I know I will go off topic but as we already have a thread about the prize money ranking, this one can as well be used for something else and the admins to change the title…
So let's go.
First about the "on topic" .
The argument against it is that it's going to favour the top players, because they may only need to win one match in a major event and will still earn a lot more than a players who's won several earlier rounds already. But as one pro said, he's earned his right to be a top-16 player, so why should he be punished.
shows that many pros don't understand the changes that Barry Hearn want to introduce. The money list can only work fairly if the structure of tournaments becomes flat and therefore whether you are n°1 or n°100 won't make any difference, you will have to win 7 matches to win the title.
Now the "off topic".
The general mental attitude Stuart is displaying - and not only him, most players actually - appalls me. "He's the boss and there is nothing we can do, so be best go along with it" (this is not a quote, it's a kind of summary I have written). This is exactly the type of mental attitude that has lead to some of the most terrible atrocities in human history. It's extremely unhealthy and dangerous when people stop thinking and just accept what the "authorities" decide and hide behind "authority" to justify their own cowardliness and laziness.Of course Barry Hearn isn't Pol Pot or Hitler and nobody will die for disagreeing with WSA. But the mental attitude of most snooker players is just the same attitude that lead to the Pol Pot or Hitler of this world to do what they have done without being stopped.
Players who speak their mind or want it their own way are punished and the worst thing is that many fans think that's right. Those players should be applauded and supported. It's extremely unhealthy for any organisation when people stop thinking, voicing opinions, challenging the way things are done: it usually means societal sclerosis and death of freedom. Even if those players are wrong in occasions, it's still preferable to have them expressing themselves rather than having a flock of sheep playing snooker and accepting whatever is thrown at them without a word.
I admire Mark Williams for persisting on twitter despite his 4000£ fine - totally unjustified for a throwaway comment for which he explained himself and apologized - and I wonder who "Not Mark Williams" is but I wouldn't be surprised if that person was someone very close to Mark and the tandem working as a team. It would be very clever …
I can't help to think that Mark has been punished in other ways as well, as has been Maguire for saying that he felt "like a prostitute" to play in the PTCs. If the PL - a very lucrative tournament where nearly all players want to be in whatever Roland thinks
- is the place for winners, then Higgins has nothing to do in there this season, and Murphy neither (the Brazilian Masters was nothing than a depleted invitational that most players didn't take seriously and where Selby came to play in shattered from the SM and jet-lag-dead). Instead both Maguire and Williams who made the finals of multiple rankers should have been there. But the "good boys" must be rewarded and the "bad boys" punished. That's my perception and I don't like it at all.
Then of course there was ROS and the contract. Whatever many will chose to believe this wasn't about money or having a contract different from other players. I have spoken with people who have read the contract and it is actually very onerous and one person - an non-UK amateur who had to sign it to play in a PTC - even challenged the legality of some of the paragraphs in there. My understanding is that this contract basically puts the players under a lot of constraints that deprive them of the freedom and benefits of being self employed while they still have to take all the financial risks associated to that status. It also demands for a lot of "free" work - it actually costs them when they have to turn up to abroad tournaments days before the are scheduled to play - while this work clearly brings a value to WS. It also asks them to give away quite a lot of their "image rights". I haven't seen the contract myself and by writing this I can only rely on what those persons told me. I want to stress firmly that ROS was NOT one of those persons.
I didn't like the way WSA communicated about it neither. Basically - for those who can read and use their brains - they suggested but didn't actually write that ROS asked for "appearance money" which everyone understood as "money to turn up and play". He didn't and that became clear reading BH quotes in SS as well as Django Fung answer. What he asked for is that promo work should be rewarded because there is a value to it, and he never said that it should be only for him, but of course he's the one who is asked the biggest contribution especially now that he's the WC. So that press releasedwasn't actually a lie, but is was misguiding and I really struggle to believe that it wasn't done on purpose. Similarly I don't buy the statement that "Barry just explained the contract to ROS and he signed it". As thick as ROS might be seen by some fans - and he isn't - BH certainly wouldn't spend 11 hours to explain him the contract and extend the deadline of a major tournament if it wasn't extremely important for him - Barry Hearn - to have him on board. So I'm quite certain that there was a lot more than meets the eyes behind that "discussion".
Players who think they can do nothing about the situation are wrong. Yes Barry Hearn bought the game and has all the power and as individuals they can't do much maybe, except for some of the top guys. But ultimately if they refuse to play, if they boycott tournaments, then there is nothing Barry Hearn can do neither and he will be in trouble with his own contractual obligations. "Désobéissance civique" works and history of India with Gandhi proved it. He owns the game but they are the ones who play it, he needs them and don't be fooled, nobody becomes a top player with an image overnight, so he can't replace them just like that.
To conclude this rant two things.
1.Mark Allen. It's no secret I don't like like him and that I think some of his comments were bang out of order. Not his criticisms of Barry, but his racist comments about the Chinese. But even so, I think it's better to have his kind around and able to voice their opinion, wrong as it might in my eyes, than having players shut up.
2. Barry Hearn. There is no question that he has done a lot of good things and that he's introduced a well needed dynamism in snooker again. I have been vocal against him at times - and again now - but it's in a big part in reaction to those who seem to think that all he does is wonderful and should be accepted. He's got ideas, he's working hard, he's competent, but he's also extremely arrogant and like everyone he makes mistakes. That's why snooker needs some people, including players and managers, to raise their voice against him just as much as it needs him. So that a balance is kept for the best to everyone.