7.10.08

CHINA BIDS TO SNATCH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

The Daily Mail reports that Sir Rodney Walker, the WPBSA chairman, was approached in Shanghai by promoters looking to stage the World Championship in China.

Walker makes it clear the game's top event will remain at the Crucible until the end of its contract in 2010.

After that, who knows what will happen?

My guess is that it will depend on the BBC. I would imagine they would want the tournament to stay in the UK.

But is there a price the Chinese offer that the WPBSA cannot reasonably turn down?

Full story here.

10 comments:

black_cat from tsf said...

If and when it happens it will signify the end of an era; I'm sure my interest in watching the most important tournament of the snooker season will not stay the same. I for one think it is extremely premature, given that the second ranker staged in China is only one year old and that mainland Europe still doesn't have an MT event.
Surely, home is where the money is and the Chinese have it, but nevertheless, I stick to the opinion that it's premature and while attracting viewers from Asia it will alienate those of Europe, because of time difference and schedules.

Anonymous said...

First of all China has to produce top quality players. Ding Junhui is not enough (although he is on the down slope).

JIMO96 said...

It might bring the curtain down on one of snookers most famous chapters....but bring it on. Can any serious snooker fan seriously say that this will cause their interest in the sport to diminish? A £500K first prize can put snookers pros into the big earnings league, and if the WSA turn this down, it'll rank alongside the Altium fiasco.

Monique said...

My concern with this is not just about the move. After the last China Open, poorly attended, there were discussions about the reasons behind the lack of interest in the chinese audience. Of course the tix were expensive for the average chinese and both Ding and ROS were out quickly... but also it appeared that "long" matches don't suit them! Most matches were best of 9 and the final best of 17 and yet ... Shorter formats like the one used in the Jiangsu classic or the 6-reds format used in Thailand seem to be prefered. My fear is that soon pressure would be applied to change the WC format in order to adapt better to the local market (yes this is about marketing) and THIS change would affect the very nature of the game... and my interest in it.

Anonymous said...

Sheffield has established itself as the home of modern day snooker. The World Championship has to remain in the city, be it at The Crucible or elsewhere.

When players talk about what they would like to achieve, they often state that playing at the Crucible is their dream. It's perhaps the main reason why players want to turn professional. Take that away from them and you lose the jewel in the crown.

In my opinion, you will lose the identity of the tournament, and indeed the sport, if it is moved elsewhere, or outside the British Isles.

I'm all for expansion, but every sport needs to retain it's constituency element. For snooker, this is GB and Ireland. It's something the WPBSA should be proud of.

Could China support a World Championship at the moment?

Interest-wise quite possibly, but every international tournament relies on successful home-grown talent and China does not have this at the moment.

Sure you have Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo, but whilst I want them to succeed, these two players quite frankly are not good enough at the moment, and do not have the right people around them as is evident in their erratic displays. But I digress.

For me, the World Championship symbolises the sport's identity. This would be taken away by moving the event to China, and could see the beginning of the end for snooker.

Sam T

Anonymous said...

Sheffield has established itself as the home of modern day snooker. The World Championship has to remain in the city, be it at The Crucible or elsewhere.

When players talk about what they would like to achieve, they often state that playing at the Crucible is their dream. It's perhaps the main reason why players want to turn professional. Take that away from them and you lose the jewel in the crown.

In my opinion, you will lose the identity of the tournament, and indeed the sport, if it is moved elsewhere, or outside the British Isles.

I'm all for expansion, but every sport needs to retain it's constituency element. For snooker, this is GB and Ireland. It's something the WPBSA should be proud of.

Could China support a World Championship at the moment?

Interest-wise quite possibly, but every international tournament relies on successful home-grown talent and China does not have this at the moment.

Sure you have Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo, but whilst I want them to succeed, these two players quite frankly are not good enough at the moment, and do not have the right people around them as is evident in their erratic displays. But I digress.

For me, the World Championship symbolises the sport's identity. This would be taken away by moving the event to China, and could see the beginning of the end for snooker.

Sam T

Anonymous said...

Absolutely no way this should happen. The Crucible's rich history is a massive element in the World Championship's success and profile, and it shouldn't just be cast aside so easily.

China has really taken to the game, and while this may endure, it also may not. Thailand had two ranking events in a year at one stage, and the World Cup team event, but interest has dipped significantly there, and the same could happen in China.

In such circumstances, it would have to return to Britain, where a lot of momentum would have been lost in the intervening years, and would be very hard to get back.

Moving the championship to China may end up being the right thing to do, but we're still at the very least five years away from that stage, probably ten.

The point made above about the Chinese not taking to the long matches is a good one, and it makes me fear the matches might be shortened to appeal to the public there. In which case the World Championship as we know it would be over.

And while the answer to "can any serious snooker fan seriously say that this will cause their interest in the sport to diminish?" is no, the reality is that the game also needs to keep the interest of casual viewers.

The Crucible's history is one of snooker's most important assets. It has taken 32 years to build, but would only take one rash decision to end.

Dan said...

they should follow the leads of golf and tennis and have grand slam events, one in england, one in china, both equally as prestigous to win but for different reasons.

Anonymous said...

Everything has a price and as the game is so poorly run if China(or any other country)offers enough money then the event will be moved.
Sheffield has become the home of the World Championships and I hope it remains that way.

Anonymous said...

leave the world championships at the crucible where it belongs - if they want a 'world' event over there and will put the money in they can have the world doubles and the world juniors and the world team championships (call it the world cup again!)