Thursday, 1 December 2011

Paul Colllier's Premier League verdict

Premier League referee Paul Collier has been writing columns all-season long for OnCue.

This time, he looks back on the year's new look Premier League competition and gives his verdict.

 Collier on Ronnie O'Sullivan....

The strange thing about Ronnie in this season's Premier League is that he didn't seem to play very well early on. Saying that, there were 10 players in the competition and only four nights to qualify, but he made it through. I was surprised to see him lose his first match but it was almost as if he won when he needed to.

The way he reads the game has seen him become the master of the shot-clock.

Once he arrived in Potters for the finals weekend, he looked really up for it and played excellently. His record of ten titles is great. I think the difference in preparations for the Premier League to ranking events makes a huge difference to him. He's only a couple hours from home here and can turn up, play and then go home. It's not played over lots of days and it brings out the best in him.

He's been saying he may not play in the Premier League next season and he could be serious. I don't think it will happen but he's in a position where he may have to qualify for the World Championship, so it's right he needs to be ranking snooker top of his priority list.

It would be a shame to lose him though. His domination in the Premier League has been huge. I think he's under-achieved elsewhere in the game but in the Premier League he's shown what a top player he really is.

Collier on the new format...

I liked having ten players in the competition this season but I don't think the format was quite right.

It wasn't much of a league and the Shoot-Out frame didn't work. I don't think it's a great idea to have a match change format halfway through. It confused the spectators and the players, but I can't defend the players.

I think it's their responsibility to brush up on the rules of the game. After all, they've accepted to take part and play for the prize money.

Maybe it would have been better to have split the players into two min-groups of five and have the top two from each qualify for the play-offs. This would have kept the league format alive.

The reduced shot-clock wasn't a problem although I don't think it could go any lower than 20 seconds now.

Collier on the venues...

I can honestly say I loved every venue. They were all so uniquely different but all pulled in a big crowd.

I had my reservations about going to Skegness in summer holiday season but even that was great. The great thing about the Premier League is seeing all the different venues. I'd gladly come back to them all, but I'd welcome anywhere new as well.

I wouldn't like to pick one to drop though. I hope that isn't my job.

Collier on next season...

I've heard the finals may not be in Potters but I'm not sure exactly where they will be. Potters want us to come back but aren't happy with the dates. Unfortunately, they're dictated by Sky.

We could maybe go to Grimsby. I'd be pleased with that but I honestly don't know either way.

I've heard the tournament may go back to six frames. I'm happy either way. All I want is for the crowds to stay high and Sky to give us the same support. That's the key to success.

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