Ronnie O'Sullivan has pulled out of the Malta Cup.

Actually, that isn't quite correct. He didn't want to play in the first place and was entered without his knowledge by his management company.

Malta has never been a favourite destination for O'Sullivan (I've no idea why as it's a lovely place) but I understand his main reason for not going is that he doesn't wish to spend a week away from his family when there is a tournament - the Welsh Open - starting the day after the Malta final.

It looks like clumsy scheduling but there is method in this madness: a gap has been left for an eighth ranking event in the Middle East.

However, the signs are that this won't take place this season.

Some will criticise O'Sullivan but he has a right not to play if he doesn't fancy it and isn't to blame for being entered into a tournament without knowing about it.

It is, though, a blow to people who have already booked tickets for the Portomaso event on the understanding he would be playing.

The fear now, of course, is that other players who didn't wish to play and have found themselves in the draw will also pull out, which would cause huge problems bearing in mind the event is played using a round robin system and the players in each group have been carefully selected based on their rankings.


Pot The Reds said...

It sounds like communications between Ronnie and his management company are spot on!!!

andy said...

It's a real shame Ronnie's chosen not to promote the game in Malta again. He's currently the biggest draw in snooker and he knows it.

After winning the Premier League title last week, he said he prefers to enter that tournament than some of the ranking events because the prize money is much better.

I know the Malta Cup isn't a ranking event but if Ronnie doesn't bother to enter a tournament, then why should the big sponsors? You would have to say that Ronnie is contributing to a salary that he isn't happy with, although of course there are other major contributory factors.

Anonymous said...

the final is just one day before welsh open starts , of course he refuze it .And the 20.000 prize is rubish . If they want a champion they gota pay better.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

It comes as no surprise to me having registered my earlier thoughts - and the above post - about what O'Sullivan thinks of tournaments.

Firstly, before attacking O'Sullivan's dubious feelings towards overseas tournaments, one must ask why on earth, when there are only 9 tournaments in 9 months, do the inept idiots at World Snooker confer to allow a tournament that was world ranking now relegated to invitational, be allowed to be scheduled back-to-back against the Welsh Open. Who plans the calendar in advance? The players have been annoyed in the past about such behaviour; Stephen Lee represented England at the Nations Cup final before being scheduled to defend his Welsh title at 10am! John Higgins faced the same problem at the UK, 3 days after winning the British Open in 2004...both lost!

I wouldn't mind if the players were playing 3 tournaments a month, they'd get used to it - just look at professional golfers - but when there are so few, and then to have 2 together, smacks of shoddy business acumen for whoever runs the sport at world snooker hq! Whoever organises the calendar must be thinking of financial gain first.

As for O'Sullivan, he seemed to think he was going to make the final, by saying the Welsh Open was the next day, but being invitational, unless the final is between 2 wildcards, everyone in the top 16 will be hoping that they get a Tuesday match in Cardiff!

The Rocket certainly is keeping the authorities on their feet...I just wish World Snooker would get their boat in order, before it sinks!

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

The thing is the top 16 wont be in th Welsh Open until they play the last 48 round which will take 2 days. Stephen Maguire had to play solidly for 3 weeks when he reached the British Open final then winning the UK Championships. Also how is the event ever going to grow and attract sponsors therefore higher prize money if the players don't show. Higgins hit the nail on the head with this arguement earlier in the season.

Anonymous said...

unfortunately snooker has become a business this days . Its all about money . be sure if the prize would'v been 100.000 he would'v been the first there .

Anonymous said...

Ronnie needs for another priority besides snooker, like family. I think its good for him