John Higgins has issued the following statement in response to today's News of the World story:

"Can I say that I have never been involved in any form of snooker match-fixing. In my 18 years playing professional snooker I have never deliberately missed a shot, never mind intentionally lost a frame or a match.

"In all honestly I became very worried at the way the conversation developed in Kiev. When it was suggested that I throw frames in return for large sums of money, I was really spooked. I just wanted to get out of the hotel and onto the plane home.

"I didn't know if this was the Russian Mafia or who we were dealing with. At that stage I felt the best course of action was just to play along with these guys and get out of Russia (sic).

"Those who know me are aware of my love for snooker and that I would never do anything to damage the integrity of the sport I love. My conscience is 100% clear."

The WPBSA has suspended Higgins from all future tournaments pending an investigation. His manager, Pat Mooney, has resigned from the board of the governing body.


Anonymous said...

yeh righto !!!

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Mooney inform Hearn and others when first approached in Edinburgh several weeks ago?

If Higgins was so worried why didn't he call Hearn before he left Kiev? Or when he got back to the UK?

It's only when people have allegations against them that we get their story. Honest people inform the appropriate authorities when they suspect any wrongdoing. They don't just ignore it.

hegeland said...

To be honest that's the worst piece of crap I've heard in quite a while.

How about telling the truth, John? You got tempted by the big money and said things you shouldn't have.

Now face the consequences and hang up your cue for good.

Anonymous said...

For me John is the greatest snooker player in history and the greatest sportsman I have seen. By that I mean he always handles himself in a manor that a most could do well to follow. I don't believe these allegations and see it as a more likely scenario that things happened as his statement read. The problem with this is that there is no way of proving what was going on in peoples minds so unfortuanitly this will probably lead to the end of John Higgins involvement in snooker. I am absolutely mortified at this and if things progress as i expect them i will never play or watch snooker again.

Anonymous said...

Pat Mooney, should hang his head in shame, people in snooker know he is a individual of questionable character. John H senior must be in a rage about where Mooney has taken his son in a few short years.

hegeland said...

@ anon 2:40PM:

So if I was recorded saying that I would agree to commit a crime, and AFTER the tape was made public I'd come and say I was "forced" to say it would you defend me, like you defend John Higgins? Higgins has absolutely no credibility whatsoever, the tape is obvious, his excuse is too late and totally unbelieveable. Get real.

Anonymous said...

and you would know that for sure hedgeland?

Anonymous said...

Hendry, O'Sullivan and Williams are modernday greats. Mr Higgins can now be scrapped from that category - for good.

Anonymous said...

So called snooker fans condeming Higgins straight off.Are you all after the sport imploding!? As I said I don't believe in these accusations but do believe it is the end for John. DJW Manc.

Anonymous said...

What an ill-advised statement to release! If the video was all the News of the World boys had, then maybe, but this was obviously a well-researched operation involving multiple meetings. The real question now is how deep does this scandal go? There's very little money in snooker so if the world no. 1 can be bribed, then I can imagine plenty of the journeymen players scraping to make ends meet would find this kind of offer irresistible. We may be witnessing the end of snooker in its current form.

Unknown said...

it is clearly obvious that it was a well prepared trap for John and Pat. The way the Video was cut leaves a loot of room to play around. The voice of jaroslaw sounds really scary, he played his role very good i think (maybe he was a real one- payed by somebody). Why is just one voice dubbed.... need a professional technical background to prepare this on the recording in the hotel......reason?

Why is one camera just Black and white? Recorded later or before the "deal" i guess after because the dubbed voice man has no jacket on..

Why is the Door in the back opened?? If you have a meeting like this, allt doors and widows would be shut.

Why the cut in "this is only for the World Series!" this answer could fit to 1mil of questions.

The big question is who could be interessted to organize somthing like this?

This will obvious harm John Higgins as a player, his managment Company leaded by pat Mooney, the proffesional snooker scene in general, bad for the new plans of Barry Hearn and the new board of the WPBSA.
And issued right bevore the Final of the World Chapionsships and the very inportand votings for Barry hearn´s new plans.....

Somebody must be against all this????? Who will have advantage of all this, and have the power to spend lots of money and criminal energy to prepare that trap.

This is maybe a attack to the snooker scene with the new leader Barry hearn?

One thing everybody can see on the video.. during the agreement john and pat don't really look happy to close that deal.... it is possible that they got really scared during that conversation....

John try's to look relaxed in his chair, but he is not. Simillar to pat mooney. Both look very tensely!

i think before sombody judge on those guys, all recordings have to be prooved........ to seee why these words have been spoken....

Who was the initiator for this?

Anonymous said...

Has Mr Hendon switched off premod or something?

Anonymous said...

Mooney has fooled many snooker people in the short time he has been in the game players included, some of them must be asking themselves what his motives where, its clear he cant be trusted and all his spin was for his own advancement. Thankfully he has been found out before he can inflict any more damage on the players.

Anonymous said...

The commentators are in shock. The usually chirpy Dennis Taylor is very subdued. It's like they're commentating on the death throws of snooker. Everyone's in shock.

Anonymous said...

