Snooker fans and general sports fans were left feeling rather aggrieved with Snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan yesterday.
Playing at the Welsh Open this week, O’Sullivan was on course for a maximum break of 147, when he then asked how much the prize money for a 147 break in the tournament was.
When told it was worth £10,000 the player seemed disappointed, and a few shots later he opted to pot the pink ball instead of the black ball. Thus meaning that he could not reach that glorious 147 break, also denying the spectators the chance of witnessing such a landmark break. Instead he made smirked and continued at the table to make a 146 break.
Many players don’t achieve a maximum break, Ronnie however holds the record at 13, so he is no stranger to achieving this feat.
When asked about the strange occurrence after the match, The Rocket stated “I could have done it, but I didn’t think the prize was worthy of a 147. So I’ve tried to let it build up and then go for it” (BBC Sport).
Is this another catalyst that money is more important to pro sports participants than the sport itself?
Many believe that pro sports players care for money more than they do about the sport that spectators only wish that they could play. This is reflected across several sports including snooker and football.
Most people would bite your hand off for £10,000, but it seems that to some sportsman, this figure is too little. On the flip side of this is that spectators within the venue were beginning to get excited at thought of witnessing a magnificent 147 break, only for O’Sullivan to ruin their day out.
Fans pay good money to watch sports such as snooker, and they pay to watch the players perform at their highest level, not to watch them pick and choose how they should play.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is one of the all-time great snooker players, if not the greatest. So the opportunity to watch him live is a must for most snooker fans. The disappointment within the snooker hall last night was real. And for what? The prize money not being adequate enough for a high break?
Acts like this can ruin sports and the legacy of the players within it, it can dishearten spectatorship. With prices for tickets, broadcast viewing and merchandise increasing year on year across the board of sport, more needs to be done to bring players under control to perform in an appropriate manner for the fans.
Not a good day for snooker, or for sport in general as the opinion grows that there is too much money involved in UK sport.
Sources: BBC Sport, The Daily Post