Former Indian Open champion Matthew Selt has bemoaned the lack of opportunities on the main tour.
The Englishman thinks snooker bosses could be more proactive in enriching the professional circuit with a better structure and an increase of events.
The 37 year-old highlights the situation with China and the fact that not enough has been done to replace the lost tournaments that have been cancelled there as a result of the COVID pandemic.
“I’m not scared about speaking about what I feel myself,” Matthew Selt said on the Stephen Hendry Cue Tips channel on YouTube.
“Obviously COVID has affected the world as a whole, which it clearly has. Lots of people have lost their jobs, which is very unfortunate.”
“Although the calendar looks busy and it looks like we’re doing a lot, if you’re not in the top eight or top 16, you’re in a bit of trouble.
“The thing that frustrates me the most is that we were so reliant on China as a country and an area to have half the tour.
“Somebody has not done a great job at having a back-up plan. You’re looking at nearly four years since we’ve been to China now.”
Selt’s point can be backed up by a 2022/23 snooker season in which there have been several lengthy spells that have been barren of play.
Events like the ranking event version of the Championship League or qualifying stages of tournaments have been unnecessarily drawn out to give the impression that the calendar is full.
In reality, most players have gone through weeks at a time without action, with new competitions like the Hong Kong Masters and the World Mixed Doubles open only to a select few.
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Prior to 2020, China regularly hosted five events on the annual schedule, but the tour hasn’t had the opportunity to return there since the 2019 World Open because of restrictions.
The World Snooker Tour has had plenty of time to seek opportunities elsewhere and devise a new plan, but there’s no arguing with the fact that progress has been disappointing.
Since taking over at the helm from Barry Hearn, chairman Steve Dawson has overseen a testing period in which the tour has stagnated overall, if not gone backward.
Big events like the World and UK Championships, the Masters, and the tournaments on the Cazoo Series continue to thrive, but beyond that Selt believes more can be done.
“Listen, if you put 20 tournaments on in a year and you win only £20,000, it’s your own fault,” the Turkish Masters runner-up continued.
“But telling people that you’ve got the chance to win money, I find it quite embarrassing. I find it disrespectful.”
“It’s a shame, because I love the sport. I love the game and I’ll never stop loving the game, that’s why I still play it.
“But when you look at the scheduling of the tour, you’ve got to prepare for two weeks for a qualifier and you’re playing in round two six or seven weeks later – I think it’s disgusting.
“The game is amazing, but the tour is not.”
Featured photo credit: WST