If you have not heard already EuroSport wanted to televise the Snooker Legends event being held at Goffs in Co. Kildare, Ireland on the 5th of February, the exhibition match is a sell out and will feature Steve Davis and Ronnie O’Sullivan who is not currently playing on the main Snooker tour having taken a break from competitive Snooker for the foreseen future.
World Snooker over the past two years have made changes to their players contract to tighten up on players entering non-sanctioned televised snooker events, at first glance this would appear to be for competitive Snooker but after taking a closer look at the players contract this morning the wording of the contract actually indicates any Snooker event, see below.
3. Obligations of the Player
b. Commercial, Promotional and Performance Obligations
In acknowledgement of WSL’s obligations to its Partners and in consideration for being invited to participate in the WSL Events, the Player shall:
viii. Not participate in any promotional media activities, public appearances, Endorsement, or any other snooker tournaments of any kind during any WSL Events without the prior written approval of WSL.
ix. Not participate in any snooker tournament or Exhibition Match within 3 days from the start of a WSL Event where such snooker tournament or Exhibition Match is within the host country of a WSL Event (for an Event held outside the UK or mainland Europe) or within a 50 mile radius of the Venue (for an Event held within the UK or mainland Europe) whether Televised or not Televised without the prior written approval of WSL. For the avoidance of doubt WSL will not withhold its approval unreasonably
We know that Jason Francis from Snooker Legends had a meeting with the World Snooker board on Wednesday from this tweet
meeting with world snooker board on wednesday… fingers crossed for a positive outcome
— Jason Francis (@Snookerlegends) January 14, 2013
I also know that EuroSport were waiting the outcome from this meeting to rally the troops and get everything set for the event, they had even contacted staff and cameramen and told them to have the dates around the 5th free in their diary.
So looking at the calendar the event that Snooker Legends clashes with is a Championship League event on the 4th-7th of February at Crondon Park which is streamed over the internet on betting websites.
I am all for sanctions when sanctions are needed in regards to competitive events with prize money but Snooker Legends is basically a exhibition match on a larger scale and should not in any way need to be sanctioned, if this match was between John Parrott and Stephen Hendry I can guarantee that it would be going ahead on EuroSport as these players are not under contract with World Snooker.
Imagine in Big Break were back on TV under these sanction rules it would not be possible for current professional players to participate, in Big Break’s hay day they had 27 episodes in series 4 running every week.
I spoke to Jason Francis from Snooker Legends yesterday and he said
I can confirm that we were approached by EuroSport to discuss the possibility of televising our event in Goffs on 5th of February, talks were under taken with World Snooker to sanction this event for broadcast due our players for that evening being under contract with World Snooker, unfortunately World Snooker were unable to sanction the event due to a clash with another sanctioned event taking place on the same day.
Although we do try not to clash dates with World Snooker events sometimes this is inevitable due to the number of event talking place on the calendar, we hope to work with EuroSport and World Snooker in the future to secure television coverage for Snooker Legends.
I have asked Barry Hearn to comment on this but as of yet I have had no reply but I will update this article when if and when he does.
To book tickets to a upcoming Snooker Legends please see their website at www.SnookerLegends.co.uk