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Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby lhpirnie

This interview has to be taken in the context of a player who has had a very frustrating time as a professional from Iran, who has just been relegated from the tour and has a young family to support.

But I think it does reflect the difficulties faced by overseas professionals, not least the working restrictions and the £0 prizemoney that WST 'awards' for losing in the first round of its tournaments.

Soheil Vahedi is actually an excellent coach, having spent a lot of time as an unpaid coach for the Iran Junior team. He would be an ideal person to coach young players in the UK, if he were allowed to work.

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby chengdufan

It's a very good interview. He's been very honest and I don't think he has been overly negative. He may have been better advised to give a couple of pleasantries about Darlington, but overall he has given a fair message:
He's going to carry on and keep playing because he's worked hard to get where he is.
Life is tough financially for the lower ranked players.
He thinks WST could do more to help.

Jason Ferguson has provided a response to the article rejecting the criticism, saying WST does do enough to help the struggling players and works hard to help those coming from overseas.
I've no doubt that they do do things to help and he probably feels Vahedi has been ungrateful, but I think flatly rejecting the criticism is the wrong message here. I think he should be sitting down with Vahedi and other struggling players and talking it through, listening to them and being open to changes. Just because you are doing something doesn't mean you are doing enough or should not at least consider doing more.

My personal view is that if you are granting 128 people status as 'professionals' and expecting them to work for your organisation's benefit full-time, you should be employing them on a legal fixed term contract and paying them a fair wage for the duration of their time as a 'professional'. If your organisation cannot afford to employ that many people, then the number of pros should be reduced to reflect that.
I think they can afford to pay all of them actually, including their travel and accommodation expenses, if there is a slightly more balanced prize money structure within events.


I must say, the Metro is doing a great job of covering snooker!

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby lhpirnie

chengdufan wrote:...
He thinks WST could do more to help.

Jason Ferguson has provided a response to the article rejecting the criticism, saying WST does do enough to help the struggling players and works hard to help those coming from overseas.
I've no doubt that they do do things to help and he probably feels Vahedi has been ungrateful, but I think flatly rejecting the criticism is the wrong message here. I think he should be sitting down with Vahedi and other struggling players and talking it through, listening to them and being open to changes. Just because you are doing something doesn't mean you are doing enough or should not at least consider doing more.

...

Actually, Jason Ferguson is not chairman of WST and isn't speaking for them. He's chairman of WPBSA, which has of course done a great deal to help players. But their funds are limited - it's WST who look after the money.

WST have a 'policy' of £0 prizemoney for losers, which is creating the problem for players lower down the rankings. Their objective was always to increase the prizemoney for the top guys, and boast about it - hence the silly ranking system. It's not really possible to do both - the money isn't there.

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby mick745

lhpirnie wrote:
chengdufan wrote:...
He thinks WST could do more to help.

Jason Ferguson has provided a response to the article rejecting the criticism, saying WST does do enough to help the struggling players and works hard to help those coming from overseas.
I've no doubt that they do do things to help and he probably feels Vahedi has been ungrateful, but I think flatly rejecting the criticism is the wrong message here. I think he should be sitting down with Vahedi and other struggling players and talking it through, listening to them and being open to changes. Just because you are doing something doesn't mean you are doing enough or should not at least consider doing more.

...

Actually, Jason Ferguson is not chairman of WST and isn't speaking for them. He's chairman of WPBSA, which has of course done a great deal to help players. But their funds are limited - it's WST who look after the money.

WST have a 'policy' of £0 prizemoney for losers, which is creating the problem for players lower down the rankings. Their objective was always to increase the prizemoney for the top guys, and boast about it - hence the silly ranking system. It's not really possible to do both - the money isn't there.


There's two views isnt there, the "sink or swim" advocated by Hearn where it raises competitiveness and standards but those not good enough struggle both competitively and financially.

The alternative is that each pro is essentially an employee and gets a minimum guaranteed "wage".

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby lhpirnie

mick745 wrote:There's two views isnt there, the "sink or swim" advocated by Hearn where it raises competitiveness and standards but those not good enough struggle both competitively and financially.

The alternative is that each pro is essentially an employee and gets a minimum guaranteed "wage".

Yes, the players wear the sponsor's logo and are required to give interviews, and behave in certain ways.


All players start out being 'not good enough'. It's a question of how they get good enough, when they are treated so badly. And we wonder why there aren't enough young players breaking through?

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby cupotee

lhpirnie wrote:
chengdufan wrote:...
He thinks WST could do more to help.

Jason Ferguson has provided a response to the article rejecting the criticism, saying WST does do enough to help the struggling players and works hard to help those coming from overseas.
I've no doubt that they do do things to help and he probably feels Vahedi has been ungrateful, but I think flatly rejecting the criticism is the wrong message here. I think he should be sitting down with Vahedi and other struggling players and talking it through, listening to them and being open to changes. Just because you are doing something doesn't mean you are doing enough or should not at least consider doing more.

...

Actually, Jason Ferguson is not chairman of WST and isn't speaking for them. He's chairman of WPBSA, which has of course done a great deal to help players. But their funds are limited - it's WST who look after the money.

WST have a 'policy' of £0 prizemoney for losers, which is creating the problem for players lower down the rankings. Their objective was always to increase the prizemoney for the top guys, and boast about it - hence the silly ranking system. It's not really possible to do both - the money isn't there.


the silly ranking system and I'd add the silly closed off 128 players tour system , people actually think o Sullivan is a genius because he learned the game in the boom time in the 80's and you'll never see another player like him again , I heard the same rubbish about hendry , I think only when the general public can play in pro events and all players can do other jobs of their choosing can this ignorance and money problem be overcome.

