Unequivocal Ebdon Backs Davison Bid

Having already heard the opinions of Stephen Hendry, Mark Selby and Mark King, the latest player to offer his thoughts is Peter Ebdon who unsurprisingly following his previous criticism of the Barry Hearn bid, has thrown his weight emphatically behind John Davison…

You can read Ebdon’s thoughts in full over at the 110sport website but the most telling section can be found here:

“The entire crux of the matter for me is that we (the players) will still be in control. John Davison is in effect ‘leasing’ snooker from the players for the next 15 years – we are not being asked to sign away everything we have built up over the years and that we may never see again.

“The players need to see this for what it is; the chance for someone else to maximise the potential of the game, secure the commercial assets, take it forward, secure the future, and then hand back a healthy, vibrant sport at the end of it.

“It will be good for John Davison and his partners, and very good for snooker and the players who are making their career in this great sport.

Ever since Barry Hearn laid his cards on the table with his much debated letter to the players, the biggest complaint voiced by some has been that of what would happen the sport’s commercial rights. Under Barry’s proposals, those rights would be transferred for the nominal sum of £1 while under Davison’s plan, they would effectively be leased to Davison for the next fifteen years before being handed back to the players at some point in the future.

Where do I stand on this issue? My (perhaps simplistic) view would be that the players having control of the sport’s commercial rights has particularly helped to progress the sport over the last couple of decades so perhaps handing them over to someone with Hearn’s proven ability to succeed would not be a bad idea.

It is hard to really make an informed judgement on Davison’s proposals at this stage however as there are simply too many questions that are as yet unanswered. The prospect of having 1o ranking events is at first blush an attractive one but what would be the format of these events? We simply do not know and approaching June, there is not much time remaining to put his plans into place.

At the same time though as I had said in my previous post, it makes a refreshing change to have two attractive proposals in front of us and it will be interesting to see how this latest battle will turn out. I have a lot of time for Barry Hearn and believe that he has done a good job so far, but I feel that Davison’s plan should at least be listened to…