WPBSA announces plans for new World Snooker Tour

As many of you will have seen by now, the WPBSA have today unveiled plans for a new World Snooker Tour on their website which if it comes off will see a minimum of fifteen ranking events staged each season. Is this  a realistic possibility or is the timing of the announcement amidst the talk of WPBSA chairman Sir Rodney Walker being replaced by Barry Hearn all too convenient?

Click here to read the article on the World Snooker website or here to read the thoughts of Dave Hendon at Snooker Scene Blog.

You can also read the thoughts of a sceptical Ken Doherty here.

As Dave suggests, there are a lot of ifs and buts in the statement but if the reality turns out to be anywhere near the plans then the situation will surely be much improved compared to what we have now. Ultimately though there is much that needs to be answered. Will the ranking events be of a similar structure to those currently in existence? It is hard to imagine fifteen full 96 man events being an option, indeed even at snooker’s peak there was never this many events.

Or will different tiers be introduced? For example in tennis there are the four Grand Slam events as supported by nine mandatory Masters Series matches, with a series of smaller tournaments also played regularly. Perhaps in snooker there could be the majors such as the World and UK Championship, followed by other big events and then smaller ones intended for those players of a lower ranking.

Also given how snooker has struggled to attract sponsors for even the biggest events, how will the events be funded?

A lot of questions need to be answered and a lot of blanks need to be filled in before I get too excited just yet…