Of course O'Sullivan is a great. What has he ever done to bring the game into disrepute. Where do I start. Both Williams and Hendry have failed to produce consistently in recent years when the standard of play has significently improved. I've just watched the video and stand my what I have already said. That situation could have been as described by Higgins and he could have acted his way to safety as I'm sure we all would. I just can't believe someone with his money could be that stupid for that sum of money. I'm just not having it! DJW Manc.

Anonymous said...

My recall is that Ian Doyle used to criticise John Higgins for being with his father (as his manager). Doyle claimed that Higgins had made very little off the table money. 25-30 odd years ago if you won Wimbeldon it was the same money as the snooker world title . It then became the poor man's event compared to gold and tennis championships. If you win the world it is 250k whereas the wimbeldon winner gets 1million. 250k is great if you are working in a factory- but over a lifetime if you have a wife, a family, a fmaily home, if you have few big pay days to get 250k for an event like the worlds doesn't really cut it in 2010. Perhaps you go away with 95k after taxes, paying your manager, paying your expenses for 17 days. If the prize money had not lost its way in the last 10-15 years then these stories would be few and far between. Higgins' defence is far fetched. Especially when he would have known what happened to Quintenn Hann and stepehen Maguire. You just wouldn't go to Kiev after you or your manager had a prelimnary meeting in Edinburgh with some of the same people. The only thing that makes this odd is that for that amount of money to be given to Higgins', the syndicate would be betting a lot of cash on a 3rd rate basically exhinbition event. When small amounts of money on Maguire's match came up on the radar- obviously 100,000s on a world series framce would not passed un noticed. Higgins and Mooney would know this. The teasing comment in all of this was the NOTW remark that they had been tipped off that Higgins' was up for this sort of thing. Does that mean he threw a match, did he go on the record in front of another player or official in a very serious way saying lets do x,y,z. Why did the NOTW go lookig for him to begin with ? That is the more interesting point at this stage.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny all the controversy and criticism of Ronnie O'Sullivan for different things over the years, all of which were 100% tame compared to this. Thank goodness we still have Mr O'Sullivan.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
How are you! Thanks for the posts lad you have shown some courage in the past by printing the “Fine Art” views against the establishment.
I think Dave that the present bad press the game is now shouldering is possible the beginning of something much bigger to come.

Maybe its time now Dave for some “True Confessions” or in every day parlance “Come Clean” and close the door to further exposé’s that will bring the game into more shame and disrepute.
The “Walk-Away” ultimatum vote by Barry and Steve should go ahead as arranged to bring some normality back to the game.

Then after the vote the game will be built on a different type of “Transparency” and a different branch of “Complete Honesty”.
Whether the vote is “Yes or No” the double pledge of honesty used by Barry to oust Sir Rodney was and still is a blatant lie to gain control of the game Commercial Rights. Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

It's very clear to me that Ronnie O'Sullivan is behind the whole thing.

1) Ronnie O'Sullivan has italian roots.
2) Ronnie O'Sullivan's mother has been arrested at least 2 times due to dodgy business with the italian mafia.
3) Ronnie O'Sullivan hasn't been the main thing in snooker for 2 years. Indeed he lost his #1 spot in the world.
4) Ronnie O'Sullivan lost no less than 5 matches to Higgins only this season.
5) The video clearly shows John and Pat are dealing with mafia.
6) It's easy to conclude Ronnie is behind all this.

Anonymous said...

nobody would would be relaxed in this situation regardless of where it is, it a betting scam after all.

Anonymous said...

Dave,I wonder is the post at 3:11 from Mr Mooney by any chance?

Anonymous said...

I find it suspicious why John and Pat were in Kiev in the first place, then back home in Scotland a day or two later...

As much as i want to believe this is not true, i am begging to think it is, as 4 frames would not be noticed at all during an entire year, and a quick cash in for John and Pat.

I reckon this happens more in the game, but goes un-noticed unfortunatley....

Anonymous said...

John Higgins won’t be able to fool the players they will know whether he is capable of doing this or not

Anonymous said...

I can't argue with the video. I love Higgins but this sadly must put an end to this.

Tabloid news is always dismissable but this is on tape. I don't think we will ever see John with a cue again. What a tragedy for the sport this is. Shocking...

Anonymous said...

this is the NOTW not a reliable paper. They should be charged with a criminal offence here. If this is really the case why not do it in the uk and not have so many cuts in the video.

Anonymous said...

it seems like there is a simple choice as to whether John Higgins is telling the truth regarding his feelings of fear in Kiev. So if anyone thinks he has shown himself to be consistently a man of integrity then they should believe him. As C.S. Lewis once wrote "however the evidence may appear an accusation of lying against someone you have consistently found to be truthful is a very serious thing indeed."
Who has more integrity here John Higgins or the tabloid press?

Anonymous said...

All the people rushing to John's defence need to realise that this was the *culmination* of a deal initiated by Mooney at a previous meeting:

"Mooney, a 47-year-old Scot who sits on the board of the game's governing body alongside Steve Davis and promoter Barry Hearn - set the ball rolling in April... with a piece of paper carefully pushed across a table in an Edinburgh hotel."


Anonymous said...

Barry Hearn has had an interesting few months, attacking the players, sorry, the lazy players - not being upfront about the £1.2mil loss - clear conflict on his board(not in dispute) - his board have all been co-opted by him, and now he has match fixing laid at the door of one of his hand picked ex directors, not a the start the players wanted or expected. Sill like they say "things can only get better" hopefully

Jamesol said...

