Lee Doyle, the chairman of 110sport, has today resigned from the WPBSA board and declared his opposition to its chairman, Barry Hearn, and his future plans for the sport in a move which will precipitate (yet another) bitter battle for control of the sport.

He said: "I feel that my current position as a Director on the Board of the WPBSA is now untenable given that I am completely opposed to the proposals the Chairman, Barry Hearn, has laid out whereby the controlling rights in the Company are handed over to him.

“I do understand what Barry is trying to achieve in snooker and we have discussed this at considerable length. But on this one we agree to disagree.

“Barry has always run his own business and made his own decisions. However, I feel extremely uncomfortable where from my perspective decisions are being taken on contracts without me being consulted as a Board member.

“I do wish some of the players would look at these proposals from the business angle and see the bigger picture and the implications going forward for the game, rather than turning everything in to some kind of popularity contest between those they like and those they don’t want to listen to.”

I have no inside knowledge of the way the WPBSA board works under Hearn.

But I do know that 110sport were the leading cheerleaders of the Altium bid eight years, which bore many similarities to what Hearn is proposing now.

Ironically - or perhaps not - many of those against Altium are now for Hearn.

And so the self-interested, factional world of snooker turns once again.

Doyle's resignation and opposition to Hearn means the bright new future - announced only a fortnight ago - could already be dead in the water, and with it the new tournaments and broadcasting contracts that came with them.

That said, apathy may well yet be the winner. I understand only a handful of players have contacted Hearn since his letter went out, even though he supplied his mobile number and email address.

How many of them will turn up to the May 5 meeting to hear him out rather than rely on 'managers' to decide what's best for them?

Doyle, who manages a large stable of players, neglects to put forward an alternative to the Hearn plan. Perhaps he thinks the way the sport has been run for the last decade is the way things should continue.

However, I understand an alternative proposal is being put together by the very board members who the players rejected just four months ago.

The way things are going, though, the sport will have no credibility left regardless of who is in charge.


Anonymous said...

The sport DOES have credibility left I feel.
The players have been geed up by journalists and people who are anti every governing body the game has ever put forward.
Yet most of these are snooker people with the game in their blood.
The players have a vote and will vote on this matter at the right time.
This will receive criticism from certain factions but criticism is nothing new.
The Doyle empire was once seen as a good guy but now he is a bad guy.
He he, great eh?

jamie brannon said...

I bet it doesn't work this simply, but if more than half of the players vote for the new proposals - does this mean it will happen? As I don't totally understand why Doyle's departure is so serious. I am not disagreeing with you Dave, it's just when the business and politics of sport come into play I lose interest. Hearn's plans seem a no brainer to me

Anonymous said...

This is disgraceful behaviour by Lee Doyle no matter what he thinks about the proposed controlling rights. It's clearly an act of war. Who is he anyway? Apart from Hendry's old managers son? How dare he stick the knife into snooker like this. If snooker ends up going downhill from this point with less prize money and tv tournaments it's quite clear now who kick started it all.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance to him

Anonymous said...

3.17 - Ian Doyle was seen as a good guy. Lee never was.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Betfred won't be signing on for another four years then

Another great day for snooker!

Anonymous said...

To 3.17: if snooker turns its back on Barry Hearn - a man described on this very site last week by Fred Done as 'the best sports promoter I've ever worked with' - in favour of bringing back board members who have already been voted out then it will have no credibility with sponsors, broadcasters or the media

Hearn deserves his chance to show the snooker world whether or not he can deliver

The others have had theirs and they didn't

Anonymous said...

Well done Lee Doyle. At last someone who is standing up to Barry Hearn. I warned people months ago that Hearn was no good for our sport. Watch as we descend into the farce of tournaments with one frame matches, six reds, shot clocks, music...

trophymad said...

Godh! That's really bad news for Snooker :-( I certainly hope the players will do what's needed... *sighs* And what do we do without the Hearn plan? There's nothing there!

Anonymous said...

Barry Hearn has nowhere said he would introduce 6-reds, on the contrary, he dismissed it. He also has stated he won't touch the majors. And apart from the sky shout-out that's clearly some fun event there is nowhere shot-clock or one-frame tournaments in his plans. This is typically the misinformation spread by his opponents, hoping people wont read his manifesto. Just like the rumour the main tour would be cut to 32 players... another lie spread by some who don't want to let go their priviledges.

Anonymous said...

This is all to do with China, not 'the future of the sport' or anything so quaint

Anonymous said...

Lee Doyle and pals had their chance to run snooker now Barry Hearn should get his and it would be disgraceful to knife him after only a few months in the position

Anonymous said...

I don't see why this affects the credibility of the game (particularly to the public at large who will probably not even be bothered by this). It appears that the boundaries have been drawn, it's Barry Hearn or back to the past. As long as enough of the players support Barry then it's surely only a matter of looking to the future?

When you say an alternative proposal is being drawn up Dave, are you talking about Sir Rodney?

SupremeSnooker.com said...

