Shaun Murphy
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“Where’s Steve Dawson?” – former world champion calls out WST chairman

Shaun Murphy has called out the WST chairman Steve Dawson on the latest episode of his podcast.

The Magician gave an excellent and balanced overview of this week’s controversial standoff between the World Snooker Tour and the so-called Macau Five – comments you can read here.

But Murphy also noted the continued absence of the sport’s supposed front person from the saga.

Steve Dawson replaced Barry Hearn as chairman of the World Snooker Tour in 2021.

Yet there have been repeated concerns surrounding the direction in which the sport has been taken since then.

In that period, Dawson has very much employed a quieter behind-the-scenes approach, in stark contrast to his predecessor.

And it was Hearn who duly came out fighting in WST’s corner during the week, leading calls for the Macau Five to be “fined, banned, or thrown out.”

“Why are we rolling Barry Hearn out?” 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy frustratingly queried on the onefourseven Snooker Podcast.

“Where’s our chairman? Where’s Steve Dawson? Where is he?”

“Where is Steve Dawson, the new chairman of WST? Where is he, making these statements?

“Why are we rolling out a 70-odd year-old…president…of Matchroom? A former chairman – he’s not even in the job any more.

“Why is he being rolled out to make these comments? Where’s our chairman, where is he?

“I’m going to add Steve Dawson to the ‘Find My Phone’ feature on my iPhone. I’m going to try and locate him, because he’s obviously gone missing.”

Meanwhile, there was confirmation on Friday of the postponement of the unsanctioned Macau invitation event that was at the centre of the storm.

Originally scheduled for later in October when it was due to clash with this month’s Northern Ireland Open, the event has been moved to a December slot just before Christmas.

WST released its second statement of the week on the matter, insisting that the case is closed.

“WST can confirm that the Macau event previously scheduled for 27-29 October will now take place on the 22-24 December with players having received WST permission to enter,” the statement read.

“As has been the case throughout, and contrary to reports, WST has dealt with all parties in a respectful and productive manner to reach an outcome which is satisfactory to all parties.”

“As previously stated, due to contractual obligations, the original dates promoted would have been unacceptable and potentially lead to disciplinary action for those players choosing to compete in this event rather than the Northern Ireland Open.

“As such we are pleased a mutually agreeable solution has been reached to avoid further action.

“WST will always work with players to satisfy their needs and we give permission on multiple occasions during the season for these types of events.

“But on this occasion, we could not do so and raised our concerns with the players and promoter in an appropriate manner which has now led to the postponement.

“The players who have withdrawn from the Northern Ireland Open will remain unentered for this event.”

A solution has been found for now then, but it remains to be seen whether this is really the end or merely the appetisers to a growing discontent within the higher ranks of the game.

Featured photo credit: WST

2 Comments

  1. It’s good to hear those that at one time wouldn’t have a bad word said against WST, speaking up.
    This season has been bad already but seems to be reaching a new low every day and it does make it more difficult for anyone to advocate for snooker as a profession.

    Well done Shaun for having the courage to speak up, but I’m afraid your name “will also go on the list!”.

  2. After all the fuss the WST made about the NI Open being devalued because these top 5 stars were not playing, now a solution has been found (the Macau event being rescheduled) the WST are not re-entering them. Hardly a solution.

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