Now... let's consider this: Neil Robertson last season earned 7500 ranking points and £100 000 for winning 5 best of 5 matches and one best of 9 (World Open) over more than a week, in UK, last week he earned 2000 points and 10 000 Euros for winning 7 best of 7 matches over 2 days and a punishing schedule, having had to travel abroad (Warsaw Classic). Is this right? In my opinion no, it isn't, not at all. Just because the World Open has the tag "major" and is sponsored by BBC doesn't justify such discrepancy.
Similarly a top 16 player winning just one best of 9 in ranking tournament will earn at least nearly as many ranking point as a player winning 7 best of 7 in a PTC and will benefit from the protection of the seeding, which does not exist in PTCs.
So contrary to Tubberlad my opinion is that PTCs are not properly rewarded.
Now this will surprise some because I'm not a fan of the PTCs. The reason for my dislike however is not the concept; the concept is great. The reason for my dislike is precisely that they are not given proper resources to be the quality events they should be.
Barry Hearn wants to build a global professional circuit, then he should treat his players and referees as professionals. Professionals are not supposed to be off their pocket when doing their job properly, they are not supposed to play ranking matches without a referee, they are not supposed to play/work under iffy conditions and unreal schedules (see the complaints of a ref in Poland, see what Dave Hendon said about players still playing at 3 am, and I can assure you hat I have seen all sorts in the European PTCs I've attended). They are not supposed to be "blackmailed" to do their job under unacceptable conditions by the way the ranking system works.
When I speak about being off their pockets, here is a concrete example. In PTC4 (Fürth) Yu Delu lost his quarter finals match. His manager Django Fung borrowed my Mac to book his return flight. Django not being used neither to the Mac system, nor to the French/Belgian keyboard was in a struggle so I was asked to help... Yu's return flight costed about 400 Euros. His inbound flight must have costed a bit less, but not much (one way flights don't come cheap). He played his first match on the Friday, so he had 3 days accommodations and food to pay for, plus his entry fees, £100 (pounds, not Euros, when prize money is in Euros). Reaching the quarters earned him 1500 Euros. How much did he actually earn? And bear in mind that he had to play 5 matches, won 4, and was one of the lucky 8 out of 128 to reach that far in the competition, meaning 120 others got less, including 64 who got nothing at all. Is this a proper reward for a young professional, who works as an expat, thousands of miles away from his country and family? Don't tell me that "mediocrity" should not be rewarded. This isn't mediocrity.
If Barry Hearn wants the PTCs to be the backbone of snooker promotion in Europe, it has to give the events proper resources and rewards. If he does, the top players will stop seeing them as pointless and will try properly in them which is far from being the case for many of them.
You will tell me that the amount of money is limited. Right. Then use it wisely. Do we really need 6 ranking events in China, with huge travel expenses from the players (even the Chinese players live in UK for most of the year), administrative hassle, time difference etc... when there is no ranking event in Scotland (or Ireland, if rumours about PTC Grand Final going to Germany or Malta are true)? Is it really a priority to go and organise an event in Brazil, with ridiculous tix prices, and a ridiculous schedule in a posh resort? No, in my opinion. Not at all.
Instead make the PTCs worth the effort they ask from players and refs. Reduce them to 8 if needed, but make them quality, promote them with proper reward, mainly in prize money. Focus on Europe and Gloucester, or other venues allowing for audience in UK if needed.
And while I'm at it: one of the best aspects of the PTCs is amateurs involvement. These guys put time and money into them. A lot. The very minimum they deserve is to be treated fairly. Put some resources into that as well.
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