WPBSA Statement – John Sutton

The WPBSA have today announced that Irish amateur John Sutton has been suspended from snooker for a period of six years, after he was found to be in breach of rules relating to corruption and the misuse of inside information relating to his match with Jamie Burnett at last season’s International Championship qualifiers.

The WPBSA statement follows:

After a hearing that took place in Bristol on 24th March 2015 The WPBSA Disciplinary Committee found John Sutton to be in breach of rule 2.1.2 and 2.1.3 of the WPBSA Members Rules:

2.1.2 Corruption: to fix or contrive, or to be a party to any effort to fix or contrive, the result, score, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match;

2.1.3 Misuse of inside information: to use for betting purposes, or to provide to any other person for such purposes, any information relating to the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match that the Member possesses by virtue of his position within the sport and that is not in the public domain or readily accessible by the public;

This related to suspicious betting on his match with Jamie Burnett at the International Championship Qualifying event in Barnsley on 24th September 2014.

On Wednesday 20th May 2015, there was a hearing to determine sanction. John Sutton has been sentenced to a suspension of 6 years from the sport of snooker. The suspension will run from 9th February 2015 when the interim suspension was imposed by the WPBSA. Therefore John Sutton will not be eligible to participate in snooker before 9th February 2021.

He has been ordered to pay a contribution towards the WPBSA costs of £5,000

The WPBSA take allegations of match fixing very seriously and in this case worked closely with the betting industry, the UK Gambling Commission Sports Betting Intelligence Unit and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS). This case is further evidence of our uncompromising approach to dealing with such issues.

John Sutton was an amateur player who is was not a member of the WPBSA and he did not hold a WSL Tour card. He was playing in the event in question as an invitee of WSL.

Under the WPBSA Disciplinary Rules, John Sutton has a right to appeal the finding and the sentence imposed.

For the ruling of the Disciplinary Committee on finding and sanction see

Jason Ferguson the Chairman of the WPBSA said: “We take no pride in having to deal with such serious issues, however this demonstrates our commitment to ensuring ALL World Snooker events are competed in a fair and honest manner. Working closely with our many international partners, the WPBSA has developed the strongest anti-corruption strategies available in sport today. John Sutton was an amateur player, he does not a hold a main tour card and this case is evidence of the strong global governance we adopt in the sport of snooker.”

  • ANON

    Who is Ricky Waldron (gets 3 mentions).

    A few things in there suggests that the chair thinks participation at QSchool is evidence of Sutton being a certain standard of player (reference in para 25 to participation in Q School as a ‘Massive Honour’ and in para 54 to ‘the Q School Programme’) as if to say the fact he had played Q School means he must have been fairly good and therefore less likely to lose 6-0 to a pro?

    Whats the bit about unused material (para 9) and how come that was what they used to open their case? How does ‘unused’ even come into tribunal proceedings like this – surely it is either in the bundles or excluded?

    It doesn’t sound like Sutton presented his case very well. Again I’m not sure what the rules of the tribunal are but did Sutton accepting the witness statements provided by the WPBSA (as referred to at para 7 and para 58) mean the panel were entitled to treat each of these statements as accepted evidence (like in criminal law)? If so did Sutton understand this (as that would mean he accepted the witness statements given by Betfair / the BHA / the Gambling Commission etc as written).

    Also surely the case to refer to during sentencing was Joe Jogia (as the circumstances and findings appear to be incredibly similar, so not sure why he got 3x the sentence).

    I’ve read nothing to suggest that John Sutton is anything other than a family man and good guy. I hope he can move on from this in a way that is positive.