26.7.10

JOHN HIGGINS CASE TAKES NEW TWIST

The John Higgins case has taken a dramatic new twist.

The Sporting Intelligence website has reported that the News of the World, which ran edited footage on its website in May purporting to show Higgins agreeing to lose frames for money, will not hand over the full unedited tapes unless the three times world champion agrees not to sue them at any point in the future.

Higgins, who remains suspended from all tournaments, is likely to hear his fate at a tribunal in early September.

The full story is on the Sporting Intelligence website.

44 comments:

JAMIE O'REILLY said...

ALL THE BEST TO JOHN HIGGINS. SNOOKER NEEDS HIM BACK IN THE GAME.

Anonymous said...

Jamie,he should not be allowed back until he is found not guilty.If guilty,he should be banned for life.

Anonymous said...

He can't be found guilty without the evidence

Clearly this case will collapse very shortly

Betty Logan said...

In a roundabout way the News of the World have just saved Higgins' bacon. The WSA won't dare ban him now because they will be leaving themselves open to legal action from Higgins also.

Anonymous said...

For those who instantly believed the allegations against John surely he must now be considered innocent. One could only have believed the story on the basis of "no smoke without fire"
By that standard refusing to give unedited evidence without safeguard re being sued must mean they{NOTW} know the evidence would not convict Higgins.

Ali said...

Im no expert, but the NOTW not handing over the un-edited tapes is a sure fire sign they've done something dodgy here. They are simply looking to cover their backs. Lords knows, they;ve been sued enough.

Higgins will be cleared and John will then be free to return to the game he loves.

Bryn said...

Surely this is end of case. No player can be tried upon whatever selective evidence a newspaper choses to provide. We can all form our own conclusions about why a newspaper would have a 'no-sue' clause, if they are sure of their case, there is no need for this. The problem is that as this case breaks apart and the full case is not revealed, John Higgins will remain under a cloud and this is simply not fair to him or the sport.

Anonymous said...

If he is found not guilty based on not having the tapes then we are still left with John's somewhat incriminating statement and a whole bunch of unanswered questions.

These NotW folks might just be scumbags. John should definitely refuse to bargain with them.

Anonymous said...

This case has not got a leg to stand on, it will be thrown out within five minutes of courtroom time. If the NOTW are so unsure of the certainty of the case that they, in effect, are demanding a confidentiality agreement with the person they are accusing, there is no legal precedent for such occurence. (excuse me, I seemed to have swallowed Chambers dictionary)

Mat Wilson

Anonymous said...

Proof if proof be needed. Higgins has been stupid. He is not a cheat.

Alpha

Anonymous said...

Jamie, please stop typing in capitals! As for this story, it seems John will be back soon which is great for the game. Bit of a mess all round really.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Just clear something up for me. Higgins had this meeting for a proposed tournament in Russia.

What I don't understand is, even though before this affair blew up, Higgins/Mooney were vary much chums with Hearn/new set up et al. (ie - Look at Davis getting chairmanship of SPA.)

I thought that Higgins/Mooney World Series calendar was being moved in-house to go onto the WSA calendar. Well, that obviously wasn't the case as Hearn had his PTC tournaments lined-up in Europe.

Which begs the question, what were they planning? There certainly wasn't going to another world series tournament(s) or were they planning on establishing a possible alternative tour - like cuemasters and doyle in 2001.

And the question still begs,if he wasn't planning ANYTHING why didn't he let Hearn know that weekend?

So which was it?

Thanks,Joe

Anonymous said...

I imagine John would say as his manager was on the WPBSA board it was up to him to report it. Also, who's to say he wouldn't have? The incident happened on a Friday, two days later it was in the paper.

Anonymous said...

ANON 8.36

ill clear it up the World Series was being incorporated in to the PTC Tournaments which in effect has happened

Anonymous said...

John's major mistake was giving a statement. If the video indeed loses all credibility then we have to go to the source - which confirmed that something fishy was taking place. John too has some explaining to do before this is resolved.

Executor said...

Anonymous 5:21 PM

No he should not be banned for life even if found guilty. As far as I know Quinten Hann has not been banned for life as well, why should John?

Funny how easily people revert from loving their icons to hating them without any evidence at all, or in worse case prior being found guilty!

Anonymous said...

The proposal document circulated to players by Barry Hearn before the vote stated:

" The fundamental characteristics of the Players Tour Championship (PTC):-.....
11. Of the eight European events four will be organised by World Series of Snooker and four by Brandon Parker and his Dragonstars partners."

But Hearn couldn't have predicted what would happen next.