A lot of lies and poison have been written in the last couple of weeks from idiots like Brian Radford aided by his little mates Peter Ebdon and Rex Williams.
Look, folks, snooker is running out of time and chances to save itself as a major professional sport.
I'm not a Hearn sycophant, and there are a few elements of his plan I'd change, but all in all I believe his appointment as chairman has been the best thing to happen to snooker in at least 25 years.
I'm all for constructive criticism of Hearn's plan, but Doyle hasn't offered ANYTHING constructive as an alternative.
I'll tell you what this is all about- Doyle doesn't want to lose influence.
If he's so clever, why didn't he come up with a plan of his own long ago?
Unfortunately, the players are their own worst enemies, and have been for donkey's years. Many don't seem able to comprehend the relationship between their failure to vote (and their indifference to the Walker regime) and the decline in tournaments and prize money.
I'm only 26, but in my lifetime, I have sat on FIVE committees (none to do with snooker) and every single one has been a massive disappointment to me.
Every time, a few characters who were full of their own self-importance would dominate meetings. They were like dick measuring competitions, a clash of egos,with very little of use or importance ever coming out of any of them.
I feel sorry for Hearn, or anyone else with charisma and vision, for having to put up with these clowns.
Hearn says he 'doesn't do democracy', and I wish, frankly, that he didn't have to.

CHRISK5 said...

The subplot soapopera is gonna continue long into the summer then.

I doubt if this latest development will affect Snookers credibility.

In fact,if there were 2,3 or 4 seperate proposals packages on the table - at least there would be a more rounded debate on it's future direction.

It's a compliment to Snooker that many alternatives are being compiled as we speak.

I do like many of Barry Hearn's proposals - to have a much greater blend of formats & more events - To some degree,it's the new PTC tour & the overzealous appetite to control all the finances which is more questionable.

If you could have something vaguely similar to the Hearn plan -
But,without the baggage of trying to gain unlimited commercial control - then that would be the best balance for any successful proposal package.

Definetly a future movie in the pipeline with all these storylines!

Anonymous said...

407, I dont know where you get that this is all about china from. I spoke to lee doyle within the last 10 days or so about this and he never mentioned China once, so i dont think you are correct.

Anonymous said...

I think its the next chapter in the history of the game where Lee Doyle put the spanner in the works following the "taking a back seat" of his dad Ian.
Both, especially Ian have brought about the demise of the sport (from within) backed up by the "voice of the game" who remains unaccountable for his actions.
Its all in tatters yet again but totally predictable.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not share
Dear Dave
How are you! Thanks for the many posts on the “Fine Art” method. The Lee Doyle resignation plus the World Champion will give you and the blog a very busy month ahead.

The Barry Hearn suggestion that if you “Get Rid” of Sir Rodney he would consider the Chairman’s job was unambiguous and clear to all. Sadly Barry’s election pledge of “Transparency” and “Complete Honesty” was just a gimmick and blatant lies.

Lee Doyle did the only honourable thing Dave and the “Commercial Right” demand by Barry was Lee’s reason for the split.

Every one wanted Barry to have his chance as boss; but to insist on a life long pension up front was really a request and the possibility also to create a “Matchroom W/S” in the future.
The sheer audacity of the idea being granted seems almost infantile Dave. Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

Even snooker players are not that stupid.

Many have seen this for years, many have seen the distruction of this sport by people with no record of success, many have scraped a living for years whilst Directors have pilfered - litterly pilfered - the funds it had at its disposal.

And, over the years, many of you have seen Barry Hearn make successful his business like no other.

Rumour has it that Barry Hearn is worth nearly £70,000,000 - that guy is nobody's fool.

Be under no illusion, this sport IS at "The Last Chance Saloon".
If you let Hearn go, you'll be back with the Lunatics running the asylum that is snooker.

You're not THAT stupid, are you?

Tony B - and yes, I do talk in cliches.

CHRISK5 said...

Tony B - Yo,Yo to Tony B!

My previously 'anonymous' copycat 'best friend' I take it !!

You have contradicted yourself - If Barry Hearn is as wealthy as you suggest - then why is he so eager to have total control of not just the games finances - but effectively - managing all the players too ?

You would think he really desperately needed the cashflow!

I like some aspects of the Hearn plan myself.

But,if you back him so rigidly - You gotta come up with a more intelligent & sophisticated mantra than that Tony B.

And also be more open to what the other proposals might offer.

Ali said...

Don't let the door hit you on your way out, Lee!

The Snooker Oracle said...

People are assuming that Doyle's opposition means a block vote of his players against the proposals. Can't see it myself. He manages Ronnie and Hendry for a start doesn't he? I'm almost certain they'll vote for Hearn.

Anonymous said...

hearn is no saint and I can understand the worries about him having to much control.

however he is a proven succesfull promoter and snooker has few choices left.

the bbc contract is up soon and with so few events already left, if it does not embrace change then the abyss is close for the sport.

snooker is at crossroads and needs to either adapt or die.

Anonymous said...

CHRISK5, this is a road we have all been down for many years (10 in my case from 1993).

My personal opinion is that snooker cannot afford another war. This is a critical time for the sport contract negotiation wise.

