Doyle Out – Let battle commence

Earlier today it was confirmed that Lee Doyle, the chairman of 110sport, has today resigned from the board of the WPBSA and in doing so made his opinion on the proposals of Barry Hearn clear…

As reported over at, Doyle has said:

“I feel that my current position as a Director on the Board of the WPBSA is now untenable given that I am completely opposed to the proposals the Chairman, Barry Hearn, has laid out whereby the controlling rights in the Company are handed over to him.

“I do understand what Barry is trying to achieve in snooker and we have discussed this at considerable length. But on this one we agree to disagree.

“Barry has always run his own business and made his own decisions. However, I feel extremely uncomfortable where from my perspective decisions are being taken on contracts without me being consulted as a Board member.

“I do wish some of the players would look at these proposals from the business angle and see the bigger picture and the implications going forward for the game, rather than turning everything in to some kind of popularity contest between those they like and those they don’t want to listen to.”

You can also read Dave Hendon’s view on the situation over at Snooker Scene Blog.

Having been a member of the recently deposed previous regime it is perhaps not all that surprising to see that Lee Doyle has now walked but nevertheless this is a move that could potentially have a significant bearing on the much-anticipated vote on 5th May 2010.

On the main tour this season are approximately 17 players managed by Doyle’s 110sport group, a sizeable portion of a voting pool of around 75 eligible players. Hypothetically, if these players were now to follow the lead of their manager and vote against the Hearn plan, then that would be quite some headstart for the ‘no’ votes. With the likes of Mark Allen having already spoken out in favour of Hearn though, it will be interesting to see how players such as him will vote, though of course we will ultimately never know.

If the players are to say no to Barry Hearn’s plans however, what is the alternative? Dave Hendon talks of a proposal from the previous regime but given that the decision to remove them came just a few months ago, to reverse that now would surely send out entirely the wrong message to potential sponsors and broadcasters?

With a few weeks still remaining before the vote takes place however, you can be sure that more opinions will be voiced between now and then as the battle for the future of the sport gets underway…