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby Wildey

mick745 wrote:
lhpirnie wrote:
chengdufan wrote:...
He thinks WST could do more to help.

Jason Ferguson has provided a response to the article rejecting the criticism, saying WST does do enough to help the struggling players and works hard to help those coming from overseas.
I've no doubt that they do do things to help and he probably feels Vahedi has been ungrateful, but I think flatly rejecting the criticism is the wrong message here. I think he should be sitting down with Vahedi and other struggling players and talking it through, listening to them and being open to changes. Just because you are doing something doesn't mean you are doing enough or should not at least consider doing more.

...

Actually, Jason Ferguson is not chairman of WST and isn't speaking for them. He's chairman of WPBSA, which has of course done a great deal to help players. But their funds are limited - it's WST who look after the money.

WST have a 'policy' of £0 prizemoney for losers, which is creating the problem for players lower down the rankings. Their objective was always to increase the prizemoney for the top guys, and boast about it - hence the silly ranking system. It's not really possible to do both - the money isn't there.


There's two views isnt there, the "sink or swim" advocated by Hearn where it raises competitiveness and standards but those not good enough struggle both competitively and financially.

The alternative is that each pro is essentially an employee and gets a minimum guaranteed "wage".

Problem is players are on for 2 years gets say £500 per tournament minimum say they play the UK Events say 8 tournaments that's £8,000 they win no match hardly wins frames then drops off gets back on in q school and does it all again thats how journeymen was created of which Bingham was one lets be honest when Hearn took over so did Bingham's Career because he had to improve or earn nothing.

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby Dan-cat

lhpirnie wrote:
mick745 wrote:There's two views isnt there, the "sink or swim" advocated by Hearn where it raises competitiveness and standards but those not good enough struggle both competitively and financially.

The alternative is that each pro is essentially an employee and gets a minimum guaranteed "wage".

Yes, the players wear the sponsor's logo and are required to give interviews, and behave in certain ways.


All players start out being 'not good enough'. It's a question of how they get good enough, when they are treated so badly. And we wonder why there aren't enough young players breaking through?


Reminds me when I was a skint DJ making records for a living, hoping they would break through so I would get more gigs.

Being skint is an enemy of creativity, and worrying about your rent when you are on a clearance is not an inspiring place to be. If you have proved you are good enough for the tour, then more help should be forthcoming.

Or make the tour smaller.

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby lhpirnie

Wildey wrote:Problem is players are on for 2 years gets say £500 per tournament minimum say they play the UK Events say 8 tournaments that's £8,000 they win no match hardly wins frames then drops off gets back on in q school and does it all again thats how journeymen was created of which Bingham was one lets be honest when Hearn took over so did Bingham's Career because he had to improve or earn nothing.

We can mock players for being 'journeymen' but in fact they are extremely good! I can vouch for that as a former (amateur) player myself, and someone who has played with or watched many of these guys in practice.


But regardless of how high the standard gets in snooker, there will always be players ranked outside the top-32, say. That's an obvious fact. What should also be obvious is that for the game to have a healthy future it is necessary to have a system which allows young players, or players from different countries, to be able to rise through the ranks.

Nobody seems to think about that. Perhaps everyone is just happy to watch Trump, Selby, O'Sullivan, Robertson, Murphy, Wilson, Higgins, Williams and a few others forever and the rest can just sod off because 'they aren't good enough'?

Apologies for my tone. But I think £0 is shameful.

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby Iranu

I don’t think players should get money for losing in the first round.

I do think expenses should be covered (assuming they aren’t already), at least if the player is earning under a certain threshold because by virtue of being in the tournament players are contributing to WST/WPBSA and the tournament.

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby KrazeeEyezKilla

I'd imagine the costs of playing the tour were a lot lower in the early years of Bingham's career he and wasn't dealing with the issues overseas players have to. What Bingham's success shows is that with time to develop players can be capable of more than you would expect.

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby badtemperedcyril

All tour players should have a contract whereby they are guaranteed to earn a minimum amount under PAYE (say £22,000-£25,000). Even in defeat, a player is still providing entertainment to the public, contributing to the television income being derived by WSA. It is simply wrong that they should give all that time and effort for absolutely zero financial return. It wouldn't be so bad if they reintroduced exempting the top players from the first couple of rounds to enable the lower ranked players to play a few games against other players of their own level and thereby re-position themselves in the rankings. Playing a top player in the first round event after event just isn't fair for new tour players. Much like in professional football, and, for that matter British society at large, the system is top heavy.

Re: Vahedi Interview

Postby Iranu

badtemperedcyril wrote:All tour players should have a contract whereby they are guaranteed to earn a minimum amount under PAYE (say £22,000-£25,000). Even in defeat, a player is still providing entertainment to the public, contributing to the television income being derived by WSA. It is simply wrong that they should give all that time and effort for absolutely zero financial return. It wouldn't be so bad if they reintroduced exempting the top players from the first couple of rounds to enable the lower ranked players to play a few games against other players of their own level and thereby re-position themselves in the rankings. Playing a top player in the first round event after event just isn't fair for new tour players. Much like in professional football, and, for that matter British society at large, the system is top heavy.

Yes, reintroducing tiered formats in many tournaments should be the first step.