Your comments regarding Hearn are a bit shallow IMHO as because he wants 'Full Control' doesn't mean he needs the money. Wealthy successful people want to win (with a bit of ego massaging I grant you), and Hearn does have a pretty successful record.

The players got the guy in, now let him do the job in hand, and concentrate on 'Potting Blacks' which they know about, rather than sports promotion, which they don't.
The guy is the best out there, and time is of the essence.

Harsh? Maybe, but business is a tough world, and Hearn is as tough as they come.

Stevie Baillie said...

Lee Doyle and EVERYONE else are entitled to do, say and act as they wish, given that we are a country with those freedoms (are we not?)
Bary Hearns ideas need to be given a chance to see if Mr Big can revamp and grow the game as some people think it should be.

However, for the players (members) to sell out (give over) their ownership of the game to a big juicy dangling carrot may well prove to be the worst move ever by the voting fraternity of WPBSA.
Time will be the only teller of that scenario.

Personally, I am neither here nor there on the rights and wrongs of the proposed set up (being a life long trier of a hammer thrower at the game it wont personally affect me!), but I will predict that should Barry be handed the commercial game of Snooker, and "if" it all goes bums up in a few years for players.
That it wont be long before "a group" is formed to wrestle the commercial game back from Mr Hearn.

If BH's commercial set up is by then "the face" of Snooker throughout the world then I wouldn't imagine Barry would be too upset at handing "the rules and the Billiards" back to those that want them, while he continues to OWN the lucrative commercial side of Snooker.

I pray that my thoughts are 100% wrong and that all will be rosey in the Snooker Garden for many, many years to come.
Although, my schoolteachers will confirm that I always was a bit of a euphoric dreamer.

(The above is only my personal thoughts and I wish no one any offence or indifference by them - let's all stand back and watch over the coming years - it will be interesting if nothing else!)

Stevie Baillie

PS Why do folk with strong views and who tout "you can have this as gospel" etc
Always semm to post as "Anonymous"?
Just a thought!

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
How are you! Congratulations lad on retaining an even-steven voice on most issues. Your opinion that Barry and Steve should have a chance to govern was good originally before strings.
Do you still think the same Dave now knowing the Matchrooms “Up Front” demands?

Barry is a very shrewd operator Dave. He is always willing to give away nearly half of something he hasn’t got.
Matchroom doesn’t “Do Democracy” so there are no apologies or blame for any baggage that maybe left around.

Snooker has a great chance during this difficult period to clean out other ghosts in the closet. The professional game was only a wonderful novelty; kept alive with tobacco money.
The game has never broken even financially without tobacco subsidy. Mr hey you

PS Give Matchroom there chance Dave but without the Barry guarantee up front. DM

Anonymous said...

Barry Hearn was never interested in being chairman, he only said that to get rid of Sir Rodney and clear the path to the commercial rights. If Barry's the man for the job, i'm happy to give him a chance but to hand over the only assets we own is the most absurd thing i've ever heard. There's no reason for him to own them, other than gains for himself and not having the players seeing how he's using the rights. why can he not just use them and take a commission?

I've never really been a fan of any Doyle but his resignation is terrible for the game. Let's face it, he was the only board member that would offer any opinion against Hearn if he thought it was needed. I admire Lee's decision to resign and hope he'll have further influence in the game in the future. It's a one man board now, Mooney and Parker will just do as they're told as they've been gifted 8 tournaments between them to organise. And Hearn's got the nerve to say the last board had vested interests?
I also find it bizarre how everone's raving on about these new tournaments. Yes it's good news we have more opportunity to play next season but let's not kid ourselves that they're much better than the 7 pro challenge events that Sir Rodney put on this season. It's easy to stage a series of new events with someone else's money. We were nearly bankrupt four years ago, now we're financially sound. I wonder how much will be left in two years time, with no guarantee of sponsors for the new events we will have no money in the bank after the proposed three year plan.

By the way, didn't Hearn have a Million pound bid for the BDO turned down? and he wants the commercial rights of snooker for a quid? good luck.

Anonymous said...

You can own of 100% of f*ck all, then

Any player who votes against Hearn is signing their own professional death certificate

And they lose the right to moan about no tournaments and low prize money - forever

Anonymous said...

Businessman wants to make money: WOW!

Next you'll be telling me that the earth revolves around the sun. No doubt snooker players think they could make a better job of that as well.

Hand it over to Barry. If he screws it up you'll get it back. If you carry on as things are now the professional game will be dead in five years guaranteed.

moondan said...

Having Hearn and Davis in charge will fast forward pay per view snooker a decade.

I bet all you Hearn lovers will change your tune when its time to dip your hands into your pockets and pay for every match on offer.

Getting rid of Hearn and Davis may not be impossible, but seeing out the contracts that Hearn will impose will be very painful.

People who think that Davis and Hearn fell into this venture are absolutely deluded.
When something seems wrong, its because it usually is.
These are 2 wrong uns.

Anonymous said...

hearn will give the game back minus our 3 million quid !!! USE YOUR BRAIN !

Anonymous said...

Barry Hearn will not be out of pocket - trust me. But World Snooker will not only be lacking a paddle but they will be treading water!!!