Whilst the winners prizes for the big events may seem good, the reality is prizes were similar or greater in most cases many years ago (when you add inflation the prizes were probably twice to three times as much!) and those further down the rankings are playing for a pittance if the truth be told, considering they are professional sportsmen. And when i say "down the rankings" im not meaning those ranked down in the 60s, 70s etc, im referring to those who only make quarter finals on average.
What ive done below is take a selection of current tournaments and listed their current prize money, when the prize money first reached this level, and what its peak was, as well as a few general observations.
2010 First Prize - £250,000
First hit £250,000 in the year 2000
Highest amount - £270,000 in the year 2003
QF in 1993 earned you as much as in 2010
SF in 1994 earned you as much as in 2010
last 16 in 1996 earned you as much as in 2010
2010 First Prize - £1oo,000
First hit £100,000 in 1989
Highest amount - £110,000 in 1990
2010 First Prize - £150,000
First hit £150,000 in the year 1998
Highest amount - £210,000 in 2003
So as you can see the above figures make alarming reading, the money has stalled badly lately and shown no sign of increasing, albeit the new events added to the calendar have increased the overall tour prize fund from the level it was at under Rodney Walker.
However as i said before taking inflation into account, the prizes from around the early/mid 80s till around the Millenium were much more significant and at one point in the 80s Steve Davis was actually Britains highest earning sportsman
Imagine that now? Your average Premiership footballer earns more in a week than 80% of snooker players do in a YEAR and the gulf between the top snooker stars and other top sportstars is light years.
Now snookers on the rise again, can we expect prize money and the sport to start to rise to some sort of level thats more fitting?
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