Former seven time World Snooker Champion Stephen Hendry feels snooker should learn from Golf and introduce a new alternate system for the Snooker World Championships.
The current World number six, who became the youngest player to win the prestigious tournament at the age of 21, is against a move away from Sheffield, but feels a new system like Golf’s British Open could bring some much needed excitement back into the sport.
He said, “I think that if it has to leave the Crucible then I would like to see a British Open golf type arrangement where you have four or five venues and you alternate them, so it goes back to the Crucible one year.
That would create so much excitement, like St Andrews in golf, you would be going back to the home of snooker. If there were plans to move it away then I would like to see it in that system, I think that would work.”
BBC commentator Clive Everton is a big fan of the Crucible which has staged the World Championships since 1977 and feels a move away from the Crucible would have a negative effect on the current TV deal involved with Snooker, but and the experienced journalist did not rule out a move which could have financial benefits for the sport.
“If they took the World Championships away, there would be no BBC coverage of the Masters, the Grand Prix or the UK Championships either so it just won’t happen.”
He added, “I like the Crucible but we are in a situation that if you had a venue which had two self contained rooms and more seating capacity you would get more gate money and in these troubled times you could do with it.”
This year at the World Championships in Sheffield, World Snooker have introduced a new format of Snooker called Super 6’s, which includes just six reds instead of the traditional fifteen as way of modernising the sport.
The format has come under much debate in recent weeks and Everton was quick to dismiss its expected success and thinks it is simply a way for World Snooker to hide behind bigger problems and decisions affecting the sport.
“The idea that kids will become more interested in snooker because it is six reds rather than watching their heroes compete in great championships with fifteen reds is just bizarre.”
He added, “The six reds business is just a smokescreen for the WPBSA’s real problems. I think it’s completely ludicrous.”