About moral standards

I would like to know from the journalists on News of The World, if there had been any rumours connecting Higgins to criminal activity? Rumours that awoke your wish to test out his moral standards, and therefore made you go into action?

The police for an instance (in my country, anyway, Denmark) are not allowed to frame else lawabiding persons into committing crimes. Here it is not illegal to have a thief or even a murderer in your stomach, as long as you don't allow him out into action. A few years ago some civil policeagents actually succeded trying it, with a public outcry as result. What they did was wrong, but a couple of persons, that had never before done anything legally wrong, ended up behind bars, anyway. The legal court couldn't just ignore that they actually fell into the illegal policetrap and did the crime.

Did you, journalists, have any principal wonderings before getting into action?

If you didn't have any reasons to believe that Higgins would fall into your trap, what then made you want to try him out? That he was a father of three children? That he was the best snookerplayer (and a splendid selling story)? Or was it simply the fun of imaging him behind bars? Or maybe, inconsciously, you connected the word 'frame' with the snookerplayer Higgins? (But if it was the last possibility, of course you really wouldn't be able to answer me, eh?)

Did you by the way throw a dice, when you decided between, let's see, Higgins, Carter, Robertson, Murphy, Maguire or O'Sullivan? (Hey, imaging O'Sullivan behind bars, now his father finally has come out, he-he-he... eh?)

You are very welcome to answer in the same fresh way, as you wrote your 'story'.

Yours sincerely,

IanW said...

Let’s get the chain of events right here.

Mooney, (now to be known as LoadsaMooney) was supposed to be working closely with Hearn and looking to incorporate WSS events into the WSA calendar. This is a fundamental point here as Mooney claims to have already met these jokers 2 or 3 times already in Scotland. It therefore stands to reason that that Hearn must have known about these meetings as the point of the trip to Kiev, as Mooney says, was to move things to ‘ the contract stage’. If negotiations had got that far then surely Hearn must have known. If Hearn didn’t know then Mooney was either a) incompetent or negligent in not keeping the chairman and fellow director of the governing body of snooker informed or b) trying to keep things to himself for reasons that have come to light.

So the key question to ask here is: did Hearn know that Mooney & Higgins were in Kiev? If the answer is No then why hadn’t Mooney told him? If the answer is Yes then on their return from Kiev surely Hearn would have asked “…what happened in Kiev”? Now that question could not have been asked because when this scandal happened Hearn quite clearly knew nothing about match fixing allegations or he would have nipped all this in the bud this morning by saying something along the lines of “…yes, I knew all this already ‘cause Mooney & Higgins felt they’d been threatened, told me on their return and the deal had been canned”….but he didn’t !! so Mooney could not have told him !!!

The only defence here is that Mooney believed that this was to be part of a WSS event and therefore it had nothing to do with the WSA and as such Hearn had no need to know. If that is the case then that simply makes a mockery of the ‘new board’ saying they’re all working together for the good of the game.

So a) did Hearn know they were in Kiev to finalise a deal? b) if not why not?

At best Mooney is comes out of this naïve / incompetent / stupid, any of which do not make him suitable for a place on the board dealing with multi-million pound decisions.

At worst he comes out as secretive and a person open to corruption.

If John Higgins ‘feared for his life’ why did he keep it all to himself and not see fit to tell anyone about it?

These are the simple questions for PC Plod of the board to ask.

Anonymous said...

What a rubbish statement from Higgins. They looked absolutely terrified as they toasted the deal and 'chinked' glasses....NOT!!

hegeland said...

@ jamesol:

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make? That we should feel sorry for Higgins as he is "a father of three children" or "the best snookerplayer"? The only moral quesion mark in this story falls over Mr. Higgins himself.It doesn't matter if it was "provoked" or not, Higgins is clearly agreeing to cheat, on camera: Unless he miraculously can pull out some extraordinary excuse for what he did he is finished as a snooker player.

Betty Logan said...

If Higgins did feel intimidated then perhaps the wisest course of action would have been to inform the WPBSA of the circumstances - Hann's "I just played along" excuse didn't wash, and I doubt this will either.

His get out of jail card here though is that this just applies to the world series - they make it clear the fixing won't occur in a ranking event, so the matches in question actually fall outside of the jurisdiction of the WSA. If they try banning John on that basis he should sue. The other issue is that he has certainly brought the dame into disrepute, but the penalty for that in the past was usually a fine and ban ranging from 3 matches to 6 months.

If I were John Higgins I would come clean over this and play for the lesser disrepute charge. He can recover from a 6 month ban and put the mess behind him.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Snooker is going down the line of Football, with corrupt agents/managers/players.

Snooker has always been seen as a shady sport - like boxing - trying to escape the past. That isn't going to happen now let's face it.

Only a couple of weeks back, we were talking of a new calender and trying to get the sport up-and-running back to before.

Now, because John, with the help of Mr Mooney, wanted to pay off his mortgage on his Spanish villa, it's sent the sport backwards.

What a shame for the youngsters either wanting to become a player or a fan. Am switching off...NOW!

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...

Obviously when I said I wasn't going to pass judgement I was in a minority of one.

