Shaun Murphy has labelled Ronnie O'Sullivan's behaviour at the World Open last month as 'pathetic,' 'unprofessional' and 'disrespectful.'

In an exclusive interview with The Sun's Andy Dillon, Murphy also said he was "tired of all this 'Ronnie's Ronnie' stuff. I don't subscribe to it, that he should be allowed to get away with it."

O'Sullivan made a public point of protesting about the scrapping of the maximum bonus prize on his way to his 147 against Mark King in Glasgow.

He shook hands with King after potting the pink and was instructed by the referee, Jan Verhaas, to then pot the black 'for the fans.'

O'Sullivan immediately went on television to blast the axing of the bonus prize, although he later backtracked claiming his behaviour had nothing to do with money.

Murphy, watching at home, was not impressed. He told The Sun: "I thought it was pathetic, unprofessional. It was disrespectful to the public who had paid to come and watch him play.

"Four thousand pounds is a lot of money to a lot of people. It was bad taste."

Murphy, who plays O'Sullivan in the Premier League at Brentwood on Thursday night, added: "I'm a bit tired of all this 'Ronnie's Ronnie' stuff. I don't subscribe to it, that he should be allowed to get away with it.

"There's no doubt Ronnie is the biggest draw in snooker and he is the person everyone flocks to watch. Snooker is better with Ronnie than without. He creates a buzz and I enjoy playing him.

"We play in the Premier League this week. As far as the players are concerned he is the benchmark even though he is not no.1. But from a bloke's perspective, I watched what he did on TV and didn't like it.

"Some of my mates thought it was quite funny when I told them but for the people who saw it, it was quite offensive."

Good on Shaun for speaking his mind instead of hiding behind niceties.

However, I think he has gone overboard here. At the time I said I thought O'Sullivan's behaviour was crass - which it was - but as with most of his antics although it may have harmed his reputation with some, it did not damage snooker's. If anything it enhanced interest in the tournament.

As I also said at the time, the publicity he brings the sport cannot be overestimated. Witness the story I wrote about David Roe in Iran: Ronnie is the only player there are interested in emulating out there, and that goes for many other places too.

The shame was that the controversy detracted from what was, by any standards, a brilliant break.

But it is true that Murphy is only articulating in public what many players believe in private.

A number of them do feel that O'Sullivan can basically get away with anything.

In some regards this could be through jealousy at his talent but there is also a feeling that he believes himself to be above the game.

I actually believe O'Sullivan enjoys ruffling a few feathers and the attention it brings him. I hope he continues his maverick ways for many years to come because they've kept a great many people entertained even if they have also brought him a vitrolic stream of abuse from his detractors.

No doubt this story will generate much more frothing at the mouth. In truth, though, it's the bread and butter of many sports - football and boxing in particular - where rivalries are conducted in the pages of tabloid newspapers.

It's all good fun, really. I doubt O'Sullivan cares what Murphy thinks about him and I'm sure the feeling is mutual.

You can read The Sun story here.


Anonymous said...

hope these words having been spinned. if true, coming from a bloke that had his in-laws thrown out the crucible and grassed on a player for not having chalk.

no ones whiter-than-white, shauny boy.

Anonymous said...

haha,at least shaun had the guts to say what most players and most fans think about ronnie,good on him

Maza said...

Good to see a player go public in lamenting Ronnie's antics.

Anonymous said...

Some other players such as Mark Williams, Mark Allen and Stephen Hendry had blame O'Sullivan before. Not any new thing. Nothing will be follow up anyway.

snookerfan 4711 said...

oh god, here we go again. I'm so tired about this. They all whine about things he does but without him snooker would lose a lot of attention. I must admit that Shaun Murphy is no one who would make me buy a ticket for an exhibition. Ronnie is. And I know I'm not alone with this...

Anonymous said...

i was at the world open and backstage many of the players and their "people" were openly discussing RON and id say 90% of those present hadnt a good word to say about him and his antics, though all conceded he is a fantastic player.

its not surprising to read this from SM, as within snooker its common knowledge who likes and dislikes who.

Betty Logan said...

I think Shaun enjoys his slightly pantomime villain role in the sport. I think Ronnie made a valid point, and Murphy isn't doing the game, Ronnie, or himself any harm with this interview. It will add some spice to their Premier League match tomorrow anyway.

Donal said...

I'm by no means a fan of Shaun Murphy, but agree 100% with his comments above.

Monique said...

