Long-term deal to keep World Championships at Crucible coming "very shortly"

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Football News

Chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association Jason Ferguson hopes a long-term deal to keep the World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield will be announced "very shortly".

The famous theatre in South Yorkshire has hosted the tournament since 1977 but its contract runs out next year and is facing competition from other venues to stage the tournament, including abroad.

But the Crucible remains a popular venue and it is steeped in snooker tradition and Ferguson says the WPBSA will turn down bigger offers to keep the showpiece tournament in the Steel City.

He told the Guardian: "I don't think any of us in the sport have the heart to change. We've had substantial offers to move the World Championship.

"But what price do you put on history? What price do you put on heritage? On those wonderful photographs you see when you walk backstage? Taking snooker away from here would be like taking the Wimbledon tennis championships away from Wimbledon.

"I'm hoping for a long-term deal - and I'm hoping an announcement will be made very shortly."

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