Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Mark Allen on... his relationship with the media

You can always count on Mark Allen to speak his mind.

The Antrim man has become a journalist's dream, but some tough punishments have prompted a rethink.

Desperate not to become a robot in his press conferences but keen to avoid more hefty fines, Allen explains his relationship with the media in the second of a four-part exclusive interview with OnCue...

Picture by Monique Limbos
Last year was a tough one for me in the media, but I've only got myself to blame.

I like to have an opinion but have come to appreciate now that there are better ways to say things than I have done in the past. I still feel a little bit aggrieved by the way I have been treated and dealt with by the media and the governing body, but there's little I can do to change that now.

Unfortunately it looks like I am the player who has been made an example out of. It feels as if anything I say is going to get pounced upon quickly and severely, but it's just something I'm going to have to deal with.

I think I've been very harshly treated but I know I'm the one who has made the comments that have attracted press attention. I'm going to find to a better way to word things in the future, but I won't stop speaking my mind. I think it's important to have an opinion, but it feels like the sport is borderlining on a dictatorship.

I think there are a lot of players who would have something to say if they didn't think they'd get in trouble for it.

I don't regret any of the things I've said. I only regret the way that I've said them. I know I need to improve how I word my comments.

I went on the media training course as part of my punishment, but I didn't really find it useful. I understand that I'm going to have to do a little bit more training though so I don't do so many things wrong in press conferences.

My relationship with the media isn't bad. In fact, I think the media like to interview me because I give good answers. I definitely don't want to change that. Maybe I should take a bit more time to cool off after matches rather than jumping straight into the heat of a press conference. Once I get going, I can get on a bit of a roll. 

Staying out of trouble is going to come down to me being a bit more sensible about what I say. I'll never be a robot. There are so many players who don't want to give any sort of opinion for fear of the consequences. I think everyone should be allowed an opinion.

Until players are brave enough to express themselves there's never going to be any changes in the game.

The criticism doesn't bother me too much but the money I've had to pay out in fines is going to motivate me to be more careful. I got fined £17,000 last season in total. That's a year's wage for some people. I need to move on and not let it happen again in the future.

I'm here to earn a living for myself and my family. I can't keep throwing money away like that.

A few people have suggested I said the things I did because I enjoy the role of the villain, but that's simply nonsense.

I seemed to get good results after some of my controversial comments but it certainly wasn't intentional. Maybe it just focused the mind. There's no way I'd go out to try to start trouble. It's definitely coincidental.

I don't enjoy being a villain but I don't want to be a puppet either. It's just hard to find that balance. I'm not bothered now if people want to get on my back for things I've said in the past. It's all history. I've paid the price and am treating this season as a fresh start.

The people who really matter know the truth and know what I'm like. They will always stick by me.

My plan now is to stay out of trouble, but I'm going to remain on Twitter. I enjoy interacting with my fans. I think a lot of sportsmen and women don't spend enough time answering their fans. If it wasn't for snooker fans we wouldn't be here and we wouldn't be earning money playing the game.

It only takes a minute to reply on Twitter or send a message on Facebook to a fan. I genuinely think it makes them happy. Social media became my outlet for public criticism last year but it's going to be different now. I'll just be using these websites to talk to fans because I think it goes a long way.

Some people seem to think I'm disliked but I get many more positive messages than negative. There's always going to be a few idiots who try to get their name in the spotlight and get me to react, but I've matured and know to ignore the abuse.


  1. 100% behind mark and what he says,, the media are the sickest people in the world ,, all their there for is to pounce on you and make money out of you,, its a free world and mark should say what he feels,, just think back at the ,,news of the world,, and what they did believe all media are the same there only out there to fill their pockets and they dont care who they hurt or how they do it


  2. You might agree with Mark but he didn't say what you are saying in any way.

    Not surprised to see this comment made anonymously.

  3. I quite like watching Mark Allen as a player, but to be quite frank, I think the guy is an absolute idiot. It's one thing having an opinion, but when your opinions are as ill-informed as his, perhaps it would be in his interests to keep them to himself. Snooker is a sport that requires it's players to keep their emotions in check - everyone knows it's a much a psychological game as it is a game of skill at the highest levels; I would love to see players show a bit more emotion, to hear them give answers to interviews that aren't the very definition of banal, but for Mark Allen to accuse a whole nation of having a culture of cheating is plain offensive and serves no other purpose but to show him in a bad light.

    Signed as 'anonymous' because I don't have a profile on here.