Players competing on the World Snooker Tour will definitely earn £20,000 under a new scheme introduced this season.
The initiative, which will commence immediately in time for the ongoing 2022/23 campaign and is open to all 130 professionals, has been launched in an effort to offer security to lower-ranked players.
Players will receive £10,000 in September and a further £10,000 in January, helping to ease woes during a difficult economic period.
However, the sum will be offset against prize money from snooker events, meaning if players earn £20,000 or more through victories on the Main Tour, they will have the up-front payments deducted.
There has long been a call for players to earn a minimum amount in prize money, especially after achieving professional status.
During the 2021/22 campaign, 88 professional players earned at least £20,000 through prize money earned on the circuit, with the remaining 34 competitors falling short of that mark.
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WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “We are delighted to join forces with the WPBSA and its players organisation to fund this new programme.”
“We recognise that these are tough times for many people given the cost of living crisis and that a £20,000 guarantee provides an important level of reassurance for many players who need to plan and prepare for life on tour.
“The top stars on our tour earn vast sums, in fact three years ago we saw Judd Trump become the first player to earn £1 million in prize money in a single season.
“But we recognise that further down the rankings, there are no guarantees.
“We have brought in this new system to support the many talented players who may need a level of security to fund their snooker careers.
“Before Matchroom took control of the sport in 2010, overall prize money had sunk as low as £3.5 million and all players had to pay around £5,000 a year in entry fees.
“We have since scrapped entry fees and the prize money levels are far higher. Due to the pandemic, we have not been able to stage ranking events in China since 2019, which has adversely affected our tour.
“But we will return to China as soon as restrictions are reduced, and we are striving to create new events, as we have done with the British Open, Turkish Masters, Hong Kong Masters and World Mixed Doubles.”
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson added: “This new initiative is a fundamental shift in the way we are underpinning the future of our sport.
“This clearly shows the importance of our new structure at the WPBSA where players are represented and listened to through their own WPBSA players body, and I would like to thank the WPBSA players board for their support.
“In addition, this demonstrates the value of becoming a World Snooker Tour card holder where we take talent retention and the welfare of our players seriously.”
Featured photo credit: WPBSA