Higgins and Mooney clearly have some very serious questions to answer. I hope that the enquiry gets underway as soon as the World Championship is over.

I'd also like to see the whole unedited video from Kiev.

Anonymous said...

this is better than Dallas

(i wonder if anyone will get that)

Lucie said...

I'd also like to see the whole unedited video from Kiev.

That could probably be most enlightening, but I doubt anyone will get to see it.

Anonymous said...

If the initial meetings with Pat turns out to be as indisputable as the Kiev footage then the sole defence of a 'threatening atmosphere' falls apart completely. Higgins has not claimed the footage to be doctored or to be a misrepresentation of the events. That seems to confirm that they did play along and that alone forces John to hang up his cue for good. The level of stupidity and the arrogance of it all is overwhelming. Not only throwing away all future earnings but tarnishing his reputation, his accomplishments and even barring himself from any snooker related activities off the table. Really John? Really???
We have to compare this to the Tour de France to find similar characters to have fallen from grace in this manner.

Anonymous said...

People will believe what they're told to believe

A hacked up videotape isn't 'evidence' of anything

Anonymous said...

In reply to the 6:09 post : the wpbsa are funding or were funding the Mooney wss events, i doubt it will now. If a link were needed that is it.

Anonymous said...

Trying to link Hearn to this is pathetic

Not least because some of the people doing it should look at some of the players they are associated with

Dr Hu said...

I am terribly in the greatest shock of my life. I, like David, hope for a speedy conclusion to the investigatory efforts, so that the damage to the sport is minimalised. I hope any guilty parties are punished severely. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

David, i am taking it that you are not in sheffield, and are in fact commentating from elsewhere, however, are there more questions that you have heard from your sources today that havent cropped up on here? if so, can you share them? i know you wont have answers, but sometimes questions rather than edited evidence can make some folk think clearly...

Anonymous said...

It will be a huge shame if Higgins gets a lifetime ban. He's a real character that the sport so badly needs.

Hope he's found not-guilty, although the video and transcripts look pretty damning. Especially drinking with the lads at the end. I'd say that was celebratory.

CHRISK5 said...

Championship League,World Series,
Players Tour Championship.

A paradise for betting syndication.

Ofcourse,in best of 3 or 5 frame
'matches' - the supposedly better player can always claim the shorter format stopped him winning.
(not the brown envelope ofcourse!)

What comes out of this for me is that these miscalleneous invitationals have lost any credibility they might have had (which wasn't very much in the first place)

And yet,Hearn,Mooney,Davis & co keep telling us these type of events are the future of snooker!!

If ever there were a case for more ranking events & fewer invitationals (with maybe just the Masters & Premier League remaining)
at least the NOTW 'expose' crystallises that logic.

This 'match fixing' story to throw meaningless frames in a meaningless match is not the first & probably won't be the last!

This 'movie' has many more twists & turns to come!

Jamesol said...

Hi Hegeland

If we should feel sorry for Higgins as he is a father... Maybe we should rather feel sorry for the children, now their father has got such a splendid help from story-selling journalists to destroy the life of his family.

But of course, I'm aware that principal thinking is such a bore for the shocked upset masses...

Anyway, it does matter very much, if Higgins before this was spotfree or not. It matters, if he was spotfree and yet was tricked into his 'untergang' just for the sake of a stupid story.

That's why, I question the journalists, if they know of any rumours, or facts of course, that Higgins should have broken any laws before this. And if that was the reason for their action?

I can only wonder how many percents of the publication, that would end up behind bars, if story-selling journalists tried to frame us all to do crimes, offering each of us 300.000£. I wuold probably jump right in (you of course not, Hegeland), if only it wasn't about murder.

But naturally, at some point along the line the rest-publication would have smelled the rat and would thank "no thank you very much." So maybe we wouldn't need to build too many extra prisons after all.

Anonymous said...

Burnett and Maguire - UK Championship

Francisco - World Championship

Hann - China Open

All ranking events

Apart from that you are, as ever, spot on...NOT!!!

Anonymous said...

i dont get your point chris, if you were meant to have one this time.

Anonymous said...

Well we obviously don't need courts when we have tabloid newspapers and know-nothing ignorant internet posters

It will save fortunes on a trial to rely on a heavily edited and dubious tape!

Anonymous said...


i wouldnt worry about what hedgeland says. ive read his comments on here before and even corrected him myself, only for him to not bother visiting again for a short while, instead of doing the correct thing and saying he was wrong.

he has obvioulsy got a passion for that and he is certainly seeming to be definite that what opinions he has formed will in become fact in the cold light of day.

hes probably about 23 years of age, going on 15.

Anonymous said...

If the video was questionable Higgins surely would have mentioned that in his first breath.

It will take an incredible series of events for this to be nothing but a huge misunderstanding.

That footage is just awful. I will look forward to possibly seeing the whole encounter but who seriously believe it will change what we have already seen.

(as I'm writing this the story is on the BBC World News headline ticker....awful reminder)

Anonymous said...

What if John had made the final ?? What would have happened? Would he be allowed to play? Who would have if not????

Anonymous said...


it was recorded on friday, when the semis were still not decided, so he wouldnt have been there if he was still in the comp.

hegeland said...

