The Betfair Masters Day 2, Wins for Robertson and Allen, Stevens in The Doc and Judd wants more
The biggest two stories this week have been Judd Trump wanting more prize money and Matthew Stevens being banned from driving for a year.
John Higgins plays Ali Carter this afternoon and Stephen Maguire plays Graeme Dott tonight
So lets start off with Judd, he wants more money for the game and has alined Snooker to sports like Golf and Tennis which is just stupid, Snooker is still a minority sport and it will be for many years to come, top sponsors like Nike, Rolex, HSBC, BMW and Red Bull are just not interested in Snooker I know this because I have spoken to them all about sponsorship of Snooker players in the past and every time the answer is a flat NO with one head of marketing even laughing down the telephone and asking if this was a prank call or if I was being serious.
I take Judd’s following quote from The Telegraph;
I don’t think the interest is there. You look in the paper, and you see David Beckham and Ronaldo earning £200,000 a week. Rory McIlroy’s just signed with Nike for $250 million for 10 years. Why would people want to play snooker for £10,000 a year? Whereas with golf and tennis, even if you’re in the top 300-400, you’re earning half-a-million.
Lets start with the comparison with Football – You can not compair a team sport with a individual player sport like Snooker, you can also not compair the biggest sport in The UK to one of the smallest. Football players get paid so much because of the big sponsorship deals and the parachute payments the clubs get from TV rights. To my knowledge parachute payment in Snooker were abolished a few years ago and back to the sponsors, Snooker will simply not attract big sponsors in the way they are attracted to other sports.
Now to Golf which sponsor is going to give a Snooker player $25 a year for 10 years to endorse their products when a player is earning on average for the top 16 £150,000 a year.
Prize money in Snooker relies on the audience, the bigger the audience the more money the TV companies pay, if the 3 events currently being aired on The BBC were getting 60-80 million viewers then The BBC would have to pay more for the rights so get more people watching and we could get more money into the sport, if we ever got 60 million viewers then the big names would sponsor events or even players.
Lets talk devaluation of player sponsorship, if bob’s garage in Dorking (Fictitious name) can sponsor a player for £200 in a event then why would Nike or BMW come along and pay £200,000 for a equally ranked player? and the same goes for agent logos, if I was a big company looking to sponsor a Snooker player I would not sponsor a player who is wearing their agents logo (Grove, On Q etc) if you are wearing your agents logo that means you can not get a sponsor, better to wear nothing in my opinion.
If players took a leaf out of Shaun Murphy’s book then maybe we could attract bigger viewing figures, Shaun has a official charity which he supports and he also does publicity for Snooker and does not charge, he also supports The Paul Hunter Foundation by doing events and all this brings new people into the game.
I know this will annoy some people but imagine if EuroSport did not cover Snooker……… yes they pay licensing rights like everybody else but we would make more money from other companies and increase the popularity!! Every time I put Euro Sport on there is Snooker if not a live event a re-run and to be honest I am getting sick of watching PTC events with half a dozen people in the crowd and players not playing the best Snooker of their careers. I would rather watch a player battle for £100,000 than £10,000 you ojust see a better class of Snooker, do not get me wrong the lower ranked players play great I am talking of the top 32 who think everything should be gifted to them on a silver platter, you can see it on their faces that they just want the match to be over so they can go home or whatever and I have made a few bucks watching PTC’s and betting on players body language.
Conclusion - Get rid of Euro Sport you also get rid of PTC events which nobody is interested in but you gain more interest from other TV companies for larger events which is what is needed in The UK, by now I would of thought we would of had 5 major televised UK events but no we actually got one less than three years ago. Don’t get me wrong we would loose a huge European viewing audience and publicity but it would be re-gained by selling the rights to other European TV companies within a few years.
Matthew Stevens has been banned from driving for a year after failing a roadside breath test near Llanelli, people compair Matthew to Jimmy white and now he has been banned from driving just like Jimmy was many years ago. In all this means Matthew will have to travel with fellow professional players to events which they all do anyway, I am sure between Mark Williams, Ryan Day and Michael White they will all help him out.
Robertson V Ding
What a great match that was yesterday, both players showing their determination to win the match right from the first frame with even Neil Robertson continuing in frame 4 needing more snookers than I care to count (He did loose that frame to Ding Junhui), the bottom line was Neil was 5-3 down, he won the next three frames with breaks of 100,62 and 90 to win the match 6-5
Mark Davis V Mark Allen
From frame one I think we could all see where this match was going with Mark Allen making a 136 to kick off his Masters battle, the next three frame went one each with all level at the interval Mark Allen came back strong to win 6-2.