Snooker players seem to be an astonishingly patient bunch as a rule.
Every year, their governing body promises good times around the corner. Every year, they fail to materialise.
A few years ago, I attended a press conference at Wembley given by World Snooker and two men from Brazil. They were promoting a tournament to be staged in Recife. Posters were handed out, promises were made and we all looked forward to the trip.
It never happened.
Shortly after this, World Snooker sent out a press release announcing an Asian Tour of China, Thailand and Macao.
Great, we all thought again. At last, snooker is going international.
The tour never happened.
And yet, the talk of better times ahead continues. Last season, there were just six world ranking events. This season, there are seven. In the 1995/96 and 1996/97 seasons there were ten.
Next season, there will be an additional ranking event in Germany. Or will there? It's been announced to the media out there but World Snooker cannot confirm its existence.
There is talk of a second ranking tournament in China but, as of yet, no confirmation.
The best guide to what will be happening during 2007/08 is the Betfred Premier League dates, which have been announced by the promoters, Matchroom and are available to view here:
As you will see, the dates make a professional tournament impossible between the week beginning September 9 and the first weekend of December, apart from the week in October set aside for the Grand Prix.
So there we have it confirmed: there will be no tournaments in November, leaving a huge gap yet again between the Northern Ireland Trophy (assuming it is on again) and the Grand Prix and then the Grand Prix and the UK Championship.
If - and it's a huge if - there are a series of new tournaments they appear to be slated for the first four months of 2008, which already accomodates the Masters, Malta Cup, Welsh Open, China Open and 888.com World Championship.
The circuit is clearly lopsided and players not involved in the League find momentum impossible to attain. There are far too many weeks when nothing at all is happening in the professional game.
A sport as popular and well supported as snooker deserves better than this.