You're quite right I wouldn't jump over an opportunity to commit crimes for money.

I feel sorry for his kids, of course, just as I feel sorry for all his fans. But that's another story.

Tom Gurden said...

Remember people-extraordinary events require extraordinary evidence,and that edited video isn't evidence of anything!
I agree that what we have seen looks really really bad,and maybe it is but snooker is still a great great sport that is at an all time competetive high,so at least lets enjoy the world final,so don't switch off 6.13pm,Robertson&Dott haven't done anything wrong!
And why do people say that if Higgins can do this then the other players can't be trusted!? That is rubbish,all it does is show that ANYONE in ANY sport or any PROFFESSION is capable of this,it just goes to show that you can't trust people,in general!

Jamesol said...

Afraid of a critical opposition, News of The World?

I have posted the same comment to News of The World, that is behind the story about Higgins, as the one I posted here at 5.22. Interesting that they have chosen to ignore it, to leave it out.

I now wonder, if there are questions about their handling of the case, that they don't want to be confronted with.

Mine, for an example...

Anonymous said...

There's more to this story in next weeks paper oh dear...

hegeland said...

Hi there Mr. Anonymous!

Feel free to come up with arguments against my arguments, that's what we're here for.

But please explain why you are talking about me as a person?

I cannot talk negatively about you because I have never met you. So can we please discuss snooker, it's much more interesting than me.

Anonymous said...

"Every man has his price" as John Wayne once famously said in 'Die Hard'.

€300,000 seems to be John Higgins'

Jamesol said...

Hi Hegeland

But you don't really comment my arguments. You seem just to feel, that we are at opposite sites in the case. But your arguments are without matter, just sensation.

Rather nice must it be, by the way, to be such a shiny clean angel, when you are just so ready to spit at the dirty ones. Surely nothing for them to come after by you...

I wonder if that's the way of thinking by the journalists in the Higgins-story, too?

Anonymous said...

Mark King says he's been offered money in the past. did the authorities know about this? These so called players are just cheats and should be banned sine die.


Anonymous said...

What I've noticed this afternoon is that with every 'easyish' pot missed, I'm thinking, "I wonder".

That's what the sport now says to moi.

Anonymous said...

In my eyes, higgins statement doesn't ring true. If the love of the sport was his paramount concern as much as he claims, then he should have gone straight to hearn and even the police as soon as he got back on UK soil and told them everything that had happened in Kiev. He didn't and as a result he now has no leg to stand on as all that remains from the fiasco is a damning video showing the world's number one accepting a bung. I have no doubt that mooney is 100% responsible as he had engineered this meeting and passing dodgy notes to people before john got involved. Mooney must have known what was coming at the Kiev meeting yet as the afront to say that they feared for their safety. Thankfully the days of managers like mooney will be numbered after this incident, it's a shame that it comes at the expense of john higgins career who has been made a willing stooge in mooney's lust for greed.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
Thank for the posts! What a great final this is. This reminds me of the 1992 spectacular that gripped the nation.

Wonderful that these great players are putting the sport in a good light once again.


Anonymous said...

It makes me want to spew to see spectators sitting there at tonights session wearing football shirts. There should be a ban on these things....they're not allowed in my snooker hall in Lowestoft!!

And in this day of mourning when the very spirit of the sport has been sullied.

They could at least have worn a jersey or tank-top.

Claire Bennet. said...

I knew all along that there was just SOMETHING about John Higgins that was... Suspicious. Since the first time I layed eyes on this criminal. Now I know why. Why do this to snooker?! It's like cheating on your own wife... I kind've wish that he'd commited this deadly sin already now, because he'd have to be punished for it. What's worse is that he is denying all charges layed against him. I am very upset. In tears in fact. I have watched the video of him agreeing to the bribery at least a dozen times now, and I can't see the guilt in his eyes. He looked very calm for someone who was forced into doing this. This will definitely make people lose respect for him, and will also make his career fall downhill. This has affected me so badly that even my wife has noticed that I look "blue". Hmmm... Blue. Reminds me of Avatar. Might watch it to make me feel better. But back to what I was saying, well done John. You have let yourself down but most importantly, you have let your fans down. I hope you read this and feel the pain I am currently feeling. I know what I'm saying is a little mean, but it is what I'm feeling. My wife seems to think that I'm only saying this because in vain. I don't think so! I just can't emphasise the amount of shame I feel for John. Kthankxbai.

Anonymous said...

I assume the other players names were blanked out of the transcripts because they are from the rival faction to the Mooney and Hearn establishment package.
After all, this NOTW expose was a tip off from the anti brigade.

Anonymous said...

Dave - Please pass on my condolences to the family of Gordy Wilson-Piggot from the Whetstone Snooker Club, who sadly passed away in our club this afternoon.

The boys from the North London leagues would be grateful for the communique.

I'll post funeral details once known.

Thanks...and what a great website

Barry Henderson-Smyth

Anonymous said...

I always had a picture of J Higgins in the future, behind his desk with a big cigar and few scruples, like all promoters.

At best he was just a luke warm Hendry on the table and much nonsense was made of his mister clean image.
Good riddance.
OJ Simpson's jury would struggle to find any innocence here.
His fans are pathetic in their stance for him, they are probably the same type that would allow Jackson to babysit their kids.

