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Sheffield City Council releases statement on World Snooker Championship

Sheffield City Council has responded to the recent discussion surrounding the future of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre.

The sport’s prestigious tournament has been held at the Crucible Theatre since 1977 and is contracted to remain there for another three years.

However, the debate on the future destination of the World Snooker Championship has ratcheted up over the course of the last few days.

On Wednesday, World Snooker Tour supremo Barry Hearn said live on the BBC that “money has the edge every time” when it comes to making business decisions concerning the game’s future.

“If there are deals out there that are going to change people’s lives and increase profitability, there’s not really a choice to make,” Hearn said.

“The Crucible has a fantastic history, it has been a massive part of my life.”

“But we’ve all got to live in the real world. There’s a price for everything in today’s world whether we like it or not.

“I don’t like it and I want to stay here. I can’t do any more than say I need help, I need a reason to stay here.

“I can’t be more loyal to Sheffield than I have, but everybody needs to pull in the right direction.”

In response, Sheffield City Council released a statement saying that the World Snooker Championship is synonymous with the city.

“Sheffield is the home of snooker,” Kate Josephs, Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, said.

“The World Snooker Championships and Sheffield go hand in hand.”

“We know what the tournament means to the people of Sheffield, the players that come to compete, and all the fans that watch the tournament across the globe.

“We have created a sporting legacy here in the city, and we want that to continue for generations to come.

“We are in regular contact with World Snooker Tour and meet with them before, during and after each tournament, and we will continue doing so.”

The story has developed in recent weeks, particularly as Riyadh Season has raised its profile within the sport by becoming a global partner of this year’s World Snooker Championship.

That has led to increased speculation that the tournament could move abroad in the future, with Saudi Arabia representing an obvious lucrative market.

Ronnie O’Sullivan, Hossein Vafaei, and Neil Robertson have been among the players who have expressed issues with the Crucible Theatre recently.

“I don’t actually like the Crucible to be honest,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “I’d much rather it go anywhere than the Crucible.”

“I know it’s a great venue, but I don’t like playing there for 17 days. For me, if it goes anywhere but the Crucible it would be brilliant.”

Several other players, however, have suggested that it would be a mistake to leave the Crucible, which can hold less than 1,000 spectators but has established a long and storied history with snooker and its fans.

“I’ve grown up watching the World Snooker Championships,” Barry Hawkins said on the eve of this year’s event last Friday.

“The reason I started played snooker was watching Jimmy in the finals here and having his 147. It’s what inspired me to play snooker.

“All them memories and all of a sudden you’re playing here yourself, it’s amazing. I never would have thought that years ago.

“All the history, the intimateness of the venue, all of them things add to the occasion and to the atmosphere.”

Tom Ford, the 14th seed who won his first ever match at the venue this year, said: “If there is a venue that anyone wants to get to and a venue that anybody wants to play, it’s the Crucible Theatre.”

“There is so much history here. That’s why everyone puts so much pressure on themselves in the qualifiers.

“Everyone wants to get to play at the Crucible, and it’s such a good feeling when you’re out there. The atmosphere is just so good here.”


2024 World Snooker Championship Draw

Round 1 (bo19)

Luca Brecel (1) 9-10 David Gilbert
Robert Milkins (16) 10-9 Pang Junxu
Ali Carter (9) 7-10 Stephen Maguire
Shaun Murphy (8) 10-5 Lyu Haotian

Mark Selby (5) 6-10 Joe O’Connor
Kyren Wilson (12) 10-1 Dominic Dale
John Higgins (13) 10-6 Jamie Jones
Mark Allen (4) 10-6 Robbie Williams

Judd Trump (3) 10-5 Hossein Vafaei
Tom Ford (14) 10-6 Ricky Walden
Zhang Anda (11) 4-10 Jak Jones
Mark Williams (6) 9-10 Si Jiahui

Ding Junhui (7) 9-10 Jack Lisowski
Gary Wilson (10) 5-10 Stuart Bingham
Barry Hawkins (15) 8-10 Ryan Day
Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) 10-1 Jackson Page

Round 2 (bo25)

David Gilbert 13-4 Robert Milkins (16)
Stephen Maguire 13-9 Shaun Murphy (8)

Joe O’Connor 6-13 Kyren Wilson (12)
John Higgins (13) 13-12 Mark Allen (4)

Judd Trump (3) 13-7 Tom Ford (14)
Jak Jones 13-9 Si Jiahui

Jack Lisowski 11-13 Stuart Bingham
Ryan Day 7-13 Ronnie O’Sullivan (2)

Quarter-Finals (bo25)

David Gilbert 13-8 Stephen Maguire
Kyren Wilson (12) 13-8 John Higgins (13)

Judd Trump (3) 9-13 Jak Jones
Stuart Bingham 13-10 Ronnie O’Sullivan (2)

Semi-Finals (bo33)

David Gilbert 11-17 Kyren Wilson (12)
Jak Jones 17-12 Stuart Bingham

Final (bo35)

Kyren Wilson (12) 18-14 Jak Jones

Click here for the latest live scores and session times.


Featured photo credit: WST

3 Comments

  1. MRS J M RIDAL

    There is only one place for the world’s champions and that’s the crucible. Those players that don’t like it stay away it was only Sheffield Crucible that was willing to take it on and now some of the players are bad mouthing it. SHAME ON YOU

  2. janice hartley

    I have no words for osulivan.after his horrific carry on to ali ..he needed suspending and a fine for every bad mouth tex him his girl freind and so called dad did. Hes a money grabbing git he doesnt llke trophies..he doesnt like lasagne..he doesnt like crucible so why has he botherd to play there to win last 7 titles..and now hes so desperate for lasagne hes going for 8 ..but he dosnt like crucible ..tut tut makes me sick and all his followers and hearn what a shit the lot of em…why not use arena ..or does it boil down to it been in sheffield..sully seems bent on taking every thing to dubi.away from uk..and he gets away with it cause youre all scared of him..by the way trophies mean a great deal to most of players..its the acheivment..

  3. Alan Armstrong

    Snooker will never attract thousands to big arenas in the UK. The atmosphere will be non existent due to the vast amounts of space. The class of 92 will retire in a few short years & who will pay large ticket prices to see a match quality that can be seen in a local club on a good day. Money is necessary for top sportspeople to continue competing & the recent changes have allowed our players to take part in many competitions with good monies to be had. Leave things as they are or the sport will suffer for it!

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