Anonymous said...

Dave will you not post my comment praising Nick Harris' work? That's weak in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

9 40 But quinten was banned on the same evidence .Infact probably not as damming. I think he got an 8 year ban which in reality is a life ban at that time in his career. If john is found not guilty i feel sorry for quinten.Maybe its a case where quinten could not financially afford to risk taking it to court where john can .

Dave H said...

I didn't receive any comments praising Nick

If I had, I would have posted them

kildare cueman said...

Executor-

The Hann and Higgins cases are similar, but not identical.

Hann was blatently guilty, he made no attempt to answer the charges thereby reinforcing his guilt, and thirdly, he had a record of general misbehaviour.

He was banned for 8 years.

Peter Francisco was found guilty of deliberately losing 10-1 in the world championships and was banned for 5 years.

Higgins, at worst, verbally arranged to lose a frame(or frames), in an exhibition event.

While I am in no way condoning such behaviour, and I am assuming worst case scenario, using the two previously mentioned perpetrators as a yardstick, then Higgins's offences look minor in comparison.

Even if he agreed, there is always the possibility that he would have changed his mind afterwards and decided not to go through with it.

He may have agreed, not wishing to offend his hosts while in their company, but intending to instruct his manager afterwards to cancel the deal.

All these factors, no matter how fanciful, potentially reduce the seriousness of the charges Higgins has to answer.

Now it looks as though the worst case scenario is out the window, with the News of the World seeking a disclaimer from the accused pair, making it almost a certainty that there was impropriety on the rags' behalf.

I know that the appropriate people will analyze every detail carefully, and while I am in no way attempting to prejudge the outcome, it seems inconceivable that any backdated ban that may be administered will be longer than the time he has already spent in isolation.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method 27/07/10
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
How are you! Thanks for the posts. There is obviously something “Not quite Right” in the WPBSA disciplinary procedure.
It is also obvious that no case can be settled until the “Alleged Match Fixing” case of the Scottish lads is concluded.

The “Fine Art” wrote to Elaine the Company Secretary last year after the alleged charge suggesting the lads be set free as there was a precedent set that should be followed for all members.

The precedent was quoted in detail. Elaine replied with an E male assuring the “Fine Art” that W/S had not condoned the alleged wrong doing; as if offering a satisfactory explanation to the “Fine Art” letter. Mr Hey You

Anonymous said...

this blog post by dave has nothing to do with fine farting!

jamie brannon said...

Lets be honest the more this farce goes on it is obvious Higgins has been stiched up. I bet many in the snooker fraternity are saying this. I suspect that is what Dave and other journalists think, but understandably they can't say this.

I will hold my hands up if wrong, but I would be stunned if John Higgins is guilty.

Anonymous said...

I hope John sues all the idiots on forums and lesser blogs for saying he was guilty

snookerbacker.com said...

He said that he went along with what he was being asked as he was in fear of his life and then claimed he thought they were the Russian Mafia, he (and Mooney of course) then failed to report this to Barry Hearn.

This, not the video and whether bits have been cut and pasted for greater effect is the issue here.

John isn't guilty of 'match' though it was actually 'frame' fixing as it was a fabricated set-up and was never going to happen.

However, he may will the lesser charge of bringing the game into disrepute by his actions, however peripheral they were. Some of the things he said both in the video and in his 'excuse' I think can be constituted as that. He'll get a six month backdated ban and a fine in my opinion which will be about par for the course for bringing a sport into disrepute.

It's the long term damage it has done his career that he's got a real battle to get over.

Anonymous said...

It will only have done damage to his career if snidey people refer to it every time he plays

Anonymous said...

'This, not the video and whether bits have been cut and pasted for greater effect is the issue here.'

What absolute nonsense. In a criminal case, all that matters is the material evidence. In the Higgins case, the evidence has been doctored. The NOTW presumably won't hand the tape over because there is stuff on there which directly contradicts their own claims - hence they are frightened of being sued.

It isn't up to Higgins to defend anything he has said or done. It's up to the authorities to make a case against him. This will be difficult without evidence. In any case, his statement at the time does not incriminate him in any way.

Had this been a criminal case it would never have gone to trial. If it collapses as now seems likely Higgins can sue the NOTW, World Snooker for loss of earnings and ranking points, and the people who have been writing libellous things about him without having the full facts or apparently even a basic understanding how journalism or the law actually works.

Dave H said...

I think it's worth pointing out the following at this stage:

1) We don't yet know the result of the tribunal

2) We don't know what evidence David Douglas has gathered

3) We don't know what John Higgins's defence will be

and, most importantly

4) We don't know - none of us - what actually happened in the Ukraine that day

Perhaps we should wait until the hearing when all of the above will become clearer

Anonymous said...

