Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The return of Ronnie

It had an air of predictably about it but, finally, Ronnie O'Sullivan is back.

The world champion has returned.

After taking the limelight throughout the summer in a painfully drawn out 'will he or won't he' saga, O'Sullivan has signed the World Snooker contract  and has entered both the new International Trophy event in China and the UK Championship.

It is a major breakthrough with many people suggesting his stubbornness over negotiating different terms to the rest of the players on the circuit may lengthen his absence from the sport.

I had faith all along that he would sign the contract in time for the UK Championship, and so it has been proved.

Why is he back? Has Barry Hearn budged on his stance that Ronnie would have to sign the exact same contract as the rest of the players? I doubt it very much. The snooker supremo is as tough as nails and takes no prisoners when it comes to business.

But neither do I blame O'Sullivan for attempting to get a better deal for the extra promotional work he does above and beyond any other professional player.

He does more to promote the game than anyone. He's the poster boy for every tournament and the kingpin the game often hangs around. O'Sullivan finds the packed snooker schedule more difficult than most and I think Hearn should go a little easier on him and appreciate that actually by playing in events he is doing his best promotional.

When in full flow, he fills venues and brings new fans to the sport. He defines box office.

He has every right to ask for more but it appears it won't come at the price of playing the game altogether.

I'm not surprised by O'Sullivan's choice to finally sign up. He hasn't played competitive snooker since winning his fourth world title in May but he warned us he would take a break, and that's exactly what he's done.

Maybe Ronnie has realised he still loves playing and isn't ready to turn his back on it yet.

His triumph at the Crucible proved he is still the best and, more importantly, still capable of winning titles.

It's fantastic to see Ronnie returning to the baize. There is no denying that snooker is far greater with him than without him. He is still the most entertaining player to watch and gives tournaments an added buzz that no-one else can replicate.

Ronnie, it's great to have you back.


  1. Obviously we all want Ronnie to be in every tournament. But at the end of the day, he's just another player, and snooker will survive without him and become even stronger eventually. To be honest, i have not even missed him not entering the events that he has missed, perhaps because they were in China and Australia. Maybe it might of been different in the UK's and the Worlds.

    But at the end of the day, i think Ronnie missed the game more than snooker missed him. He's realised that even if he is not in the events, snooker still rolls along quite merrily without him. Also, Ronnie loves a bit of attention and limelight to highten his profile even more.

    With him back, yes its better for snooker, for promotional value, for bums on seats, for promotors. But never forget, Ronnie isn't the be all and end all in snooker. There's so much talent about now coming through, that a couple of years down the line, i doubt we would miss Ronnie at all. And he's not totally stupid, he knows that as well.

    Hence why he is coming back and entering some of the biggest tournies. Dont forget he's also a business man, not playing snooker is costing him tens of thousands in endorsements, prize money etc. Though he's a multi-millionaire, these people don't like it, once the money stops coming in, they then realise where they are better off.

    Worth a try tho Ronnie, and i see where you were coming from,but where do you draw the line. We are going to have a few more players like him in the future who will demand certain promotional fee's/rights, like golfers & footballers. Unfortunately, snooker is not in the same league as these professions to dish out this kind of money. If they done it for Ronnie, where do you stop.

    If Ronnie is that precious in promotion to each tournament, then as Barry Hearn as pointed out, there is nothing stopping a promoter giving Ronnie the money he requires to boost each tournie. Let them stump up the extra cash like they do for Tiger Woods & David Beckham. Thats a much fairer way.

  2. Wow! How many words from Anonymous! :)) Is it good sign?
    "Ronnie, it's great to have you back." Can't be said better ;)

  3. Well said Anonymous