Barry Hearn shuts down Judd Trump and sides with Ronnie O'Sullivan over World Champ venue

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Barry Hearn shuts down Judd Trump and sides with Ronnie O'Sullivan over World Champ venue

World Snooker Tour president Barry Hearn has shut down Judd Trump and sided with Ronnie O'Sullivan about their views on moving from The Crucible. T

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World Snooker Tour president Barry Hearn has shut down Judd Trump and sided with Ronnie O’Sullivan about their views on moving from The Crucible. There have been growing claims that the World Snooker Championship should take place at a more modern venue.

After O’Sullivan won his record-levelling seventh world title on Monday, he disputed the talk of the tournament taking place out of Sheffield. And Hearn has stressed that while he is alive, the World Snooker Championship won’t be moving from the iconic building in South Yorkshire.

“The World Championship has this mystique called ‘The Crucible’ live from Sheffield to 500 million viewers around the world,” Hearn told the BBC. “To get an extra few hundred people in is financially academic.

“The big brand is the broadcast value to all those countries around the world that go, ‘wow, jaw-dropping, the last chapter of an Agatha Christie novel’. In my lifetime, however long that may be, there will be no changes. After me, there will be son Edward with a little note in his dad’s will which says: ‘Crucible, we’re staying’.”

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Hearn’s stance will go down well with O’Sullivan, who questioned why snooker would leave the Crucible if it wasn’t for an offer the sport simply couldn’t refuse. He told talkSPORT: “I really like The Crucible. I think it’s an amazing venue. It’s sort of iconic, there’s a brilliant atmosphere.

“It is our best venue, and I’d only move it if they could get 5,000 people, which would mean double the prize money. Or unless China comes in with an offer that you just couldn’t refuse. Otherwise, why would you move it from Sheffield? Sheffield has been great to snooker; it’s sort of like the home of snooker, really. Until someone comes up with an offer you can’t refuse, then I’d just keep it where it is.”

Trump has been one of the notable names who have publicly called for bigger and better venues for snooker events. In April, the former world number one suggested a move away from the Crucible would be the right move to match hospitality offered in golf or F1.

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He said: “I just think snooker needs to change as a whole. A lot of the tournaments are living in the past; the venues are a bit dated. Nowadays, you have to have hospitality. You have it at Wimbledon, in golf or in Formula 1. You just wouldn’t expect someone like David Beckham to come and sit in the crowd at any other event, would you? There’s no hospitality at the Crucible, and you’re narrowing it down.”

However, after his World Snooker Championship final defeat to O’Sullivan on Monday, Trump performed a U-turn on his original stance. He admitted: “I was wrong when I said I wanted to move from here. I think it should definitely stay at the Crucible.”



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