John Davison has rejected an invitation to attend the players' meeting in Sheffield on Wednesday where rival bidder Barry Hearn hopes to be given the go-ahead to take charge of World Snooker.
Davison, a former Olympic shooter, claims his bid is not being afforded the same platform as the proposal from Hearn, the chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, has received.
On Tuesday evening, Davison said in a statement: "We do not feel that the board is adopting a fair process or creating a level playing field for all bids.
"I therefore cannot accept their invitation to attend.
"I very much want to address the players directly, something that the WPBSA board has expressly stated that I am not to do.
"I want them to have the chance to ask me the many questions I am sure that they have before making such a massive decision. I am always happy to compete - in sport or business - as long as I know that the rules are fair and being abided by."
Davison is making his second attempt to take control of the professional game, having almost succeeded in 2002, and has support from players including Stephen Hendry, Peter Ebdon and Ding Junhui.
Hearn wants his Matchroom Sport business to take a 51 percent controlling stake in the WPBSA's business arm, World Snooker. Until Davison came forward last week he looked certain to get his wish.
Hearn has pledged more tournaments for the players and increased prize money, from £3.5million in 2009/10 to £4.5million in 2010/11. He has also promised to return control to the WPBSA if he fails.
Davison's bid would see him take 63 percent at a price of £315,000, for a fixed 15-year period.
Davison has said the £315,000 would be paid out to the world's top 64 players, and has pledged that prize money will rise to £5 million next season, with guaranteed income for players at various levels of the sport.
The statement from Davison's bid team said: "The inability of snooker's governing body to respond to John Davison's request for clarity and transparency of process ahead of tomorrow's EGM in Sheffield has prevented Davison from accepting an invitation to attend.
"Davison's late bid to lease the commercial rights to snooker in a £16 million, 15-year deal, has brought a new focus to the special meeting called by Hearn who hoped to have his own bid to buy the sport rubber-stamped by the players."
Davison himself said: "The WPBSA has failed to respond to my repeated requests for clarity and transparency of process.
"We provided written responses to the clarification questions sent to us by the WPBSA board on Friday evening at 7pm. As of 5pm today these have not been forwarded to WPBSA members. We have not had a single response to our emails and calls during the course of today.
"I'm afraid this only reinforces my view that the sport needs to realign itself very quickly to the modern era if it is to have any future at all.
"When I realised that the players were faced with a 'take it or leave it' bid by Barry Hearn to buy outright 75 percent of WSL [World Snooker] forever, for £1, leaving the players with 25 percent; I decided to offer the players a future where they were partners in our plans and held 37 percent of WSL for 15 years before the rights reverted to them entirely.
"I obviously considered the WPBSA's invitation to attend the EGM very seriously but the meeting has been convened to consider Barry Hearn's ultimatum: it has a fixed agenda and cannot allow a vote on our proposal.
"Unfortunately, we have been told nothing that makes clear how the independent directors of the WPBSA envisage us being involved, and even if this were given to us now ahead of the EGM we would obviously not have enough time to prepare properly for the meeting."
Davison's mention of Hearn taking a 75 percent stake for £1 would be contested by the veteran sports promoter. Hearn's stated plan is for Matchroom to take 51 percent for £255,000, with the rest split between commercial partners (24 percent) and players (25 percent).
is this the commitment players want to see from someone they could put the faith of their future in
- Posts: 53162
- Joined: 02 October 2009
- Location: North Wales
- Snooker Idol: Mark Selby
- Highest Break: 25
- Walk-On: the one and only