RONNIE O’SULLIVAN HAS repeated his threat to skip this year’s World Snooker Championship and complained that the sport is “weighted towards numpties”.
O’Sullivan has repeatedly referred to snooker’s lower-ranked players as “numpties” over recent months and objects to having to play from the beginning of a flat 128-man draw, which has become the favoured format on the tour.
The five-time winner has previously threatened to skip the 2018 World Championship to film a new series of his TV show and, following his 6-1 defeat to Mark Allen in the Masters quarter-finals, O’Sullivan said that – unless his “terms and conditions” are met – he will keep his word.
“I know people didn’t take me seriously when I mentioned it before but I probably will miss this year’s World Championships,” he said.
“It is a time-passer for me, I play for the fans that love to watch me. I will play a few events but it might be better to be in Australia filming a new TV series of Hustle.
“I would find it difficult watching on TV at home and not being part of it.
If I’m in Australia I can have four weeks out there, chill out, and then I have signed deals for events in China in June and July.
“I don’t like the politics [of snooker], the structure, and the game is weighted towards numpties. I play about an extra 30 matches a year starting at the 128-player round in Barnsley.
“That’s the sort of thing that drove Phil Taylor out of darts. It’s too much sometimes for the top guys.
“Things can change, but unless my terms and conditions are met it has been on my mind that the best place for me to be during Sheffield is away. If they really want me, knock on my door.”
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