Anonymous said...

I have to ask why John Higgins queried at the start of the recording whether there were cameras there!

Anonymous said...

I'm sickened by what it looks like is happening in that video.

Its sad however that NOTW chose to wait and wait and wait until the day of the final to announce their sting to the world. It just screams of malicious journalism.

Anonymous said...

response to 7.36 post.

i also posted a comment on the notw site criticising the way this was exeucuted. It was ignored also.

If they are stating Higgins is corrupt, then he should sue for libel to prove his innonce not just to wpsb but to the whole world.

I reserve judgment untill this happens


wow. shocking story.

Mustn't let one or two bad eggs decide the future of the game. Everyone is tired and emotional after a hard fortnight at sheffield and we need to first, concentrate on the final, secondly, have a break, and third, get on with the rebuilding of the game.

Higgins is a good player but with little or no personality. You need a translator to understand what hes saying.

Although no. 1, he is approaching the end of his career anyway and unlike the rocket is by no means irreplaceable.

Lets take this on the chin and move on.

Could be a blog-entry record on here. whats the highest so far?

Anonymous said...

I'm affraid this does not look good for John Higgins. Your defence is week because you have not reported it anyone on your return to the U.K. The tape says it all. If he had any idea it was a set up or he was dealing with gangsters he would have reported it to the WPBSA. Money talks and he was blinded by the easy money to be had, so he thought.
If proven guilty he must have the book thrown at him, he must never play proffessional snooker again. I feel sorry for the two lads who today are contesting the final. This is a dark cloud over what should be a special day for them.

Anonymous said...

I watched the video on line of Pat Mooney trying to defend his actions, saying he was "concerned for his safety and was fortunate to get out of the country", you would think he was in a war zone or a hostage situation the way he tells it.

He Was In A Five Star Hotel Drinking Champagne, its pathetic and insulting.

I dread to think what people who have genuinely been in a position of fear think about his bleating. Hang your head in shame Mr Mooney.

rick said...

The problem I have with the video is that they DO look relaxed and comfortable with it tbh, even discussing how it would be paid into their accounts...cant see anything but a long ban unfortunately for all.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys! Here's just a commiseration message from Holland. To all snooker fans, to the world finalists, to John and his family.
Shocking news about a genuine ambassador for the sport, lured into something I would like to believe he'd never in his wildest dreams have even considered, ever.

And I'd REALLY like to believe him.
Actually, I WILL believe him.

Only PLEASE John, tell everyone why you travelled to Russia in the first place. There obviously is a simple explanation for that, and then I strongly urge EVERYONE to accept you feared for possible maffia involvement during the "negotiations".

Greetings to you all.

NewsBrain said...

yes he looks far too calm to support the intimidation thing

you should all remember the grobelaar case.

even though the liverpool goalie escaped a criminal rap his libel action was a failure (v NOTW)

yes the tabloids are full of rubbish but these exposes are usually pretty tight

of course there is another side to the story.

but the damage to snooker is there in hard fact

therefore, for that higgins already deserves heavy punishment and even more so if his "defence" has no support

Dave H said...

I've been asked to post the following:

"Ukrainian National Federation of BILLIARDS SPORTS would like to inform that it was not aware of the arrival of John Higgins and Pat Mooney in Kiev. We do not know the purpose of their visit and we did not have any contact with them while they were in Kiev."

- Vyacheslav Nezdymovskij, chief of the snooker department in Ukrainian National Federation of BILLIARDS SPORTS

Anonymous said...

some of the comments have been shocking

guilty until proven innocent on here?

ok, the evidence looks bad, we can see that, but some have become judge and jury without seeing or hearing anything else and that is a surprise....

oh, and hedgeland, youre not THAT boring.

Anonymous said...

Mooney is all over the media, he should have the decency to slink away and leave the snooker world to recover from the devastation he has caused.

The man should never be allowed to show his face at snooker events again.

Anonymous said...

NOTW claims: Mooney had three previous meetings in Edinburgh, Mooney did not feel intimidated, Mooney openly discussed match fixing.

To find out wether or not these meetings happened is the most important thing of all because that removes the final pillar of defense (feeling threatened by the mafia).

We are not judge, nor jury and that is why we are free to comment on it. And what I see is a video of John & Pat doing shady business. Not surprisingly John was in tears when he spoke to Barry Hearn but I truly believe he was devastated to be caught, not because his reputation was unjustly tarnished.

SpiltMilk said...

I believe he's innocent until proven guilty BUT it doesn't look good does it? I mean...if the Russian Mafia attempt to bribe you then you tell someone about it when you're back don't you. I'm sure the News of the World used some fairly underhand tactics but I'm sure 'making them fear for their lives' probably wasn't one of them.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, surely that was a KGB provocation. Going back to the 80s when Lada sponsored the Classic tournament and Steve Davis won a Lada Riva. He's agent of KGB (that is called Russian Mafia now) also.

