Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has suggested Barry Hearn is running a dictatorship in another astonishing attack on World Snooker.
O’Sullivan last month branded the venue for the English Open, the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley, a “hellhole” and claimed he could smell urine in the player interview area.
The 42-year-old voiced further concerns on Monday evening and Tuesday morning in a series of posts on Twitter, with World Snooker chairman Hearn responding on the social network.
“Dictatorship it’s called, disguised under democracy,” O’Sullivan wrote on Twitter.
“Barry don’t care about snooker, it’s all about the cash.
“He’s full of you know what, ain’t got a clue about sport mate, he’s a number cruncher. Main job is an accountant.”
Hearn, who defended his record promoting boxing, darts and snooker, said O’Sullivan has refused to meet with him, or voice his concerns to World Snooker’s players’ commission, which meets several times a year.
Hearn wrote: “How can I listen when he refuses to meet ? Easier to just moan !
“Ronnie has been offered the opportunity to meet with the players forum to put across his views.
“He has refused to meet. I think that sums up Ronnie very well. I would love to hear specific not vague criticisms in order to consider and answer. Alas – he can’t be bothered.”
Questioned by one fan whether Twitter was the right medium for such a discussion, O’Sullivan said: “Waste of time talking, nothing gets done, they wanna keep things hush hush, hoping another 10 years go by, before anyway realises it’s all messed up.
“The new system stinks, and he knows it, but refuses to back track.
“No one is interested in discussions, they wanna keep it as it is, and try to gag you, with intimidation of fines etc, so you can’t express your views.”
O’Sullivan said he had placed Hearn on ‘mute’ on Twitter, so he cannot see the World Snooker chairman’s replies and said there would be “no point” talking to Hearn. “It would be like talking to a brick wall,” he added.
One of O’Sullivan’s complaints centres around the depth of the field at tournaments, which begin with 128 players, and having to play more rounds against lower-ranked opponents, who struggle to accumulate high-scoring breaks.
One fan suggested a points system like tennis, saying Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer would not be required to qualify for Wimbledon.
O’Sullivan added: “Yeah can you imagine them guys playing a qualifier for the us open in a stinky leisure centre.”
O’Sullivan said the situation was “demotivating which slowly chips away at your love for the game”.
He speculated China would have its own tour in future, suggesting he would join it if it materialised.
He added: “I don’t play for money, I play for the enjoyment, and I’m afraid it’s no fun playing in stinky venues in front of 3 men and a dog, playing players, who, with respect are never really going places.
“It’s not always about money I prefer playing in great venues, with good players. Flat 128 draws,playing in stinky venues is not my idea of good fun. Would woods ,Federer, messi, Hamilton enjoy playing in a qualifiers in stinky venue.”