Dave, how do you know one of those 2 arent on here posting anon?

snookerbacker.com said...

I'd just remind everyone of the words of someone very close to the game when the story broke:

Sunday 2/5/10

“Everybody is in shock. Everyone’s walking around in bits,” said Steve Davis.

“It’s the darkest day I’ve ever experienced in snooker. I’ve been talking to Ken Doherty, to John Parrott, and we all feel the integrity of the game has been put in question. It’s a horrible day.”

Asked whether Hearn might be tempted to walk away from snooker, Davis said: “There is the possibility that with Barry Hearn in the process of taking the game over, he may be able to cut the cancer out of it from day one.

“I’ve been speaking to Barry on whether he’s going to continue, or whether he’s going to drop the whole thing like a hot potato. He’s got tremendous credibility in the world of sport so does he want to be involved in something so tarnished? It’s a terrible hangover.

“I’d fully understand if Barry wanted to walk away but somebody needs to be in charge these days with a firm hand, now more than ever. That’s vital. He’s the only person who could dig the game out of the mire and the players need to realise that.

“There are other alleged incidents under investigation and no smoke without fire is bad enough but this has taken it to another level. The severity, the profile is just shocking.

“I think the integrity of the game has effectively evaporated overnight. It’s the lowest ebb it’s ever been. What a terrible wake-up call. It’s just too awful to contemplate.”

I think all genuine snooker fans will empathise with this and remember how they felt. I know I do.

Anonymous said...

Surely the job was done when Pat Mooney was discredited?
The News Of The World were mere pawns in it all.

hegeland said...

Dave is right about how little we really know.

But one thing we do know is that neither Higgins or Mooney has publicly said anything about the editing of the tapes or that any of their quotes have been taken out of context. The only logical explanation for that is that neither of them have any objections about the editing etc.

Anonymous said...

They don't have to say anything pubicly. The disciplinary hearing isn't being conducted in public.

I'm amazed how many people have allowed themselves to be conned by this ridiculous case!

Anonymous said...

Steve said that the day after the story broke. I imagine he'd say something different if the evidence points to Higgins being innocent.

And you don't get to decide what a 'genuine' snooker fan is.

Anonymous said...

"But one thing we do know is that neither Higgins or Mooney has publicly said anything about the editing of the tapes or that any of their quotes have been taken out of context. The only logical explanation for that is that neither of them have any objections about the editing etc."

Not quite. The other logical conclusion is that they don't want to comment because it might prejudice a potential libel case.

snookerbacker.com said...

@6.56 I know I don't and I have never claimed to or for that matter said anything snidey or idiotic (it's really obvious you are same person btw).

I was merely adding to an informed debate as most sensible, rational people have the right to.

This story upset me and was a bolt from the blue, so I decided to log it on the blog in real time and there are few things that need explaining.

Key phrase: In my opinion.

Anonymous said...

You haven't added anything. You've declared that a statement released to the press which Higgins wouldn't even have written himself is more important than the actual material evidence.

It isn't. Higgins should be found guilty or not guilty at a hearing where all the evidence is assessed, not in the court of public opinion or on betting blogs.

Anonymous said...

knew my coments on davis in the 80s would have no chance.

Dave H said...

Yeah, it's amazing libellous comments from someone hiding behind anonymity aren't given the time of day!

Executor said...

Kildare:

Yes I know both cases (Hann & Higgins) are different and that's exactly what I was pointing at. :-)

For all the green baizes in the world can I not understand why anyone should be banned more while actually doing less.

Anonymous said...

12 23 dave.its funny u say that. it was ok for your boss clive to print lies about me in snooker scene a few years back.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr Snookerbacker @ 6:17pm Hello Dave
Your reminder of Sunday 2 /5 /10 should be repeated periodically and twice on Sundays when any sneaky denials of the hasty words are posted.

Barry’s need for a speedy trial was wrong (I think) as was the quick and strong comment by the wee mans many close “Friends”.
Barry’s pledge of “Transparency” and “Complete Honesty” should also be quoted often as these are the very election guarantees that ousted the previous “Mister Chairman”.
An explanation with simple words should be given as to why Barry, Steve, the policeman friend choose to deploy some “Out-Sidders” to judge one of our own?

There could be a good reason Dave but where is the “Transparency”? Why is the two wee ladies in Glasgow left crying into there beer every night? Mr Hey You

Anonymous said...

what is an out-sidder?