Anonymous said...

i never said anyone wasnt free to comment on it

i just think there are many on here who have him guilty, after only basically hearing one side of the story, and one others protesting innocence but without going into detail publicly, probably because theyve been advised not to

there is a difference between commenting on what youve seen than seeing something and forming an opinion of guilt and posting it on a public website IMHO

Anonymous said...

i have been on tour over 15 years and was offered money to throw a match in the uk champs along with another player so they could bet on a double .i thought about it for about 1 second.it would never enter my head to throw a match and i have earnt considerably less than john out of the game.if he is guilty he should be dealt with the same as quinten hann.guilty or not the damage is done if i was a potential sponser would i really want my company name to be associated with snooker.

Anonymous said...

hello Mr King

Anonymous said...

not mr king. its happened to a lot of players.

Anonymous said...

And have all these players reported it to the authorities?

If not they're as bad as those who do cheat

Anonymous said...

dont talk rubbish . most players just say no and just want to get on with the playing of the game .reporting it would just create hassle a pleyer doesnt need.

Anonymous said...

WSA did know about Mooney going to Kiev.

I hope the flight ticket for Mooney was paid with his own credit/debit card, and not a WSA card.
But moreso, hope Higgins' ticket was paid on anyone's card other than a WSA one.

Nobody in their right mind within the snooker world will deal with Mooney again, and Hearn/The Board are dealing with it in the best possible way for the sport.

To the players, now is not the time for change. Think about it before you vote.

And finally, to John Higgins, were you still on the plane coming back from Kiev when this story broke? Because you could not have told WSA at the earliest instance, as you would never use a russian telephone that could have been tapped. We are dealing with the "Russian Mafia" here you know.

Anonymous said...

If those approaching players aren't reported then they will carry on doing it

Yet another reason players shouldn't be running the sport

Anonymous said...

And further to my 6.59 post, were WSA aware of any other meetings Mooney had with these people, and do they know if this was the first time Higgins had attended one on this matter?

Anonymous said...

to 6:51
terribly wrong attitude

jibjib said...

I'm saddened to read that players are approached and don't report it.

Actually, I'm furious. If they can't see how bad that makes the sport look then they don't deserve to earn a penny from snooker again.

If I was Hearn I'd make it clear that any player who is approached and doesn't report it will be treated exactly the same way as those who are found guilty of taking bribes. It's shameful behaviour.

Anonymous said...

i totally agree 728

Anonymous said...

my attitudes fine thanks. to 7.28 it is already in the rules that a player can be punished for not reporting it.why do u think this is anonymous.also they would have to punish half the tour.most players earn a pittance from the game but would never go bent.dont criticise something u know nothing about.

Meredith(MaccaMeri) said...

What does it matter about the fact that Higgins "has never done anything in the past"? Just the idea he was going to cheat in the future says enough. I don't believe his story but its for the board to decide his guilt or innocence.

Anonymous said...

All credit to Barry Hearn for speaking clearly at the press conference. Snooker could not ask for a better representative. Like everyone else he made it clear that John should have rung the bell IMMEDIATELY after that Kiev meeting and dit not do so.

I have nothing but confidence in snooker and the board because of Barry Hearn and his promise of unbiased, swift justice - when the outcome of the ongoing investigation is known. He made it known the the Walker administration was pitiful when it came to closing cases of suspected fraud. No one can argue with that.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I would like to say I am a John Higgins fan and hope the accusation is untrue. However.........

Some or all of my feelings have already been echoed in previous posts, here goes anyway;

1. One (or more) posters have said the video does not amount to evidence. Rubbish and, to be honest, laughable. It does not PROVE wrongdoing, but it is EVIDENCE.

2. Why did the NOTW pick Higgins to try to sting? Did they just get very lucky or did they have reason to believe he may be susceptible to this? If the sports governing body are going to work on balance of probability I think they will see it as the latter.

3. Both men were fearful for there lives. You have to assume then both reacted to the situation on the spot then? Funny then how both reacted in exactly the same way, accepting the bribe and conspiring how to hide it, without any apparent chance for collusion.

4. Should this be the end of their respective careers I would suggest both could find new ones in acting, as I saw nothing to suggest they were in fear of their lives.

5. At the apparent start of the tape John Higgins jokes re being filmed. On the face of it this would suggest he knew what he was about to discuss should never become public knowledge.

6. The excuse made within his statement smacks of desperation, is ill thought out and does not suggest he flew back to the UK thanking his lucky stars to get out alive.

I certainly hope I'm wrong and we go on to enjoy Higgins snooker in the future. I fear however, we have seen him with a cue in his hand for the last time.


Anonymous said...

This comment thread has been a warm welcome. I really needed some forum to vent and discuss the case because it has brought up so much emotion. Thanks Dave for letting us have our say.
7:28 is spot on by the way. If that is the way the rules are now it is a fair consequence.

Dzierzgul said...

And what a roller-coaster this must be for Jamie Cope. He's at number 17 now. During World Championship first he must have hoped, that Peter Ebdon would lose in first round (check), then he must have hoped that Joe Perry doesn't get to the quarters (checked). Then Dott spoiled the party by reaching the semis and pushing Cope out of the top sixteen. And when all the chances seemed gone, Higgins pulled this unbelievable number...
(Still, it could have been much, much simpler if Cope played better against Ali Carter in the first round).

Anonymous said...

Higgind is one of the greats of the game he has won the world champs 3 times and you can't say he is not. If Higgins did do this its a shame but I can't see why he would he is a rich man now. If I was him and know I was innocent I would do a lie detector test and talk to body langauge experts to prove my point.