And Shaun might ask himself if he would be playing in 25 tournaments this season instead of 6-7 if it had not been for Ronnie's "antics" in the Masters 2009. He got a lot of stick for speaking his mind unfiltered then, and probably not in the most diplomatic way as usual with him, but he got people talking, thinking and ultimately moving forward for a much needed change.

Anonymous said...

Bond, Ebbo, Carter and co. will ban O'Sullivan when they get in. Look at all the extra matches they will win throughout the season.

Anonymous said...

Ronnie is a character that the game is lacking these days.

Anonymous said...

murphy and ronnie as bad as each other both totally false . dont forget murphy was against freezing paul hunters ranking when he was ill.then cries at his funeral i was there and wanted to punch his fat hypocritical face.christian ,your having a laugh.

Anonymous said...

It's strange that Murphy didn't comment on this at the time. This smacks of a publicity stunt to me.

Anonymous said...

Snooker needs public rivalry and grudge matches to spark public interest. Let the insults flie!

Redandblackblog said...

Don't agree with what Shaun says about Ronnie's break as the whole episode did snooker the world of good. He makes reference to Ronnie doing a disservice to the audience, yet I think the audience found it funny and loved it.

However, I like the fact that Shaun is speaking out as again this is only good for the game. We've got so many dull players as proved by the fact it's hard to pick a wildcard for Wembley. The wildcard should be for a character that puts bums on seats and yet the only options we have are Jimmy and Steve. The young players in the game and journeymen are all so dull. Thank 'god' that Murphy is sparking a bit of debate, as much as i'm not his biggest fan, he does have a few brain cells and is not afraid to speak his mind - well done Shaun!

kildare cueman said...

I recall Murphy having a go at O'Sullivan a couple of years ago prior to a ranking semi in which they were due to play each other.

It wasn't his professionalism that Murphy griped about, but the fact that O'Sullivan was getting too much media coverage, to the detriment of the other top pros.

"You would think there was only one player in snooker", carped Murphy at the time.

"Well I don't think he's that special and I intend to prove it in our match. I've come here to win".

Famous last words indeed. The Rocket dispatched him 6-4 I think, in a fairly unremarkable match.

I couldn't help thinking at the time that Murphy, was cleverly creating a "grudge match" scenario, thereby conveying the illusion that O'Sullivan and himself were "The big two".

Maybe this is more of the same. Maybe he doesn't like O'Sullivan or is genuinely frustrated at his antics.

Either way, expecting professionalism from O'Sullivan is a tad fanciful.

Hes a loose cannon who had too much cash in his pocket since childhood.

Much is made about his Fathers imprisonment, but Ken Doherty's father died when Ken was 12 and it didn't turn him into a nutter.

O'Sullivan, like Alex Higgins probably should have been chucked out years ago, but its a market economy and he, also like Higgins, is paradoxically the games' biggest asset while also being the games biggest liability.

As long as he puts bums on seats and sells TV packages it is unlikely that anything will change.

At the moment hes worth more in than out. That may change in the future but for now, Murphy and the other model pros will just have to grin and bear it.

Anonymous said...

Great words from Murphy. Ronnie is destroying the sport and getting away with it.

This must stop now, before it's too late.

shaun foster said...

you dont no what to think with o sullivan hes magical yet annoying hes a bit like marmite you either love him or hate him but no matter which side your on you have to watch him.long after he hangs up his cue we will talk about him.I have had a go at him in the past but i hope he is annoying/entertaining us for many years to come

Anonymous said...

I like it. Fueds are good for snooker. It's characters and personalities clashing which is very entertaining. I don't agree with Shaun but I encourage everyone to speak their minds. No more Rodney Walker censorship. Hooray!

snookerfan4711 said...

@ 10:59: Say what?
Rediculous! He's destroying the sport? So how come then that it is him who draws in the crowds? So how come that it is him who drags in the media attention?
Boy I wish you and those alike you would simply shut up, step beside and be gratefull. Sure, there is Snooker without O'Sullivan... But for how long?

Betty Logan said...

I remember the Grand Prix semi from three years ago, where Shaun opined that Ronnie isn't the be all and end all of snooker. That match was as far from unremarkable as you can get - in fact it was a contender for the best of the season in terms of combined quality from both players. It went down to the wire with Murphy playing at the top of his game to take a 5-2 lead and Ronnie going into overdrive to come back and win it 6-5. I recall John Parrott saying at the time you will never see anyone play better and lose. The needle was apparent and both were desperate to win. If Shaun sticking it to Ron creates a match of that quality and intensity then he should put The Sun on speed dial.

