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Postby Wildey ... wpbsa.html

Barry Hearn, the chief executive of the PDC darts circuit and long time manager of Steve Davis, has dramatically agreed to become WPBSA chairman if the current incumbent, Sir Rodney Walker, is overthrown at next month's AGM.

Hearn has been in discussions with the newly formed Snooker Players Association, a union of players who have been attempting to meet with the WPBSA board to discuss issues of concern.

The WPBSA has so far refused to meet them.

Now Hearn, one of the big beasts of the sports promotion world, has entered the fray, agreeing to become chairman of the governing body if Walker is voted out.

Nobody is standing against him, but he can be ousted if enough players vote 'no' on the ballot paper.

A statement from Hearn said: "It was not and is not my intention to run as a candidate for any office within The WPBSA.

"However, having seen first hand the opportunities presented to and currently available to professional snooker on a global basis at this time and the work being carried out by The SPA, I would just like to absolutely assure the players that in the event of a vacancy of chairman being created through this election I would be prepared to step into the role.

"I would of course only consider this with the backing of the players. If the players decide that they are happy with the way things are at present and they re-elect Sir Rodney, I would of course respect that decision and continue to do all I can to create playing opportunities through existing channels.

"I am not currently looking for and neither do I need to take this step, however I do believe there has never been a better time for expansion of the game and it would be a challenge I would relish."

Hearn's intervention effectively makes the AGM a vote of confidence in Walker and his board.

And defeat for them will surely spell the end of the WPBSA as we currently know it.


Postby Roland

This seems to be popular news but I am concerned about the potential to change from sport to showbiz. Let's face it, Hearn is synonymous with the shot clock whether it was his idea or not, and that is my biggest fear. I don't care about glamour and glitz (as in I think it's a good idea to have walk on music and more snazzy clothes and camera angles and studio guests etc) but I care about the integrity of the sport.

I guess Hearn has to be better than Walker but I don't see him as the "messiah" like a lot of people seem to be doing at the moment.


Postby Casey

I don't see how anybody can judge until they see his plans out right. Were is his business plan, his marketing strategy? Does he have the time to give to this full time job? How would he balance matchroom sport and give enough of his time and effort to snooker?

its all a bit suspicious really, within a couple of weeks he makes an outrageous bid to buy out the BDO and now he wants to run snooker. it wouldn't surprise me if it was just clever PR, free publicity at the end of the day. maybe he has a new venture in the pipeline or contracts to renew, nothing would surprise me.

When do the snooker players hold the AGM?