A life ban should be given if proven I believe which is sad he is my favorite player but trust would be out of the window.

Anonymous said...

I think this statement is crap. Anyone with half a brain, would inform at least the WPBSA about this. The first thing you should always do if you agreed to do things when fearing for your safety.

Things like this will haunt you if you fail to take appropriate action, and you lose all credibility.

I sincerly hope he truly is innocent, but looking at the evidence as of yet, I find it hard to believe his pledge for innocence.

Anonymous said...

criminals givin u 300 thousand euro?
Come on, u gonna sue them if they dont John?

Unknown said...

When i first heard about the Higgins allegation i thought no way, that's rubbish; he's got bundles of money. Then i saw the clip on youtube and was dumbstruck. It was like finding out Mother Teresa was a porn star.

In the clip Higgins was relaxed, laughing and joking, even joking if there was a secret camera. I'm afraid but he's bang to rights and snooker mustnt be tarnished. Barry Hearn was act immediately.


Anonymous said...

I feel for Dott, it was obvious that the whole drama affected his game in the final and he was no longer the Dott we saw in the earlier rounds. Knowing your manager (and Mooney is his manager) was accused of match-fixing right on the day you play in the World Champ final is jut horrible...

Anonymous said...

So the question on everyones lips must surely be: Who stitched them up?

timsandle said...

Lot onlywill Jamie Cope move from 17 to 16 if Higgins is suspended but John Parrott, at 65th, would regain his tour place!

Joe said...

I am sure that Higgins is guilty, the way he acts and speaks on the video leaves no room for doubts and his defence is ridiculous. Check out this article, it's sadly true.

John Higgins at back of the cue for brains

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thinks this is all a lot of pious nonsense? It proves people will believe anything that is printed in a newspaper.

Have any of you ever considered the time and cost to the NOTW of setting all of this up? They couldn't afford not to get a story but the edited video doesn't present evidence of anything. It can't. It's edited.

Some of you need to read this: http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2010/05/03/revealed-the-tal-behind-the-snooker-sting-that-leaves-higgins-in-the-fight-of-his-life-030501/

Careful. It contains words of more than two syllables and no pictures.

Unknown said...

Naughty old Higgins. Ha!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Am I the only one who thinks this is all a lot of pious nonsense? It proves people will believe anything that is printed in a newspaper.

Have any of you ever considered the time and cost to the NOTW of setting all of this up? They couldn't afford not to get a story but the edited video doesn't present evidence of anything. It can't. It's edited.

The cost of setting up the sting is exactly why the paper wouldn't have done it blindly!!!

timsandle said...
Lot onlywill Jamie Cope move from 17 to 16 if Higgins is suspended but John Parrott, at 65th, would regain his tour place!

If only Parrott hadn't retired!!!

Don't blame people for finding this unbelievable/not wanting to believe. Think even a mix of Mansfield/Max Clifford wouldn't welcome taking this one on however.


Maza said...

As the above poster pointed it. Everyone must read this. It gives background info on the practices of the journalists who entrapped John.


Check out the fancy bogus websites with all the lies

4 Cue said...

I don't think that the fact that the video is edited makes a huge amount of difference. He still said those things, and i'm sure NOTW will have to provide the full unedited video to world snooker or any court, and of this they must have been aware before breaking the story. And even if they did set him up, Higgins was the one who was ok with accepting money for losing frames.

Anonymous said...

Wakey Wakey

The video is likey edited to show highlights

Do any of you ACTUALLY belive that the News of the World would go so far to actaully FRAME a snooker player, despite his status.

Dont be as silly as John was, please.

They would face massive law suits and possible criminal prosecution.

Me thinks a lot of people are going to be embarrassed next week.

Did any of you consider that a paper may hold elements of a story back to sell papers the next issue on the back of a headline.

Did any of you hear Alan MacManus admit John Higgins fixed a match in Asia? This admission was made on BBC radio over 6 hours before this story broke and around 20 hours before Higgins released a statement claiming never ever to have fixed a match in his 18 years as a player

BBC iplayer - off the ball - 1130am Saturday 1st May in interview with Alan MacManus)


Loadsamooney claims they decided not to tell the authorities unless it happened to someone else.

How very kind of him to allow other players to be put in life threatening danger in the former Soviet Union.........how very very nice.

Kinda proves the fragility of the old Mafia excuse really.

John Higgins seems like a super guy with a great attitude, loads of skill and a lovely family.

I have no doubt that if he had not associated himself with Loadsamooney, he wouldn't be in this bother now.

BUT.......He was there, he agreed, he clearly was not in fear of anything, except being caught trying to launder his money

Pull the blinds up people and see the light

This matter needs dealt with quickly, the quicker the better, then snooker can start again without szeazy agents with no experience and massive egos, and hopefully with John Higgins, if not now, in the future.

Anonymous said...

I'm told David Douglas's investigation will also look into who put the newspaper onto Higgins in the first place

Might be a certain manager sweating over the next few weeks

Anonymous said...

snooker has had a very hard time finding sponsors for events. the WC snooker was sponsored by a bookie..

i'll miss watching JH play, but John, your talents don't give you the right to cheat. the old saying - don't Bite the hand that feeds you