Anonymous said...

I would expect Ronnie to be hell-bent on beating Murphy in the Premier League after these remarks.
Having said that I doubt both players will be impeccably dressed to kill in full evening attire.
This disgruntles me in a way as the real pantomime villans of the past were James Bond lookalikes but not palpably Nigel Bond.

Sonny said...

Betty Logan - I was about to comment but you did it for me. Kildare can't have been watching the same match. It was an absolute classic.

And fair play to Murphy for giving the tabloids some fodder and getting snooker in the news.

Anonymous said...

As we watch with interest the Commonwealth Games it is an awful shame that snooker is not involved. Especially so as the sport was invented in India by Neville Chamberlain, the grandfather of snooker referee Alan.

Anonymous said...

monique, if you think Ronnie should be credited with getting things moving then you are more deluded than i originally thought.

the man is a parasite and only gets away with it because WS have leniently treated him for so long that hes a great draw for them.

its their fault as much as it is Rons, but ultimitely the blame lies with him for being a moron 99.9% of the time in unbiased snooker fans eyes.

and yeah almost all who cant stand him appreciate he is a draw and hes a great player, but they also cant stand how one player gets away with such idiotic behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Never has one man given and taken so much from snoker. Murphy might be serious when he says this, he might just be saying it to needle O'Sullivan. Either way let's hope tomorrow's match is as good as their Grand Prix semi.


Anonymous said...

I think the notion that Ronnie has given the game either a tremendous boost or that he is the potential death knell for the game are both hyperbole in the extremeties.
Ronnie is someone who brandished a snooker cue with great skills but all life forms are only a tiny sliver of light beneath two gigantic slabs of extreme and bleak darkness.

Anonymous said...

if anyone else in the game acted the way ROS acted they would have both books thrown at them, but because ROS is a wee bit special, they treat him with kid gloves and so the pantomine merrygoround continues and until this stops snooker will be the loser as he will leave someday, be it by natural progression.

most of the players i know (and i know a lot) are absolutely sick of the way he behaves and sick of the way he is let away with being an **********.

i would love to hear more of them speak out publicly (rather than to people they know and know who arent friends of RON or in "his camp".

kildare cueman said...

Betty Logan and Sonny-

I can't remember anything about that match for some reason, so I described it as unremarkable.
I stand corrected.

Anonymous said...

Take away the soundbites...about 90% of shauns article was complimentary of ronnies snooker ability,increased events on the tour and good old power snooker.
it's not all black and white you know.

jamie brannon said...

Firstly, can't believe some of the claptrap that people write on here, what is mature about the comment regarding punching Murphy's face.

I agree with Murphy about the break, although if it was a wind-up, then I am not as annoyed by his conduct. The rest is Murphy being jealous.

I think they may care what the other thinks as we all do as human beings, but they won't be admitting that.

My mate, thought that Ronnie was good doing what he did as it was arrogant, I think it was but not in a good way. The audacity to ask what the high break prize was a positive arrogance, but showing contempt for the public is not.

Murphy, also expressed his views on John Higgins via the EuroSport website and I wholeheartedly agree with him on the Wizard of the Wishaw, it will be nice to see him back.

Anonymous said...

Shaun's probably just trying to get some publicity for himself.

Anonymous said...

anon at 2.19-
Alan Chamberlain was not the grandson of Neville.
They're actually brothers, only Neville was blessed to have the gift of time travel at his disposal.
Easy enough to invent snooker when you've already seen it 100 years later.

Anonymous said...

brannon 4 58 on punching murphy .its the least i could do if u read why i made the comment u oaf. Murphy is a parasite of the highest order. He just happens to play snooker half straight.

Anonymous said...

I love the tension this creates before they clash in Premier League.

If would also be nice if some other players voiced their opposition to Ebdon, Dunn, King, Gould and Bond to create an open debate among the players on whether or not they want Sir Rodney Walker back ruining snooker or move forward.

Anonymous said...

Pointlessly the critics react in a mercenary way regarding the new age rivallry between Ronnie and Shaun yet look back in awe at the loggerheadeness of Davis and Higgins and I don't mean Mark and John.

jamie brannon said...

Why wouldn't Murphy be upset still? Just because he felt that Hunter shouldn't have his ranking protected.

I am fed up with people using the internet to spout infantile offensive comments that they would not say in a million years to their face.

Anonymous said...

wow its great post..