManus or Nigel Bond.

They should immediately co-opt Barry Hearn to the board. The players have made it clear today that they want Hearn in as chairman. Failure to co-opt him would destroy the game's credibility and lead to an EGM to remove Doyle and McInnes.

Once in place, Hearn and his fellow board members should co-opt other responsible members and begin the process of renewing this bruised and battered sport.

There should not be recriminations or triumphalism. Sir Rodney should be thanked for his efforts as chairman and we should look only to the future, not the past.

Hearn’s first priority as chairman should be an independent financial audit of the association to discover its true position, because only then can he put together a business plan.

There should also be a review of senior staff to see if the WPBSA is getting value for money.

There should be a review of the tournament structure, with input from players, and of how to expand the ranking system.

There should be meetings with private promoters, many of whom have been ignored by the outgoing administration, to try and start up new events.

There should be an investigation into the financial position of the World Snooker Academy, the accounts for which have never been disclosed.

There should be a review of the WPBSA’s media strategy – assuming it has one – to ascertain how to return the sport to the newspapers.

There should be meetings with broadcasters and sponsors to reassure them as to the way forward.

In effect, the entire sport should be relaunched.

Make no mistake, miracles will not happen overnight. Tournaments will not magically appear, but one of the things that certainly helped tip the balance in favour of Hearn was a declaration from IMG today that they would be happy to work with him on the new world tour plans announced last week.

Hearn has great energy. He relishes a challenge and I have no doubt he and his team will roll up their sleeves and get stuck in almost immediately.

Not everything they will do will meet favour with everyone, but with Steve Davis acting as a guiding hand, I think any fears that snooker’s integrity will be threatened are unfounded.

This is a day of hope, a day many feared would not come.

Professional snooker is still a relatively young sport. It’s already had one boom, who is to say it can’t have another: in Europe, the Middle East and Asia?

It’s still morning in the snooker world and there’s still much that our game can accomplish.

And it starts today.


Sammy said...

Have this strange image of all the Pros standing on the top of a cliff with Barry Hearn in front of them, saying. "Onward we go to a better future!"

Anonymous said...

Do you know how long the co-opting process is likely to take? Here's hoping it does not affect the running of the UK Championship...

Dave H said...

You'r wrong about Alan - he has spoken up against the old board

Dave H said...

That's weird, the post I was replying to has vanished!

Sorry about that. Your point about Nigel is noted but, let's face it, everyone has a link to someone, or can be accused of having one.

This is precisely the culture we have to move away from.

SupremeSnooker.com said...

Well, that should be that. The players have spoken, the vote has taken place, and it’s time for a new era to begin.

I would much prefer it if the transition from Walker to Hearn was done in a dignified and civilised way. For this to happen, Walker and McMahon MUST resign as directors of World Snooker Limited NOW (by that I mean tonight or tomorrow at the very latest).

The player co-opted to the board by Doyle and McInnes should and must not be Peter Ebdon. My personal choice would be Nigel Bond, though I’d be happy with several other players who aren’t associated with either camp but have a brain and aren’t afraid to use it.

It’s entirely up to Doyle and McInnes how they want to handle this. The easy way would be to co-opt Hearn to the board and the transition can begin in earnest. The hard way would be for Hearn to force an EGM, which would harm the reputation of snooker, as well as that of Doyle and McInnes.

Let’s hope common sense prevails.

If Sir Rodney Walker and Jim McMahon are reading this, you owe it to yourselves and to snooker to handle this situation with dignity. Resign from World Snooker Limited now, and you leave with your head held high, and my thanks for your years of service. Drag this out, and you’ll forever be remembered as the men who put their own egos above democratic wishes of professional snooker.

It’s entirely up to you.

Greg said...

Player who commands respect? Sounds like a job for David Gray!

Anonymous said...

If Jimmy is King of the Jungle then surely this is the logical next step.

Sammy said...

^hahahaha funnies thing I've read today!

Anonymous said...

"Tournaments will not magically appear, but one of the things that certainly helped tip the balance in favour of Hearn was a declaration from IMG today that they would be happy to work with him on the new world tour plans announced last week."

This is the most telling statement I've read today. This is the one I was hoping for and my reasons for being sceptical about Hearns appointment.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone mentioned the name Steve Davis for the professional elected to the board? Surely he is the best option? I mean OK he has links to Hearn but everyone knows that Davis has a strong passion for the game of snooker which overrides everything else. He wants what's best for snooker and he's intelligent enough for the job.

Anonymous said...

I think this must be taken a little more seriously. David Gray? I beg your pardon... Steve Davis would be the obvious choice. He can stop the pleyers from drifting a part any further for he speaks for a lot of them for a while now. And he's long enough in business to know what it takes to give Snooker a second boost.

Anonymous said...

Alan McManus?
Staunch supporter of Uncle Jim (McMahon)
An odd choice David.

Anonymous said...

It's a very sad day for snooker that Walker has gone. He's kept us afloat in very difficult times. I fear that our great sport is finished now. I hope all of you who wanted change feel very happy and smug now - you've just contributed to the demise of a great game.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again, yet another revolution in snooker.I've lost count of them over the last 20 years or more.Another saviour has emerged, Barry Hearn who has been a director in the past and I see Steve Davis has been mentioned, he's also a former director.
When are the players and managers who keep organising these revolutions going to realise that nothing will change in snooker until the players themselves realise that they have a resposibility to promote the game and stop critizising both the game and the people who THEY put there to run it.
The majority of players are under the impression that the game owes them a living,the game owes them nothing, you get out of it what you put into it and I'm afraid that, with maybe an odd exception here and there, they put very little back into the game themselves.
All you hear is them whining and moaning about every little thing that doesn't suit them, you never hear them promote the game, thank sponsors and television broadcasters.
The first thing Hearn should do is to take a leaf out of golf's book and put every pro through a course teaching them how to promote their own sport, then snooker might start to get somewhere.

Anonymous said...

If looking for someone what about David Roe?

Been a pro for over 24 years, in the top 16 and in qualifiers so understands both extremes of the game.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
Mr 6:16 PM is right and correct in all departments and is a bit of a salesman. Sadly most people have lost sight of the punch line; that snooker does not “Entertain”.
We snooker addicts sit back to enjoy the viewing as soon as the first player breaks the balls whether we like a wee gamble or a pie for supper.
The game at present Dave actually turns off TV sets. It is hard for others to understand that we addicts are already tensed up when the first stick is chalked.

The TV viewers imagine that they saw this last year as the game is so similar and repetitive with the commentators saying the exact same words as if prompted and reading from a cue board. Mr hey you