1.8.12

FINE TIME

Nigel Mawer is a former chief superintendent in the specialist crime directorate of the Metropolitan Police and therefore carries great credibility as the WPBSA’s disciplinary regulator.

Mawer has been busy of late. Last week he banned Joe Jogia from playing for two years and also deliberated on four other cases.

Stephen Lee was given a warning after “two breaches of contract that directly related to his role as a professional snooker player that led to two County Court Judgements against him.

Lee escaped punishment because he has put together a plan to settle these Judgements.

Mark Allen was fined £2,000 and £1,000 costs for failing to attend five promotional events (presumably in China) as part of his contract to play on the professional circuit.

These breaches of contract occurred before his £10,000 fine for comments he made at the Crucible so the six month suspended ban is not activated.

I have sympathy for World Snooker over this. Way back when I was (briefly) WPBSA press officer and there was a promotional evening organised in which Chinese snooker bigwigs would be in attendance. This was at a time when China was emerging as a new market for snooker.

I was given the task of ensuring a (very) well known player came along. He said he would.

At the appointed hour he failed to show. I phoned his room and asked him if he was coming down to the reception. He answered, “nah, mate, I’m watching the boxing.”

In those days when the players ran the game there wasn’t much you could do but times have changed.

Snooker has a choice. If it wants to be taken seriously as a professional sport then its players should be just that: professional.

Frankly, it doesn’t take much to spend a couple of hours meeting and greeting, listening to speeches and eating nibbles. I’m not a great one for stuffy formality either but such events in China are taken seriously by the organisers, and they are putting in the money which the players are going home with.

One caveat to that: the new WSL contracts stipulate all players must attend the pre-tournament reception on the Sunday, even if they are not playing until the Wednesday.

I can understand why players feel this is too much because they are, after all, racking up expenses going out to China earlier than they may wish to.

To no great surprise Mawer found that Jimmy White had no case to answer after a story in the Daily Star on Sunday reported that his aide, John Callaghan, had bet on him to lose a number of matches.

Callaghan had also bet on White to win several matches and his success was decidedly mixed.

There was never any suggestion – let alone evidence – that White knew of the bets or benefited from them.

I understand the case of Ronnie O’Sullivan, facing action over a number of tournaments he has entered and not shown up to, has been adjourned pending the further investigation of medical evidence.

For years players were disciplined for this and that without a word being released to the media so I commend the WPBSA for its more enlightened approach.

The fines, incidentally, go to Haven House hospice. I think anyone who saw their video at the World Snooker Awards will be hoping there are several more cases for Mawer to act on this season.

16 comments:

wild said...

it really is laughable how these players expect to get payed as professionals without doing nothing to justify it.

its their responsibility to build up the game for themselves and others to enjoy and benefit from in the future.

their mindset is amateurish therefore they should be glad for the scraps they get because no worthwhile sponsor will be wasting money on these bunch of idiots.

Anonymous said...

Stephen Lee needs to get his act together. Have you actually seen how many people are after him for money.The 2 cases that wsa have just dealt with are the tip of the iceberg.

He's been a wrongon for years. What he did to Paul Mount last season, whilst under contract with him, was a bloody disgrace. Paul did nothing but help him and his family out of a hole, and this despicable person tried everything to tarnish Pauls name.

Lee will do almost anything if the money is right. Thats how desperate he is. He should try looking up in the dictionary what loyalty, morals, & principles mean, then start using them.

If there's one player that lacks all these, just look into his background and see what a wonderful ambassador to the game he is.NOT!

Snookerbacker said...

'nah, mate I'm watching the boxing'. I wonder who that could be.

Anonymous said...

would never have guessed the spotlight kid would be treated "differently".

Blind Man said...

Well said. Before the aussie open i was looking for Someone to sponser for the event. Mjw said no miney so im not going so i said if you come people will invest, state governerment for sure. He then wrote when the prize money goes up he will then look at coming. What a joke of a answer. Judd trump said the same. Other players asked said a minimum of £5000 to be a sponser? I was thinking more like £2500 so i didnt get anyone. Then mist players had no sponsers anyway. Im stumped they hold out for 5 and rather get none?
I was just througing the money away in reality as my businesses are in perth 3500klms away. Frustrating
That aside they should put all the prize money in a pot take out the minimum expences for each player attending every event. So everybodys costs are covered. Lower the prize money as more of a bonus setup the furthe you get in the tourny. And then for more exclusive events bump up tge bonuses. When they travel book flights on mass if players dont make the flight tough bickies. Same with accomodation. They would get major discounts which would benifit everyone. Obviously the prize money would grow eventually everyone can afford to get onboard and their sponsors contribute to their overall prizemoney rather than covering costs. Works like this in the football league in australia. Basically everything gets provided to a certain extent then its up to the individual to maintain and recievesponsers and sponsership monies.

Please excuse spelling on a bloody iphone with big fingers.

Blind Man said...

Lol wouldnt be a certain welsh friend of yours

Anonymous said...

Blind Man. You need to send that phone back or is it really you Les?

Anonymous said...

'nah, mate I'm watching the boxing'. I wonder who that could be.

If it isn't Mark J, Dave should really set the record straight!

If that £2500 is still on offer, I'll come over over and knock in a 30 break for you! Australia, what a country...the home of Mad Max, Crocodile Dundee, Neighbours, Ayers Rock, and a skinny-dipping Jenny Agutter forever imprinted on my mind.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or this game starting to fall apart?

Anonymous said...

I agree with 7:28pm this game is starting to fall apart.

http://bit.ly/T5aoSE

Anonymous said...

what did stephen lee do to paul mount??

wild said...

Is it me or this game starting to fall apart?
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this game been falling apart for years and despite Barry Hearns best effort some players are determined against all odds to succeed the demolition.

Anonymous said...

what did stephen lee do to paul mount??

From the sounds of things, Lee broke his sponsorship contract, so Mount sued him. Obviously there are two sides to every story, but the county court found in Mount's favour.

Anonymous said...

Now that the BBC has scrapped the Grand Prix it would be better to hold the UK in November, between the two traditional snooker slots. It's ridiculous that the season doesn't start until December now.

Anonymous said...

its ridiculous some people can say the season doesnt start until demember

wild said...

Now that the BBC has scrapped the Grand Prix it would be better to hold the UK in November, between the two traditional snooker slots. It's ridiculous that the season doesn't start until December now.
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please say you are joking before the UK there would have been 4 main ranking event and the 3rd event International Championship taking on the slot that the Grand Prix used to be in.

BBC is not the be all and end all of snooker that horse has bolted now snooker is growing bigger and better than ever before on a far larger scale.

its time the British public starts to realize no longer snooker is a British sport.